Imparting a classical education at home. Check out the Edwards Academy.

Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Grammar in Grammar School- Shurley English and Writing Aids

Bears ran fast. 
What ran fast?
Bears-subject noun
What is being said about bears?
Bears ran-verb
Ran how?
Fast-adverb!

In the picture below you see Lane classifying the parts of speech in this short sentence. The Shurley English method takes a bit to get used to, but it is certainly effective.



Sydney and Hope are beginning Level 3 Shurley English and Lane is starting Level 1. Shurley English relies on oral jingles and question-and-answer flows to teach kids how to analyze a sentence. The rhythmic jingles make it easy to remember grammar rules. The lessons are scripted and although I don't always care for scripted teacher's manuals, this is an exception. I usually read the script, interjecting comments or ad-libbing a bit as I go and walk the kids through the new skills that they are learning.

Shurley English also teaches writing, which provides solid instruction (at least in the early years) in paragraph construction and the different forms of writing (narration, etc.). We use these assignments in Level 1 and 2, but for Sydney and Hope we are phasing in more and more of the Tapestry of Grace writing assignments and the Writing Aids instruction.

In the picture below you see Sydney and Hope working on a poster-size "Five W's" chart that they worked on today for our writing assignment related to Tapestry of Grace. This week we are talking a bit about some of the writing preparation tools, such as this 5 W chart. Using Tapestry of Grace's writing component enhances both our writing instruction and our history and literature studies.



After a week of World War I map studies and reading, the girls were fairly well prepared for analyzing the who-what-when-where-and-why of "What's the fighting in Europe all about?"

7 comments:

Ruth said...

It looks excellent. Your children are truly blessed to be receiving such a great education!

mom24 said...

No doubt, you are the right person to ask about grammar. I am struggling greatly to teach this subject to my 2nd grader, even though I never struggled with it in gradeschool. I am using First Language Lessons and I just feel like I'm not connecting the dots with him and am pulling teach to get him to recall things. This shows me that he is not truly comprehending the subject.

How is Shurley different/better? Is it to be used with younger kids (I don't know how old your pictured Lane is)?

Thanks for you opinion!
Andrea

mom24 said...

No doubt, you are the right person to ask about grammar. I am struggling greatly to teach this subject to my 2nd grader, even though I never struggled with it in gradeschool. I am using First Language Lessons and I just feel like I'm not connecting the dots with him and am pulling teach to get him to recall things. This shows me that he is not truly comprehending the subject.

How is Shurley different/better? Is it to be used with younger kids (I don't know how old your pictured Lane is)?

Thanks for you opinion!
Andrea

Mrs. Edwards said...

I haven't looked at First Language Lessons, so I can't compare Shurley English to that, but I can tell you that I have been pleased with Shurley English.

In a classical tradition, Shurley English uses jingles and oral "question and answer flows" to help kids identify parts of speech almost without even thinking. The method takes advantage of the grammar stage (I'm speaking of the developmental stage here, not the subject of English grammar) student's ability to memorize and learn lots of information, even though they aren't ready to analyze it.

Level 1 is written for first grade kids, Level 2 for second, and so on. The earlier you begin using Shurley English, the better, because you maximize the time for the kids to really memorize all the parts of speech jingles until it is effortless for them to identify the words in sentences.

Lane is six years old and starting Level 1. He is reading fitfully, but so much of the grammar is oral that it really doesn't matter that he can't read all the words.

Again, I haven't evaluated First Language Lessons, but if you are struggling with it, I would suggest trying Shurley grammar. You could start in on Level 2 with your second grader, perhaps starting out at a bit of a slower pace until the jingles become more familiar.

Shurley English also teaches writing, as I said in the post. Each chapter includes five lessons and the fifth lesson is usually a writing/composition assignment.

I hope that helped a bit!

mom24 said...

Sorry about that double comment. Don't know how that happened! Wierd.
Thanks so much for this info! I am definitely going to look into Shurley - we must make a change so that J doesn't learn to be miserable with grammar!
Andrea

Mary@notbefore7 said...

LOL...I came over here from Heritage academy and found this post. I have a kindergartener, so we begin grammar next year. I am debating Shurley vs. First Language Lessons and was going to ask the same thing!

Thanks for your input on Shurley Grammer! Our kids start the Institute for Excellence in Writing Seminar by 4th grade through Classical Conversations SO I want them well prepared!!!

Love your site- I love homeschooling resources, so you might not see me comment often as I do'nt get a ton of time for that...BUT I am adding you to my reader for sure :0

Mrs. Edwards said...

Good to hear from you, Mary, and I appreciate the comment. Thanks for coming by!

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