Friday, December 1, 2017

Cue the Hallelujah Chorus!

I hope this makes sense, it is so much easier to talk about this with a whiteboard and lots of decaf coffee to sip while contemplating.

But, we found something to help the grammar lesson from h*ll.

Grammar....I LOVE grammar class, but it can be sooooo frustrating.

Or am I alone in that?

Either way, this whole week has felt much like beating our head against a brick wall.  But today, FINALLY, today we found something that works.  YAY!!  And so I won't forget when it is time for the next kid to work through this book, I am commemorating it with a blog post.

The tools:

This video from Khan Academy and this post from last year that I wrote (ACK...CANNOT find the post, but that's ok, I will explain in a minute), combined to help me teach this lesson and HALLELUJAH it made sense to my kid.


OK, linking verbs vs helping verbs and linking verb adjectives vs action verbs - UGH soooo frustrating.  Even just typing that out makes my temples twinge with a tension headache.

I wrote the other day about asking yourself if it could receive an object - but that didn't work on all of the sentences.  It was as if this program (which we LOVE...just not this particular lesson) selected all sentences that were almost impossible to decode without the teacher manual.  Well, the purpose of the lesson isn't to just get the right answer, and I will not move on until I am sure learning has taken place.

After all, that is why we homeschool.

So I kept digging & finally, today, something clicked.

OK the post from last year:
The list of linking verbs includes am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been (aka state of being verb list and also the first part of the helping verb list).  But linking verbs can also include verb words like smell, taste, become, feel etc;  Last year I found an easy test to determine whether it is a linking or an action verb when it could be both.

In the example sentence below, the word tasted can be a linking verb, but also an action verb - how do you tell the difference between the two?

My soup tasted awesome.

I tasted the soup.

Substitute the correct form of 'be' and if the meaning does not change, then it is a linking verb, but if the meaning changes then it is NOT a linking verb, but an action verb.

My soup is awesome.  Tasted is a linking verb here.

I am the soup.  Tasted is an action verb here.

But what do you when you are trying to decipher whether the last word of a sentence is a predicate adjective (linking verb complement adjective) or an action verb?  Because sometimes the word can be a verb or an adjective - depending on how it is used.  Well, after watching the above video I mentioned and combining it with the test of substituting the verb be in place of it, I combined both and came up with this:

My brother should be sleeping.  Sleeping here can describe the brother or it can be an action verb.

So we tried this

My brother is sleep.
My brother did sleep.

My brother obviously isn't sleep - he is actively doing the action of sleeping - so sleeping is an action verb here.  So should be are helping verbs and sleeping is an action verb.

The man was being questioned.

The man is question.
The man did question.

The man isn't question, he is actively expereicing the action of being questioned.  So was and being are helping verbs and questioned is the action verb.

One last example:

The team had been discouraged.

The team is discouraged.
The team did discourage.

Discouraged is describing the team, not showing an action that the team is doing.

Now for math...


  1. My son never caught on to proper grammar, even though I tried various ways to teach it. He ended up excelling in Science and Math in college but at age twenty-eight, he still cannot write a proper paper. Somehow grammar just did not "take".

  2. I was like that with math. It just didn't 'take', my husband on the other hand is a math whiz! I think it is fascinating how we are (normally) bent in one direction or the other - and how differently each kid learns. What worked for my oldest has not for my middle and is not for my youngest - that is so fascinating. God is truly amazing!! Sunshine