• English,  Uncategorized

    Teaching Kids About Prepositions

    Prepositions can be the easiest part of speech to identify in many cases. Remember that a preposition always takes an object (noun or pronoun), so you will see a preposition beginning what is called a prepositional phrase (and it ends with the object). For example: Over the hill and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go. This sentence has three prepositions in it. Can you find them? They begin a phrase and end with the object of the preposition (noun or pronoun).  Over the hillThrough the woodsTo grandmother’s house I remember an elementary teacher telling me that prepositions are anything that a rabbit can do to a log: A…

  • English,  Uncategorized

    Teaching Kids About Conjunctions

    Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?” Schoolhouse Rock songs like that one have been in my head since I was a kid. But what IS a conjunction? What IS its function? Understanding the different types of conjunctions and how they function to join words, phrases, and clauses together is important when it comes to being a fluid writer or teaching your own child to become one. Here are the three, maybe four (I’ll explain), types of conjunctions:  Coordinating Conjunctions→ For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So are the coordinating conjunctions. These can be memorized with the acronym FANBOYS. They are used to join words, phrases, or clauses together and are the…

  • Curriculum,  English,  Uncategorized

    8 Parts of Speech: Interjections

    Wow! We are on the last part of the 8 parts of speech series. The final one? Interjections, of course! What is an interjection? It’s a word that interjects strong emotion. These aren’t used in formal writing often, but we use these in conversations and conversational writing daily. They also show up in our favorite novels, so if your child likes to do creative writing, knowing how to punctuate these correctly proves important as well.  Incorrect: Oh I need to buy school supplies. Correct: Oh, I need to buy school supplies. Incorrect: Yikes school supplies are expensive! Correct: Yikes! School supplies are expensive! Any questions? Post in the comments below.…

  • Cottage School,  English

    Adjectives and Adverbs

    After gaining an understanding of nouns, pronouns, and verbs, the next parts of speech children can learn to identify are adjectives and adverbs.  ~Adjectives modify or describe nouns or pronouns. It’s important to teach these after your child learns nouns and pronouns.  ~Adverbs modify or describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. It’s important to teach these after your child learns how to recognize verbs. The easiest adverbs to recognize are the ones that end in -ly.  Often these two parts of speech are confused or misused (as in swapping “good” for “well” and vice versa). Also, some adjectives end with -ly, so you really need to make sure your child…

  • Cottage School,  Curriculum,  English

    Eight Parts of Speech

    After learning about nouns and verbs, the next part of speech you can teach is pronouns. Pronouns take the place of nouns so that we don’t sound ridiculous when we speak. If we didn’t have pronouns, we would speak in third person! (Christie thinks that Christie has to go to Target to buy what Christie wants.) Thankfully, we have pronouns so that we don’t repeat ourselves over and over again or sound insane. Even though pronouns seem to be an easy part of our language, some problems in usage still arise. It’s best to teach your children 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person (pronoun case) to the point they understand that…

  • Cottage School,  English

    More on Verbs

    I (Christie) briefly mentioned action verbs in last week’s grammar post, but it’s important for your children to understand linking verbs and helping verbs as well. Verbs asserting action are identified easily, yet there are two kinds of action verbs–transitive and intransitive. Also, what makes verbs more complicated is that they don’t always show action. Linking verbs do just what they say they do–they link two words together. Auxiliary or helping verbs do just that–they help other verbs.  Here are some examples of all three types of verbs. Action: Shauna tastes the toast. In this example, the subject is doing the action of the verb. Action verbs can be transitive…

  • Cottage School,  Curriculum,  English

    Nouns and Verbs

    One of the best ways to teach your child about complete sentences is to help them understand the basic parts of a complete sentence, a subject noun and a verb: S V Jesus | wept  “Jesus wept” is a complete sentence on its own because it has those two parts.  Nouns name. This is one of the easiest concepts to teach in English because you simply can look around the room and name people, places, and things around you and your child. Next, name activities and ideas. These aren’t as easy, but you must teach these harder-to-name nouns to your child as well. Swimming (activity) and love (idea) are both…

  • Cottage School,  Curriculum,  English

    Why We Use IEW

    Encouraging young writers to be creative all the while. This program takes a student from writing a paragraph at the beginning of the year all the way to a five-paragraph research paper by the end of the year. It’s simply amazing! As a homeschool mom by day and a college writing instructor by night, I appreciate this curriculum immensely because students can acquire the tools they need to be ready for college writing, yes, I said college writing. If you have zero experience with teaching kids how to write, you can learn yourself with the enormous amount of materials IEW provides for homeschool moms. There are weekly podcasts, teaching seminars…

  • Cottage School,  Curriculum,  English

    Eight Parts of Speech

    The basic building blocks of any subject is its grammar. We often think of English as the only subject having grammar we must learn, but even riding a bicycle has grammar. We must know the parts of the bicycle like the handlebars, pedals, and brakes before we can even try to ride it. When I hear countless people tell me how much they hate English (because many people love to tell English teachers that for some strange reason–haha), I often wonder how many of them truly tried to memorize the foundation of our language. Before you can identify a run-on or misplaced modifier in your own writing, you have to…