Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mastering Grammar... homeschool and beyond

Grammar.  This simple, single word can strike fear in the best of us.  Why?  Because there are so many rules that we know, yet many others in which we are unsure of.  Simply put, we rely on our memories of what sounds correct versus what is correct. 

Writing is a major part of our lives including writing letters to friends, emails to co-workers, school projects including essays and research papers, and work-related resumes and grant proposals - and blogging.  As a blogger, I want my readers to know what I am saying, not just 'think' they understood it correctly.

In our home school, I stress proper grammar and writing skills.  I use a wonderful writing curriculum which walks the student through the writing process, but it doesn't teach or re-teach all the grammar rules necessary to catch all the errors.  My daughter has taken to grammar like a duck to water which is great.  She is always catching my incorrect usage of 'fewer' and 'less.'

So, how can I know that my writing is grammatically correct?  How can my students check their own work and learn from their mistakes?  By using Grammarly - a terrific grammar checker !

What is Grammarly?

It is a comprehensive online grammar program that checks your grammar plus a whole lot more!

First, copy and paste your writing into the editor. Identify the type of work: business, academic, technical, creative, or casual.  Press “Start Review,” then wait for the review process to finish.  Simple enough!

When it has completed the review, you will receive a report highlighting not only grammar mistakes, but also word choice problems, spelling, possible plagiarism and citations, and more!  The best part of the report is that it shows WHY it is incorrect so the writer can learn from it.  How great is that!

Now, with this great tool, my students and I have no excuse for poor grammar skills in our writing.

I pasted this blog post into grammar checker and here is my simplified report.  Can you find my errors?:

Grammarly found 11 critical writing issues and generated 14 vocabulary enhancement suggestions for your text.
3 Spelling problems
1 incorrect use of adjective or adverb
2 Punctuation within a sentence
1 Closing punctuation
4 Vocabulary uses

The report stated that this writing was adequate, but could benefit from revision and gave me a score of 70 of 100.  I guess I have more to learn!

Click on over to Grammarly and see how they can improve your writing, too!



  1. Wow! Grammarly sounds great. I am going to most certainly check it out.

    My daughter writes a blog as part of her homeschool writing lessons. We work on grammar skills all the time. I think she might benefit from Grammarly.

    We use an online curriculum, Time4Learning, and really like it. It has grammar lessons that she enjoys. She also uses SpellingVocabularyCity as a supplement.

    Thank you so much for sharing this.


  2. I need to check this out and send it to my oldest daughter who home schools her two children! BOY, I need it for myself. Thanks for sharing this. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  3. I am perhaps unusual, but I actually LIKE grammar! However, it appears that Grammarly would find me lacking. :-)
    I noticed that you are a bread baker--do you happen to use whole wheat flour? Grinding my own wheat is my newest adventure!

    1. Judy... I do use whole wheat flour, but I don't grind my own. If you saw how small my kitchen is you would understand!


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