Monday, February 4, 2013

A Vintage Resource: Mary's Grammar

It is February, and I still haven't pulled together Paddy's Plan for Grade 4 yet, but it doesn't seem to matter too much since we are buzzing along pretty well anyway.    Perhaps this is basically how I DO plan, simply collect a bunch of books during the summer and then grab a new one here and there when the old one runs out.

Anyway, I thought I would mention a resource I found that Paddy is enjoying very much, so much that he does one of those mythical homeschool-child things and says, "Can we do Grammar now?"

It is called: 

Mary's Grammar, interspersed with stories, and intended for the use of children, by Mrs Marcet.

Doesn't that sound promising already?  I found it when I was browsing through Google Books with the search term "pictorial grammar".

It starts with a little girl crying over her grammar lesson, and her mother helping her out by making the terminology easier and related to real life.    It covers all the parts of speech, in Part I on an overview level, and then a little deeper in part II.     We have just finished reading about Articles.

It is definitely old-fashioned in style, and I wasn't sure if Paddy would be interested in an 8 year old girl as a protagonist, but it doesn't seem to bother him, as he gets into the questions and conversation.  

While I am on the subject I wanted to mention that there are some free worksheets available for Grammar-Land. This is a resource used by some Charlotte Mason type homeschoolers, though Mary's Grammar seems to suit Paddy and me better right now.    We like to shut the book (rather, shut my ereader) and then follow up with our own oral lesson in the same style as the book. 

HT Jimmie at The Notebooking Fairy, and check out her post, Top Ten Books to Notebook

As for searching for "pictorial grammar"?   I found these two resources:

Steill's Pictorial Grammar for Children
The Pictorial Grammar by Alfred Crowquill

They both have those Cruikshank type illustrations, sort of Victorian- humorous.

 I also found this geography book, by a different author apparently, but meant to be a companion to Mary's Grammar.   

Mary's Geography
Questions on Mary's Geography

Finally, another "Mary" book by the author of Mary's Geography.

Mary's everyday book of useful and miscellaneous knowledge
Questions on Mary's everyday book

This book is basically about all the things that were around a 19th century child, explanations of where they are from, how they are made, etc.

'Felting is a property possessed by all soft and thick wool, and causes it,when thoroughly wet and tightly pressed, to stick firmly together. It is thus that hats are made: the wool being felted and pressed into a mould. Cloth, too, is first spun and woven, and then felted, the felting causing it to contract and become thick and strong. All cloths and flannels are woven of a pure white, and then dyed the required colour.
I doubt if we will read this one, because everyday things two centuries ago aren't the same as everyday things now, but it looks fun to browse through.  


  1. sounds like a fantastic resource!!

  2. Wow, I love the stuff you uncover Willa!


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