English for the Thoughtful Child

There’s so much for young children to master; I don’t even worry about teaching grammar until the second grade. Then, I pull out the book English for the Thoughtful Child. Originally published in 1903 by Mary E. Hyde, it was revised and edited by homeschooling mom Cynthia Shearer in 1990.

English for the Thoughtful Child introduces young children to the rules of grammar while incorporating writing, memorization, dictation, and oral composition into the lessons. For example, Lesson One explains what a sentence is, and in Lesson Two students write their own statements. In Lesson Three students read a story (or has it read to them) and then re-tell it in their own words. Lesson Four describes what a question is. In Lesson Five there’s a poem to memorize. In Lesson Six, a picture is provided with prompts to help students write a story about the picture. The book continues in this fashion, explaining grammar rules as they’re needed for the writing assignments.
With this book, your second-grader will learn about the different types of sentences, common and proper nouns, writing initials and titles, letter writing, quotation marks, and contractions. Also included are poems by Robert Louis Stephenson and Sara Coleridge, as well as several of Aesop’s Fables. The pictures used for the “picture lessons” include paintings by Wagner, von Bremen, Ronner, Defregger, and Landseer.

There are 62 lessons in all, divided up into one, two, or three exercises. We usually go through the whole book during the second-grade year, but you could divide it in half and begin during the first grade. Either way, I’ve found it to be an easy way to get started in grammar – it presents the grammar rules without overwhelming young students, all the while encouraging them to think creatively.

By Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell

Homeschooling Curriculum by SmartTutor.com

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