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From: Diana in Michigan (
Subject:         Probably not for your 10yo...
Date: May 14, 2011 at 8:10 am PST

In Reply to: Harvey's elementary grammar... anyone use it? posted by Michelle on May 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm:

I used (more like experimented!) with both "Elementary Grammar" and the more advanced "English Grammar". The books are really more like teacher's manuals with student exercises included in each lesson, and require A LOT of teacher involvement, i.e. teaching. Parsing is heavily used (memorizing the rules of grammar).

These are very thorough grammar texts, but too complex for a 10yo (unless you want them to hate grammar!). High school would be the place to use these, and then only if the student were very motivated.

For an age-appropriate classical approach, I recommend Karen Andreola's book "Simply Grammar". It's a straight-forward, traditional text, which you and your student work through together. Do the work orally (unless your child really loves to write!), a little each day.

Just a side note here: I am a published writer, and teach writing classes. I have found very little correlation between formal grammar knowledge and writing skill. The question is, are you looking to produce a great writer or a grammar wiz? If writing is to be the emphasis, then focus on those skills (Institute for Excellence in Writing materials are excellent!) If you admire the logic of grammar, consider teaching latin instead; you'll get the same grammar while learning the roots of english. I would suggest working through "Simply Grammar" before latin, because it introduces the nomenclature of grammar (verb, noun, adjective, etc), unless you student is already familiar with the terminology.

Sorry this was so long (can you tell I'm a talker as well as a writer?!)...hope it was helpful!

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