Resources for Parents of College-Bound Students Challenges for the college-bound student



newsletter — May 29, 2019

What our students aren't taught about grammar

Looking beyond correct and incorrect

by Roy Speed

There's more to English grammar than correct or incorrect...For the last half-century or so, English grammar has been taught with a really narrow focus — and that same focus holds sway in virtually every grammar text now in print.

Basically, our students are taught that grammar is all about avoiding error. — In effect, they're being prepared to:

  • avoid mistakes in their written essays and reports;
  • get the right answers on the grammar sections of the PSAT or SAT.

Insofar as our students are being taught this subject, they're being taught from this same narrow perspective.

And yet there's so much more to the subject! — It's no accident, for instance, that in traditional discussions of grammar, there's virtually no discussion of the reader.

How grammar relates to writing

Here's an illustration of the kind of thing our students are not being taught. What follows is a brief excerpt from a recent talk I gave to parents and teachers. This excerpt focuses on one example of how grammatical choices can affect writing. — The pages you'll see are from my own recently published Writer's Guide to Grammar.

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Online Courses

View all our online courses here.

Honors Science

Instructor: Diane Speed

Online Science Intensives

Eight weeks, in depth, live & online

Honors Biology With Lab

Twice weekly sessions for two semesters

Honors Chemistry With Lab

Twice weekly sessions for two semesters


More Online Courses

Shakespeare Intensives

Close reading of Shakespeare

Instructor: Roy Speed

Romeo & Juliet

Ten online sessions of 90 minutes


Ten online sessions of 90 minutes


Seven online sessions of 90 minutes

Twelfth Night

An introduction to Shakespeare's comedy
Eight online sessions of 90 minutes


ONLINE: English Language Arts

— Now open for registration —

The Writer's Guide
to Grammar

Weekly online class
in the essentials of English

Instructor: Roy Speed

Essentials for writing clear English: grammar, usage, punctuationThis two-semester course is taught by the author of The Writer's Guide to Grammar. It puts in place skills and knowledge foundational to the study of English and the mastery of clear writing. The weekly class is live and online, and students master all the most important principles of the English language — grammar, usage, punctuation, and more.


Online Writing

Logical Communication

Two semesters of online classes
Two classes per week

Instructor: Roy Speed


Online Literature

History & Literature
of the Middle Ages

Two semesters of online instruction


Training for parents

Homeschooling the
College-Bound Student

Now an online series!

Instructor: Diane Speed

This program addresses the principal concerns parents have about homeschooling through high school — curriculum and credits, standardized tests, transcripts and record-keeping, the application process, pursuing scholarships, and more.

Terrific. Full of information. The materials were so thorough. I now have a plan of action. Also, this workshop is inclusive: No matter what type of homeschooler you are, you will understand better how to prepare your student for college and present him or her in the best light.

Mother of two


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