Why do we study grammar? How can we learn to communicate God’s truth better?
One reason we learn grammar is to share the good news of our Messiah with the world. In addition, we need to express ourselves with manners. In other words, we speak and write with correct grammar so that others won’t be distracted by our display of ignorance. The messenger gets out of the way, so that people can hear the message. (See Romans 10:14-15.)
A second reason for learning grammar is so that we can learn to think logically and to analyze. (See 2 Timothy 2:15.) Diagramming is especially helpful for this.
For instance, we think that an inability to analyze sentence structure and apply logic to it is one of the key reasons why Paul’s epistles are so often misunderstood. Check out the logic if-then statements used in 1 Corinthians 15:12-20. “If… then…”
Would you know how to find all the prepositional phrases, remove subordinate clauses, and find the main subjects and verbs? Would you be able to analyze the type of argument Paul is using here, just by analyzing the grammar?
We want our children to be able to read Scripture with understanding and to read other writings with discernment — and our curriculum will give them plenty of practice using passages like these.
Finally, learning English grammar helps us to learn foreign language structure. We believe that YHWH was the creator of languages at Babel (see Genesis 11:1-9). Scripture says that we are to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to observe all” that YHWH has commanded (Matthew 28:19-20). How can our children make disciples of the nations if they cannot quickly learn their languages? A firm grasp of our own language will help with this goal.
We recommend beginning to teach grammar, with diagramming and logic, around the 5th grade. After a strong unit teaching basic grammar principles, we provide daily review sentences taken from Scripture so that your students won’t forget what they have learned. Because of our unique method, you can teach grammar to all your 5th-12th grade students at one time.
Our grammar curriculum is intended for grades 5-12. It is excellent for first-time grammar students, as well as those who need an occasional refresher.
- Prepositions and prepositional phrases
- Nouns (singular and plural, common and proper, spelling of nouns)
- Verbs (action, state of being, helping, verb phrases, negatives in verb phrases, contractions)
- Sentence subjects
- Types of sentences (declarative, interrogative, imperative, exclamatory)
- Sentence patterns (transitive and intransitive, direct and indirect objects, linking verbs, predicate nouns and adjectives)
- Adjectives as modifiers (including possessives and articles)
- Adverbs as modifiers (including proper word usage)
- Pronouns (including “old English” such as used in the King James Version)
- Prepositions as modifiers
- Subject-verb agreement
- Using Nouns (count and non-count nouns, collective nouns, appositives)
- Verb forms and the correct usage of verbs
- Relative and interrogative pronouns
- Phrases (gerunds, infinitives, appositives, and participial phrases)
- Clauses (dependent and independent)
…and lots of diagramming!
As students progress through the course, plenty of review is included. We especially emphasize using grammar properly in our speech and writing. Scripture passages are used as examples and in worksheets.
If a topic starts to get too complex for a student, no worries! We provide plenty of additional activities and resources so that you can set the lesson plans aside for a while to apply what you’ve been learning to real sentences and examples. Pick up the curriculum again when your student is more ready.
Need Help Teaching Grammar?
We’d love to help! Send us an email if you’re having trouble understanding or explaining a topic. We’ll make a video and show you how we teach it at our house. That’s what community is for!
How to Use This Curriculum
Each “week” of lesson plans is set up so that 3-4 days will be spent learning new grammar techniques with Mom, then 1-2 more days of review can be done relatively independently. Our goal was to allow Mom several days a week of intense study with her children, yet also give Mom a few days to accomplish housework, errands, and other responsibilities. You are always welcome to faster than the curriculum suggests.
LESSON PLAN FORMAT
The lessons include a “Teacher’s Manual” and “Student Workbook” that are designed to be used together. The Teacher’s Manual includes additional teaching information and answer keys.
In addition, we offer “Learning Aids” in a downloadable format, so that charts and flashcards can be printed on standard 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper. You may print them with color or black-and-white ink. We recommend inserting the charts into plastic sheet protectors or taking them to a local office-supply store to be laminated. You may wish to hang the charts on the wall. We also include “Definition Cards” that can be printed. You can get fancy and laminate them, or you can keep them with your “Teacher’s Manual,” to be used in daily review times.
We recommend having access to a white board, chalkboard, or just plenty of scrap paper, especially when diagramming sentences.
Memorization is an important part of our curriculum, so that students will have a mental “handle” on which they can hang all of the other things they learn. We will be memorizing lists of prepositions, types of verbs, kinds of pronouns, and definitions to various grammatical terms.
We try to make it fun with songs and silly pictures! (For instance, you can view the “Preposition Song” by Foundations Press on YouTube at https://youtu.be/1KB95CWp7u8.)
USE OF SCRIPTURE TRANSLATIONS
We use a variety of Scripture translations in this curriculum, including the KJV, the NIV, the Message, the Complete Jewish Bible, and many more.
Customers have asked us to make a KJV-only version of the curriculum, but we have no plans to do this. The lesson plans use the KJV often, because we are teaching a history of the English language. However, because our students live and communicate in culture that uses a form of English that has dramatically changed over the centuries, we wanted to use Bible verses that portray more modern English as well.
Also, at the beginning of the year, when not enough grammar is known, we use simpler versions, such as the NIrV. As the students learn more grammar, the more difficult versions (such as KJV) can be used.
By the way, we love using the KJV in pronoun study. Knowing what the “thee’s” and “thou’s” mean and knowing their “case” helps immensely in understanding both the Bible and the way we use English today. The KJV’s use of these so-called “archaic” words makes it much more specific and understandable. It also helps us understand Hebrew and Greek, languages which have more pronouns than our modern English. We think you’ll really love learning all this!
This curriculum is intended primarily for grades 5-12. We have found that children younger than 11 or 12 can have difficulty grasping abstract grammar concepts. We recommend postponing formal grammar instruction until your child seems able to understand it better.
However, younger children really seem to enjoy memorizing! Why not have them join in when your older children are memorizing things, so that everything will be easier for them as they get older?
Even adults will love this curriculum – we know we did! If this is your first time learning grammar, don’t be nervous. We’re only an email away, and we’d love to help you out.
About Foundations of Grammar
Foundations of Grammar is copyright 2013-2016 by Anne Elliott.
All rights reserved. No part of this curriculum may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. You do have permission to photocopy the curriculum for your own personal use. You may select individual pages to copy, or you may copy the entire curriculum! It is up to you how much of the information you want to copy and for how many children in your family you want to use it. You can copy this curriculum for use in your immediate family only; redistributing the book to other families is strictly prohibited.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the Good News Translation® (Today’s English Version, Second Edition)
Copyright © 1992 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL READER’S VERSION®.Copyright © 1996, 1998 Biblica. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of Biblica.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson,
Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the English Standard Version (ESV) is adapted from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12).
Published by Foundations Press.