Grammar Help Worth Singing About

We apologize in advance for any nostalgic earworms that occur after browsing this post. However, when we as parents think of grammar learning, we can’t help but hearken back to Saturday morning cartoons and those adorable Schoolhouse Rock ditties. Let’s face it. Our knowledge of grammar rules is shored up by what we learned from tunes like Conjunction Junction, Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here, and…yes…Rufus Xavier Sarsparilla.

The Schoolhouse Rock Effect

In the 1970s and 1980s, Saturday morning cartoons were a staple among school-age kids. Often tucked between episodes of Scooby Doo, Superfriends, or any of the other frequent Saturday fare, Schoolhouse Rock animated musical shorts were every bit as entertaining as the main programming.

The idea behind Schoolhouse Rock came from an advertising executive who discovered that his son could memorize his multiplication tables if they were accompanied by rock music. That, and the recent success of Sesame Street’s programming inspired him to create a whole series of videos tying educational concepts (including grammar rules) to fun music and lyrics.

If you can still sing along with lyrics like

“Well, every person you can know (like a bandit or an engineer)
And every place that you can go (like a state or a home)
And anything that you can show (like animals and plants or a train)
You know they’re nouns – you know they’re nouns”

then you recognize that Schoolhouse Rock had a powerful impact on your early learning.

What Schoolhouse Rock Teaches Us About Grammar Rules

Why do those songs about nouns, conjunctions, and interjections stick with us so long? Because they involved us in our own learning! Instead of learning rote facts about the parts of speech, we sang along as Rufus and his sister, Gabriela, adopted animals with proper names and corresponding pronouns. We joined in the chorus of interjections that showed excitement or emotion. We swayed to the music as we unpacked our adjectives.

Studies show that the use of multiple senses when receiving new information boosts comprehension and retention. That means that if we see something on a television or on a computer screen and we respond to it by singing along or clicking a mouse with our hand, we’re experiencing multisensory learning. Even more interesting, multisensory learning may mean we’ll better remember that new information.

Making Homeschool Grammar More Interactive

The takeaway lesson that Schoolhouse Rock has for homeschool parents is that the more interactive your grammar instruction, the more meaningful it will be to your student. That’s why Time4Writing’s grammar curriculum doesn’t just instruct students on grammar rules. Each eight-week course involves students in their own learning with varied lesson types, practice activities, assessments, and responses to teacher feedback. They will even discover how to proofread their own writing for accuracy.

If you think your child would benefit from interactive homeschool grammar instruction, register now for one of these Time4Writing courses: