Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Grammar woes

Back to homeschooling posts:

Grammar. Why is it that Austin cannot seem to grasp the simplest concepts in Enlish Grammar? He's almost 11, so he's beyond that age where even the folks who say "Don't start formal grammar instruction until age 10" are saying he should get it. He memorized the definitions of parts of speech and the lists of pronouns, helping verbs, prepositions. He learned those 2-3 years ago! But apply them? Ugh.

We started off the year in Rod and Staff English 4 and it was way too hard (Or so I thought). So I purchased Easy Grammar 3/4 for him. Finding the prepositional phrases was a piece of cake because he has already memorized the list. But today, we were reviewing for his verb test and he could not find the verbs in the sentences. In one sentence, he identified "she" as a verb. @@

Riley is finishing up FLL, just like Austin did at her age, and she can find verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions! I know, not supposed to compare. But this is so frustrating! Austin seems like a smart guy! He can tell you the stats on most major league baseball players. He knows the hurricane names and what category they were when they made landfall. What is so complicated about nouns and verbs?! We haven't even gotten into adjectives and adverbs yet, heaven help us!

I'm feeling like I don't know what else to try! :( Is there anything out there that will work for him?


Lisa said...

I'm one of those that say wait. And not til age 10. David is 12 and couldn't identify a preposition if it bit him in the nose. I just don't think it's necessary yet. He'll learn it well in 7th grade. Finding verbs is a lot harder than finding prepositions, you realize, I am sure. You can memorize the prepositions list, but you can't memorize all the verbs. Identifying verbs requires a higher level of thinking. You have to first read all the words and then identify their functions. That's much harder. How about some grammar games? How about Mad Libs?

The Glasers said...

Autistic children tend to be concrete thinkers and visual learners. What if you had generic pictures to go with she, he, it, girl, boy, etc. and explained that these are name words: people or things you can name. Then have him act out verbs: jump, sit, hop, etc. Make a bunch of index cards with obvious words (nouns/pronouns versus verbs) and have him sort them. If he cannot understand, he is not ready and you might need to table it for awhile.

If he does get it, then you can teach him to memorize the verb helpers (is, am, would, can, do, etc.) and verb endings (ing, ed) to memorize just as he did the prepositions. You will have to make sure he knows that not all ing/ed words are verbs: thing and bed are not verbs.


Anonymous said...

Have you looked at Winston Grammar? The cards might help him. The cards have hints on them and some even list example words. They give a sentence and then the child assigns a card (part of speech) to each word. They also don't just say to identify the verb in a big long sentence. The student identifies all of the parts of speech that they have learned to that point.

I don't know if this will help but I do feel your pain. Whenever my son's grammar book asks him to identify adjectives he will just about always pick the verb!