June 4, 2014 Edition 

Teaching Grammar: When, Why, and How           

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Gena Suarez
Hey Mama,
Take a look at some articles from the magazine to help you teach grammar:
Who Needs Grammar? - Ruth Beechick
Parts of Speech - Building Blocks of Beautiful Sentences - Amy Nicholson
Contemplating Grammar - Andrew Pudewa
My Granny Loves Grammar - Jeanette M. Rich
Need more ideas? Visit www.TOSMagazine.com. On the far left is a search button. Click it, and then enter "grammar." Follow the links to the articles.
Now for some encouragement ...

May your children rise up and call you blessed. That's in Proverbs 31 as you know. Sometimes you look at that and think, yeah right. It's hard to see all the monkeys who constantly make bad decisions and who you are always having to pull down off the walls. Popcorn. These kids are Mexican jumping beans, and I can't even imagine them right now as adults, in their 40s like me, one day. To see them a productive, with their own kids, loving the Lord and acting responsibly.

But God's word has principles that we can count on. Raise them up in the Lord. Hide God's word in their hearts. Obey Christ and make Him the Lord of your own life. The faithful prayers of a Mama like you ... it's not all in vain. It just isn't.

Wait on the Lord. He has a plan. He hears your cries and He knows the longings of your heart. He also sees that your greatest desire is for your children to walk with Him. No greater joy ... no jewel or gold can come close to the value of having a child who clings to the God of the universe, the God over all gods: Jesus Christ.

He sees your desire for this. He will not disappoint. Keep praying, keep walking, and hold out for His plan. You will not be shaken. His hand is on your head, and He gave you these kids for a reason. Trust Him.

May they rise up--all of them--and call you blessed. And may they be blessed by the King of kings, the Lord of lords. May they follow Him all the days of their lives. What comfort! What blessing! Joy is in the morning, Mama. Keep walking.

~ gena


A Few Words by Dr. Wanda C. Phillips of Easy Grammar Systems

Most think of grammar only in terms of parts of speech. It, actually, has four components: syntax, orthography, etymology, and prosody. Syntax deals with sentence structures and parts of speech. Orthography addresses sounds, syllables, and words. Etymology deals with classification, derivation, and modification of words. Prosody addresses rules for verses. Who knew that analyzing poetry in literature or writing poetry is categorized within grammar?
Parents, typically, ask when, why, and how they should teach grammar. The appropriate time for instruction and the rationale for teaching it are interrelated. You may be surprised to learn that you began teaching grammar when you first spoke to your infants. Growing into toddlers, children assimilated your language usage. Their brain synapses were busy "sparking" to embed learning. As they learned, your usage--correct or incorrect--became theirs. Plus, that usage became so engrained that it sounded right to them and to you. We teach grammar to provide tools for speaking well and for understanding how our language works.


This leads to the question of how grammar should be taught. Educators disagree. Some teach it within the context of writing; others prefer a formal approach with specific lessons. The latter are frequently proponents of Dr. Maxwell Maltz's learning theory that credits cyclical learning for ensuring mastery understanding. Parents, obviously, choose the curriculum that reflects their beliefs.  

Easy Grammar Guide for Parents 
Regardless of your choice of a formal or mini-lesson approach, parents want assurance that their present usage is correct. Easy Grammar's Guide for Parents: Improve Your Grammar in Minutes will help you determine this in minutes--in the privacy of your home. After assessing your usage, Dr. Phillips guides you in completing only lessons that you need. Easy explanations and strategies for memorable learning help readers to change their vernacular. Parents improve their usage, and children learn, too! 
The Familyman 

Cartoon by Todd Wilson  

Hey Mom,

Is the Familyman coming near you on his big October 2014 Speaking loop? If you'd like to entertain the idea of having me speak to your homeschool group, here's the direction we'll be traveling:
  • Springfield, IL
  • Springfield, MO
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Dallas, TX
  • Houston,TX
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Tallahasee, FL.
If you're anywhere along the way or near the path, fill out this speaker's form  and we'll see what we can work out.  


Be real,



P.S. It's still not too late to get the ultimate Father's Day gift for your hubby ... an awesome Familyman shirt and cap. But you need to order right now!!!  


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Relational Homeschooling    
Diana Waring
 Dear Friends,


Hope you are enjoying the unfolding beauties of flowers, sunshine, and butterflies this month!


When it comes to today's topic, I feel under-qualified. You see, my father was in the military, which meant that I attended a number of schools. And, somehow, they were all on different schedules when it came to grammar. The result: I learned about nouns and verbs, but little else. In fact, I did not even know what a prepositional phrase was until I learned about it in my college French class. They were all somewhat amazed when I piped up with, "Do they have this in English, too?"


So, in our homeschooling days, it was sort of like the blind leading the blind ... except when my husband, the grammarian, got involved.


But, with a never-sit-still son in my home, when it came to teaching prepositions, I knew that we had to do more than look at a book. That would have been torture for him! So, I had everyone get up and ACT OUT each preposition. With a little fun music in the background, and a lot of sound effects, we each went through motions of above, below, under, through, behind, etc. When my husband walked through the door, puzzled by the hysterical shouts of laughter, I explained our "grammar" lesson for the day.


It worked. And it was fun.


But that is about the extent of my success in grammar-teaching. So, a few ideas:

  1. Check out Winston Grammar at www.winstongrammar.com
  2. Play with grammar using Daily Grams at www.easygrammar.com
  3. ENJOY the process-don't stress.

Remember, whatever you do, stay relational!!




P.S. The excitement is building around here as our new Experience History Through Music products get ready to launch. Check it out here


Writing has an allure because successful
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Contest Corner 

For the month of June, 2014  


"Mr. Wizard's World" Volume 1 DVD


My children and I recently reviewed two DVDs, "The Best of Watch Mr. Wizard" Vol. 1, and "Mr. Wizard's World" Vol. 1. When I was offered this review, I jumped at it, for two reasons. First, I am currently recovering from surgery, and my boys and I could easily review this, we just had to watch the DVDs! But more importantly, I wanted it because I have a fond childhood memory of a Mr. Wizard book that I got from the library when I was young. I used instructions from it to make a beautiful crystal garden in a fish bowl using charcoal, food coloring, bluing, and I don't recall what else.


While we all enjoyed watching both of these DVDs, I preferred watching "The Best of Watch Mr. Wizard" Vol. 1. This DVD has four episodes from the original hit TV series of the 1950s and 1960s, which is more from MY childhood. The episodes are themed as follows:


#1 - Heat Transfer

#2 - Adhesives

#3 - Electricity

#4 - Animal Motion


My boys at first were not so sure they would enjoy taking time away from their electronic games to watch these DVDs with me (especially since "The Best of Watch Mr. Wizard" Vol. 1 has a running time of two hours, and "Mr. Wizard's World" Vol. 1 has a running time of 1 hour and 44 minutes), but lo and behold, they all four sat with rapt attention, commenting often about the things they were learning and found so interesting. They were disappointed when I told them they had to wait until the next day to watch the second DVD!


(Read the rest of the review!)


You can WIN these DVDs!


TO ENTER: Email Heather with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Mr. Wizard" for a chance to win* the DVDs for your family!  


In this week's issue:

Creation Illustrated on Facebook

Great Homeschool Conventions

Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner

Molly Green

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