Do you expect your children to master grammar? Or are you hoping for the best, unsure what exactly, they should know?
I’m a writer. I was a Journalism and English major back in Pioneer Times, as my kids like to call the days of my youth. I’m paid for my work, most of the time. Yet, I don’t know a predicate nominative from a dangling participle. I’m pretty sure I don’t have any at this time. I may have some saggy participles, but I know the cure for that. And I didn’t need a textbook to figure it out.
The Adventurer is of age to master grammar. Does she need to formally master it? Or is it just fine if she gets it from reading great literature and practice and a natural affinity for the written word? She completed a grammar program last year. Could that be enough? Do I need to shove it down her throat some more, just to be safe?
Just make her do it. Says the stiff, well accessorized mom on one shoulder.
You know she can write. Let her learn it naturally. Says the flowy, trusting, yoga pants wearing mom on the other.
I love it when I hear voices. So inspiring, right?
I wonder if mastering grammar, as in writing pointless sentences to satisfy some program requirements will kill her love of writing. My girl is so creative. It shouldn’t be squashed.
Studying journalism killed my creativity. Honestly, it did. It took me years to retrieve it.
What about the test! She needs it for the test or she will never go to college! It’s that well dressed mom again, rigidly insisting that I not deviate from the norm. She’s referring to the SAT. It’s a mere 4 years away. She thinks I should be panicking right now.
If she was in public school, she wouldn’t master grammar any more than she already has because: 1. they hardly cover it and 2. when they do cover it she could easily choose to doodle or look out the window.
Starring out the window deep in thought was (and still is) my specialty.
So how did I learn to write?
That’s a good question. I don’t know who deserves the credit. I think I taught myself.
Anyway, can we just read Eats, Shoots and Leaves, watch some School House Rock and call it a day?
I’m still unsure. Maybe a strict program to help her master grammar will make her an even better writer. Maybe she’ll become one of the elite Grammar Police that we all know and hate. I suppose she should be given the choice to pursue a career in grammar enforcement.
And tell me now, what is a dangling participle? I don’t think it’s mentioned in School House Rock. If it was, I would know it as well as Conjunction Junction.
Do you know?
Here’s a cute explanation. It says they must be used with care. I love that. It doesn’t sound the least bit familiar to me, which I consider proof that I never heard this concept before OR that I am getting so old that I can no longer remember my childhood.
An explanation of Dangling Participles from the Writing Guide:
Adjectives ending in –ing (and sometimes –ed) are called participles and must be used with care. Consider the following sentences:
After being whipped fiercely, the cook boiled the egg.
Flitting gaily from flower to flower, the football player watched the bee.
I’m going to read these sentences to the Adventurer and watch her laugh. If she doesn’t laugh, I’ll know she needs more grammar instruction. If I know her, she’ll come up with a better, funnier example of dangling participles.
That should shush the voices in my head.
All that talk reminded me that it’s been too long since I’ve seen the jolly adverbs! 🙂
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