Is a Child Only as Grammatical as His Parents, Mama?

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Hey Mama,

God bless you and keep you in this new year . . . whether you’re great at grammar or not. Let me share a little secret. I know a number of homeschooling parents (dead serious) who are pretty bad at grammar, not so good at spelling, and who are wholly committed to homeschooling their kids, but they realize they themselves have holes. 

For the longest time, I just kind of assumed that a kid is only as academic as his parents. But I’ve found that I was wrong about that. I keep seeing these homeschool graduates (or close to being graduates) who end up with flawless writing and communication skills—and who are excellent grammarians themselves. They passed their parents right up. Why is that? Because a homeschool family is gifted in all manner of areas.

If you’re not convinced, that’s okay. (It took me some time to believe it, too.) And I needed to hear it from others . . . like my fellow homeschoolers at The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.

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And remember, Mama. . .

Each homeschool family member is blessed with certain gifts. The mom might be an incredible cook, even if not the best speller. Her daughter, who worked hard throughout her homeschool years, excelling (of course) in those areas of study in which she had the most interest, can easily carry on where her mother left off and exceed it. 

The daughter may not care a thing about cooking like her chef-like Mama, but because of homeschooling, she had the time to become proficient in her own pursuits: in her case, the literary arts. Because of that love, it was a natural progression for her to dive deeply into the mechanics of grammar, thus mastering the skills to be the best writer she could be. 

So, all that to say . . . don’t let grammar scare you if it’s not a talent. Surround your kids with good books and a lot of resources, join a co-op, make the library your second home, etc. They will be fine.

And when they grow up, do NOT be surprised to discover them transcending you in one way or another, academically or even in the arts. (My little can draw better than I can.) Your kids are so unique, so different. And you allowed them to hunt out and then passionately go after those interests, building those skills which will make them the neat, wonderful people they’ll be tomorrow. I think you’re going to be blessed to watch it all unfold.

So give them the space to be themselves. Teach what they need to know. Grammar and writing skills are huge—very important! But do not let them intimidate you because someday you may come to the stark realization that they have a far better grasp on these things than you do anyway. I have seen it happen in families . . . good families, like yours, Mama.

Don’t forget Who is on the throne. The One Who gave you those kids to teach and raise up to begin with. You obediently answered His call. He put you on this path, and He’s not leaving you there alone. Not a chance.

Walk confidently. His hand is on your head today.

– gena

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).