A Journey Through Learning
June 8, 2016 Edition 
Grammar: When, Why, How? No Tears Now ...  
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Mercy Every Minute   

The Wuehler Family
We would like to welcome Steve Demme to The Homeschool Minute team! Steve has a wealth of experience in the homeschool realm, and we love having a Godly dad's perspective. We hit him with a hard subject for his first entry: grammar! Who likes grammar? Except for some of us language geeks, many don't like to think about teaching grammar. There must be a no-tears answer out there. I personally think it doesn't have to be that hard.
Pioneer homeschool expert, Ruth Beechick, said that "after children write well, sometime in their teen years, they can learn some grammar so they will be educated about it. They will not have been burned out on it, and they may actually enjoy it at that time." Sounds like a nice, relaxed approach.
We have done a lot of age-appropriate grammar workbooks, from the time the kids could write, until the time they graduated. Whatever they needed after high school, they learned in their college English classes. They basically needed to know how to express their ideas clearly, research topics, and use proper punctuation and format. It isn't as difficult as we like to make it.
A lot of what we decide to add to our children's schooling is based on what their goals are. Whether it is college life, or married life, or immediate employment, there are ways that we can help our children prepare for life after homeschool. Will it include basic grammar or extensive grammar? Only God and you will know that answer in the proper time. And there are plenty of resources (see Language Arts) out there to help you!
Ask God to reveal His purposes to you. Don't be anxious about tomorrow or about grammar; prayer is powerful, and necessary, and invites God's wisdom into your homeschool.
Here's a little extra help:
Contemplating Grammar , Andrew Pudewa
Who Needs Grammar , Ruth Beechick
Grammar Fundamentals , Carrie Daws
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6, 7).

Spanish for You_

Fun & easy to use! Step-by-step lessons where all the work is done for you! Use with your kids at home or for co-op classes.

Raising Real Men    
Grammar is one of those things that has both little importance and huge importance. Is it going to affect your life if you can't remember what is meant by an appositive or the pluperfect tense? Not until you have to explain it to your own teenager. Of course, then you can just look it up in your handy-dandy grammar handbook.

On the other hand, using bad grammar in your writing and speech may limit your options in life. We remember some of the sweetest, godliest people we know being turned down for a ministry position in Europe because the organization thought their speech sounded too uncultured for the people they would have to deal with to take seriously. Grammar is one of the ways our so-called classless society judges someone's class. Table manners is the other.
If you want to prepare your children to do whatever God calls them to do, a working knowledge of grammar is a good thing to give them.
The easiest way to teach grammar is to use good grammar at home. Hal and I didn't have to worry about this because our mothers were both Grammar Nazis. They would go ballistic if we tried to use much in the way of slang, mispronunciation, or sloppy grammar. It was pretty annoying as a kid, but it has served us very well as adults. Who could have predicted we'd become public speakers?
It's hard, though, if you didn't grow up using good grammar! Grammar is really not one of those things that easily translates from curriculum to life. We found growing up that some things just didn't sound right to us, while our friends struggled horribly to remember the right word to use. Memorizing tables of tenses and participles doesn't seem to help much in the heat of the moment!
Don't worry. There's hope! You can buttress up the grammar in your home through audiobooks. Listening to lots of good audiobooks will fill your children's heads with correct speech patterns and pronunciations. Older, classic books are even better because they use more formal speech and avoid slang. Besides, listening together gives your children shared memories and experiences that cement friendship. This is a great option!

We love audiobooks as a family, so we offer quite a lot of them on our site. Check them out if you're looking for classics to share to build grammar and character.
We're headed to California, Oklahoma, and Arizona in the next few weeks. Please come up and introduce yourselves if you're there, or let us know if you'd like us to stop along the way to speak to your church or support group!

Your friends,
Hal & Melanie Young

Easy Grammar Ultimate Series texts (Grades 8, 9, 10, 11, 12+) contain 180 lessons, each requiring only 10 minutes daily. Dr. Phillips has established concepts cyclically for mastery learning. Format: #1) Capitalization, #2) Punctuation, #3 & #4) Grammar, Clauses, etc., and #5) Sentence Combining. Use daily  with your literature/writing studies.

Building Faith Families

Steve Demme
Input Impacts Output
When my wife wonders if she is writing properly, she listens for the voice of her grandmother. This godly woman was a stickler for proper grammar and made every effort to speak and write correctly. The written and auditory input from this careful woman made an indelible imprint on her children and grandchildren.
In our home, we read the Bible aloud for our daily family devotions. When our four sons were younger, Sandi and I read to them. When they were able to read themselves, we purchased large print Bibles so each of us was able to read from the same translation. After I prayed and invited Jesus to teach us by His Spirit, we took turns reading three verses apiece until we completed one chapter per day. In this way, we heard, followed along with our eyes, and participated by reading orally, the inspired words of God. "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear" (Revelation 1:3).
We also didn't have a television for many years. For entertainment, we read books aloud in the evenings. In addition to being exposed to wonderful literature, we were all impacted by excellent writing and proper grammar. An additional benefit was developing our unique family chemistry. Listening to the same books, watching the same videos, learning together, and doing life as a family contributed to our identity as Demmes, and bound us together in a special way. We understand each other's humor, comprehend subtle comments, and often refer to shared experiences from these blessed years of home education.
One of the ingredients that contributes to speaking and writing well is the input we receive from accurate speech, inspired writ, and excellent literature. The happy fruit of practicing these pursuits together is a close-knit family who loves and understands each other.
Steve Demme and his wife Sandra have been blessed with four sons. He is the creator of Math-U-See and the founder of Building Faith Families. He has also written an encouraging book on Family Worship. Email Steve to find out how to receive this book for free.

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Daily Grammar
Does the mere thought of grammar make you--or your kids--want to cry? There is no need for tears when you take grammar just a little bit at a time. SchoolhouseTeachers.com has 5 different Daily Grammar classes you can choose from! Whether your student is in 3rd grade or 9th grade--or any grade in between--let us help you take grammar step by step. You might just find it's not as scary as you think!
Sign up and try us for 30 days for only $1. There are no per-child fees or additional fees for textbooks, and courses are not live, so you can start them at any time. If you or someone you know is interested in teaching a class on our site, please contact Executive Editor Bonnie Rose Hudson at bhudson@theoldschoolhouse.com
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Contest Corner 
For the month of June 2016    
Who was Martin Luther? Most of us know him as the German father of the Reformation movement in Europe. If pressed, we might recall that he nailed ninety-five theses, or statements of Christian faith, to the door of the Wittenberg church. Yet there is so much more to this controversial man's life that will come as a surprise to many. Author Danika Cooley, in her historical novel for teens, has brought the story of Luther the man, as well as the reformer and theologian, to vivid and striking life. My family and I received WHEN LIGHTNING STRUCK! in hardback form for the purposes of review.
It's difficult to imagine the brutal world in which Luther was born, lived, and died. Picture a world where sanitation is irregular or nonexistent; where many babies struggle to survive; where superstition is rampant; where ignorance and illiteracy are the norm. In 1483 Europe, most lived under these conditions, where life was a struggle each and every day.
Now, add to these arduous living conditions an absolute terror of God; and utter hopelessness and confusion regarding an individual's chance for salvation. If you've got all of this in your mind, you'll have a sense of what Luther's world was like.
Martin Luther's parents planned for him to become a lawyer and marry a wealthy woman from their town. Yet as he walked the fifty miles one day from his parents' home to the University of Erfurt, a torrential storm blew upon him, complete with terrifying thunder and lightning. Martin wondered if the storm was God's way of communicating His displeasure with Martin's choice of profession. Could he possibly receive salvation in the worldly profession of a lawyer? When lightning seemed to chase him down the road and then struck the tree he was hiding under, tossing Martin to the ground, he cried out, "Saint Anna, help me! I will become a monk!"
And so began his years as a monk. Brilliant and sharp-tongued, he brought to the priesthood a trained mind that caused him to examine and question the doctrines of the Catholic Church. Yet the more he learned, the more uncertain he was that he'd ever be able to work hard enough to earn his own salvation. For this was the doctrine of the era: the purchase of indulgences to shorten one's time in purgatory; confessing sins over and over; never knowing if one was really saved; and for Martin and other monks, fasting and poverty. Regardless of how much Martin did, he was ever burdened with the deep knowledge of his own sinfulness and his own unworthiness. So he worked harder and harder.
One day, his prior offered him a Bible. Martin was overjoyed. Ever since he'd seen one chained to a desk in a school library, and had read the story of Hannah and Samuel, he had longed for this precious book, rare and difficult to find. Yet, this Bible did not become part of his priestly studies, which focused on the writings of theologians. Rather, he pored over it for hours in the time he had alone. The more he read, though, the more his dissatisfaction with himself grew. (. . .)

Read the rest of the review to find out more!
YOU can WIN this awesome historical fiction book!
TO ENTER : Email Heather (hmader@thehomeschoolmagazine.com) with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Martin Luther" for a chance to win* it for your family! 

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