As a homeschool family that teaches in the classical tradition, it should come as no surprise that Latin and English grammar are two of our core subjects. As my older children have moved along in their studies, it is even more apparent to me that English grammar is a subject to be mastered.
In those early homeschooling years, I didn’t realize that exposure and mastery were concepts I should know about. As you’ve heard me say several times, I didn’t have a homeschool mentor, and it was certainly to my detriment.
→ This is an excellent Ted Talk on Mastery Learning by Sal Khan of Khan Academy.
While some subjects lend themselves more easily to exposure, there are several subjects that must be mastered before I allow my children to progress.
Those pesky math facts come to mind…
Recitation is one method I use for ensuring mastery in our core subjects. Recitation is an interesting method. Unlike fill-in-the-blank or circling the correct answer, you can’t run and hide from recitation! It is a tell-all method of proving what my children do (or do not!) know about a particular subject.
Today, I want to share with you the recitation guide that I use for memorizing Parts of Speech. I created this recitation myself, using our Rod and Staff English curriculum as a guide.
But note that you can use this recitation with any English grammar curriculum, or use it independently of a grammar study.
→ Read about how we use Rod and Staff English in our homeschool here.
Browse through all of the Parts of Speech worksheets and resources here at Mama’s Learning Corner! You’ll find a simple recitation to learn the parts of speech, more noun activities, verb worksheets, and more!
Parts of Speech Recitation for 3rd through 5th Grades
I find it incredibly beneficial to practice grammar in the way that Rod and Staff English presents its content. In each grade, they cover (mostly) the same topics, however, they incrementally advance the concepts surrounding the topics.
Because of this incremental approach, you will see that I created a recitation for 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade. Each grade builds on itself, little by little.
The information at each level is what I expect my children to know, or master. In essence, I am “teaching to the test.” I have seen the test, and it is all information that is worthy of being memorized and understood before we can progress on.
How to Use Parts of Speech Recitation
In our homeschool, I always have a short time of review prior to any class time. I want to refresh their brains on what we have just studied, and prime them for what is coming during the lesson time.
I use this recitation as that beginning review.
We recite the 8 parts of speech in the order that you see them on the 8.5 x 11″ poster paper. If they recite them in the same order every day, it becomes more ingrained in their memories. This step is important!
Our Parts of Speech poster is on our schoolroom wall, just beside our white board.
When it’s my 3rd grader’s time for English, I ask the questions in bold that she should know already. At this point in the school year, she can recite the answers through 4.) Adjectives.
This is what our recitation looks like:
Me: What is a noun?
My 3rd grader: A noun is a person, place, thing, or idea.
Me: What is a verb?
My 3rd grader: A verb is a word that shows action or being.
And so it goes until we cover the information she knows.
When we get to the next topic, which will be adverbs, I will teach her the recitation. I write the new question and answer on the white board, and we recite it aloud 5 times each day until she can remember it by herself.
Some recitation questions are harder than others. My 5th grader has encountered a fairly large stumbling block with the types of personal pronouns. She’s needed quite a bit of pushing to memorize those, and we had to slow down that section and work through the written work together a couple of times.
Despite her protests and wiggles to get out of it, I’m firm that she must understand the personal pronouns. She will drown in Latin without knowing them! So this is a non-negotiable. 😉
When we get to a stumbling block like that, I slow down a bit, provide a lot of extra support and examples, and we work until mastery.
Yes, sometimes it feels like very slow going, but I know the end result if I push through without requiring mastery. It leads only to frustration and trouble down the line!
➡ If you have an interest in Classical Homeschooling, I invite you to browse through my posts on that subject. You’ll find the books I read to educate myself, the curriculum we use, and more.
Do your children practice recitation in any of their subjects?
If you practice recitation with your children, what does it look like in your homeschool?
You can download a copy of the Parts of Speech Recitation below:
We do skip counting in prep for 3rd grade multipling. How many days in a week- year- ect. I guess as a person who graduated high school only knowing nouns and verbs, yet getting a 3.9 on sociology paper in college. I see little use in drilling these. I know kids who can name all parts of speech yet can’t write one sentance by 6th grade. It’s not true that knowing parts of speech makes for great sentances.
Hi, found you via the blog hop! I so agree that mastery in key areas (along with the necessary consistency) is key in the early years especially. And it doesn’t even take that long each day if you’re consistent. We hear so much about play in the early years, but play and consistent learning don’t have to be mutually exclusive. I’ve been experimenting with the use of the app Quizlet for my student that has a language disorder and needs more interactive learning methods. It has made such a big difference with memorizing history facts that I’m going to try it for more key areas like you describe here.
Hey Leslie! I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment! 🙂
I wish I had been more consistent with mastery in the K-2 years with my older kids. I was lured by the delight directed learning that was so popular 10 years ago. While we had many memory-filled rabbit trails, there were holes in mastery in the later years that we had to work hard to fill. Live and learn, right?
We love Quizlet here! It has totally transformed my middle daughter’s desire to do Latin. She just needs to interact with the material in a different way than 100% writing. I’m a fan, too!
So nice to meet you! 🙂