To teach or tutor?
"The goal of teaching by the Trivium s to give students the tools of learning with which to learn on their own - to liberate them from the drudgery of task-performance and to make them independent scholars." pa 301 Teaching the TriviumOver the years we have worked with some great grammar programs that were VERY TASK intensive Abeka's Language & Christian Light Educations Language are wonderful programs but they did not fit the out method of education for the Grammar Stage. We then switched to Climbing to Good English which is a wonderful Mennonite Program but it is also a workbook and although it's not as intense as Abeka or Christian Light it was still very task orientated.As we have focused our homeschool on the Classical model and wrote our Distinctives it became evident that our grammar was in violation distinctive #2 which states "
- "Emphasis on independent study by the student with Mama in the role of tutor. Thus we adopted much of the methodology of the Classical Method. Which allows me to insert Charlotte Mason type elements into our homeschool without usurping the role of teacher. (again see Proverbs 2:6)"
The programs we had chosen were teacher intensive and were not creating independent scholars. Recitation seems to be very teacher intensive but I am really just giving them a tool and they are learning to recognize grammar and to use it.
So this year I began to search from something I thought was a more "pure" form of Grammar for a Classical school and we found Memoria Press' English Grammar Recitation. We are thoroughly enjoying our English Grammar Recitation by Cheryl Lowe which we are doing during our family gathering time. Additionally, it is helping me to organize the rules of grammar that I have rolling around in my head into neat little categories. This little book is composed of 5 smaller books and has around 140 grammar recitations. It is set up like a catechism.
How do you use it?
First I review the questions they have already learned. Then we go on to the next question and ask that question and practice the answer. If necessary I will give them an example. But for right now my desire is that they learn the definitions and application will occur while they work through their I.E.W. and after age 10 when they start another Grammar Program such as Winston Grammar.Right now they are learning the grammar of grammar. So here is a sample question from English Grammar Recitation:
"Question 1: What is a sentence?
Answer: A sentence is a group of words expressing a complete thought." (pa 7)
I ask the question they learn/repeat the answer. The questions range from simple questions like this one to much more complex questions like...
Then we add each new rule to our English Language Spiral (we use spirals for notebooking). Sometimes I give them a single simple sentence and I diagram it to illustrate the point of the rule.
"What are the four kinds of sentences classified by purpose with definitions?" (pa 7)
Reciting Poetry from IEW Linguistic Development in Language Arts Notebook
Is that it?
Finally, we now actually discuss grammar as we read it and hear it spoken, I may ask them if they know what the subject of this sentence is. Or they have announced while rewriting an I.E.W. paper that "This is an interrogative sentence and clearly needs a question mark!". I gave them the tool and they are applying it to their work. <smile>
I'd love to hear how you have found simple ways to implement Classical Style Grammar in your home, especially for the next two stages!
Linked to: Trivium Tuesdays,weekly wrap up