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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Why Should I Learn Punctuation & Grammar in High School?

Registration is open. Click here: Homeschool Connections Registration (Click on the semester and Writing, then click on Search.)

Should high school student continue with punctuation and grammar studies? Yes! Too often, we consider such studies to be too basic for older students. However, punctuation and grammar is taught at a completely different level in the upper grades compared to their grammar school lessons. It gives students the tools needed for college and business writing.



Correct punctuation and grammar help others to fully understand us. If you want to do well in school and your job, then mastering punctuation and grammar is critical.

The elements of tone, speed, and even the timbre (such as whispering, rasping, or growling a word) communicate meaning to others. The voice carries power, enabling our message to be fully understood. The plain printed words on the page can’t give us nuance. But punctuation can. With punctuation, our original meaning can be more closely translated to the page.

Grammar refers to both the order of words and choosing the right word. When it comes to certain word orders on the page, there is a right way to write. There are right words to use—a proper choice of words and a proper order of words. However, some words are not appropriate for different audiences or purposes. Grammar gives us a formal, clear way to place our words in order, to get our meaning across to the reader.

Whether we like it or not, based on our words, people judge us. If a person uses grammar incorrectly (not choosing the right word or word order), people catch it. The reader realizes and remembers incorrect grammar. Based on what the reader sees, you may be (unconsciously or consciously) put into a category of educated or not educated. You’re labeled. Whether the label is true or not, we are now viewed with that tar.

The label, not educated, puts you into a category where others may make assumptions about you that, most likely, aren’t true. Judgment may lead others to a lack of respect. Based on incorrect assumptions, poor decisions may be made (like whether or not the person wants to hire you for a job). Grammar matters, for many reasons.

Honing your punctuation and grammar skills in high school will help you beyond writing assignments. It will help you achieve high grades in other subjects. I can confidently tell you this: more often than not, poor punctuation and grammar can sink the ship that carries your top grade. You can have everything going for you, and those small, basic punctuation and grammar errors can mess things up and take away your A, fast.

We hope you'll consider joining us for High School Essential Writing 1: Punctuation and Grammar and/or High School Writing Essentials 5: Punctuation and Grammar II (College Preparatory). Each course is only six weeks, but they are six weeks that will change everything for the better. Below are all the course details for the upcoming semesters. The first course is also available as a recorded, independent-learning courses through our Unlimited Access program. The second will be available in the fall of 2016.

Registration is open. Click here: Homeschool Connections Registration (Click on the semester and Writing, then click on Search.)


High School Writing Essentials 5: Punctuation and Grammar II *NEW
College Preparatory
Total classes: 6
Class dates: Week One: Monday through Thursday. Week Two: Monday and Tuesday: August 22, 23, 24, 25: 29, 30; 2016
Starting time: 11:30 AM Eastern (10:30 Central; 9:30 Mountain; 8:30 Pacific)
Duration:  55 minutes
Prerequisite: High School Writing Essentials 1: Essential Punctuation and Grammar I
 and High School Simplified Writing 1: All-Encompassing Foundational High School Writing Skills (Live, interactive courses or Unlimited Access recorded courses)
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th grade
Suggested credit: 1/2 semester Writing or English
Fee: $99 if you register on or before March 15, 2016; $119 after March 15 for all 6 classes. ($139 after Aug. 14)
Instructor: Erin Brown Conroy, MA, MFA
Course description:  This course continues your student’s punctuation and grammar instruction and exercises, taking your student to college-level understanding. Students will move beyond common understanding to mastering the skills. If you want your teen to never struggle with punctuation and grammar and be able to be skillful in upper-level, college-prep punctuation and grammar, this is the course for you.
Course outline:
Class 1: The power of punctuation; what punctuation does (and doesn’t do) for your writing, and how you can harness that power
Class 2: Complete comma understanding and practice: identification of commas with multiple clause sentences (the sentence/non-sentence trick)
Class 3: Complete comma understanding and practice: typical comma errors and editors’ choices with commas
Class 4: Common, unusual, and rare comma placement in common, unusual, and rare places
Class 5: Semicolons, colons, and commas used together correctly
Class 6: End punctuation issues, quotation mark errors, and quotes within quotes issues
Class 7: Citations, references, footnotes, and research-centric punctuation
Class 8: Mastering punctuation in the SAT and ACT

Course materials: TBA, ordering information forthcoming. Word 2007 or later version or the ability to convert documents to Word-compatible documents.
Homework: Homework: Daily quizzes, graded automatically by the computer for instant feedback. Course includes skill-building sheets with corrections guide. Personalized question time will be offered in class to insure a strong understanding of concepts. 

HIGH SCHOOL WRITING ESSENTIALS 1: Essential Punctuation and Grammar I (HS 9-1)
* This course is offered during four time slots in the fall semester only; the course will not be offered in the spring semester.
* This is a two-part course; take the 9-1 and 9-2 courses together, to receive one full semester of credit (14 weeks of classes).
* Though not required, it is recommended to sign up for 9-1 and 9-2 courses in the same Time Offering (same time slot) within each semester.
Total Classes: 6
Class dates and starting times:

Mondays, September 12 to October 17, 2016
11:30 AM Eastern (10:30 Central; 9:30 Mountain; 8:30 Pacific)
OR
Mondays, September 12 to October 17, 2016
2:00 PM Eastern (1:00 Central; Noon Mountain; 11:00 Pacific)
OR
Wednesdays, September 9 to October 14, 2016
10:00 AM Eastern (9:00 Central; 8:00 Mountain; 7:00 Pacific)
OR
Fridays, September 7 to October 12, 2016
10:00 AM Eastern (9:00 Central; 8:00 Mountain; 7:00 Pacific)
Duration: 55 minutes
Prerequisite: No class prerequisites. Your student will need Word 2007 or later version or the ability to convert a document to a Word-compatible document.
Suggested grade level: 9th grade; all grade levels accepted
Suggested credit: ½ semester Writing or English. Combine with High School Simplified Writing 1 for a full semester credit.
Fee: $89 if you sign up on or before July 15, 2016; $99 after July 15 for all 6 classes. ($119 after Aug. 30)
Instructors: 
Lisa Mladinich (Mondays) and Sharon Hamric-Weis, BSEd, JD (Wednesdays and Fridays)
Course description: This is an essential writing course for all high school students. Give your high school student exactly what’s needed for high school and college writing—including the confidence and the ability to use punctuation and grammar well. Don’t let your student struggle—master commas, tense, colons, semicolons, dashes, ellipses, and more. This class will give your student the strong foundation needed to finally master the details that are holding him or her back from writing well. Sentence constructions in the course are upper level, meant to challenge and prepare your student for upper-high school and college courses.
Course outline:
Class 1: Mastering commas in a series and commas with conjunctions using complex sentences
Class 2: Mastering commas and clauses and tough constructions, including multiple ideas, connectors, and transitions
Class 3: Mastering tense, competing punctuation, quotations, dashes, and ellipses
Class 4: Sticky-pair sentence construction (if-then, not only-but also) and tough grammar in upper-level constructions
Class 5: Mastering colons and semicolons with leading sentence constructions
Class 6: Mastering tricky punctuation details, end punctuation, and the most common grammar challenges
Course materials: eBook: Elements of Writing for High School Students by Erin Brown Conroy. Ordering information forthcoming
Homework: Weekly quizzes graded automatically by the computer for immediate feedback. Estimated two to four hours per week for homework outside of class time, depending on the student’s ability.

HIGH SCHOOL WRITING ESSENTIALS 5: Punctuation and Grammar II (HS X-5) *NEW
College Preparatory 
* This course is for students who want to confirm and excel in their skills.
* This course is offered before school begins, during the Fall Semester, and during the Spring Semester.
* Note: Though offered on different days, this course’s dates fit the schedule to immediately follow the HS 9-1 Punctuation and Grammar I course. Sign up for both Punctuation and Grammar I and II courses during the Fall and Spring Semesters.
Total classes: 6
Class dates: Mondays, October 24 to December 5, 2016. No class November 21 for Thanksgiving Break.
Starting time: 10:00 AM Eastern (9:00 Central, 8:00 Mountain; 7:00 Pacific)
Note: Because this course’s dates “fit” the schedule to immediately follow the weeks of HS 9-1 Punctuation and Grammar I, you can sign up for both Punctuation and Grammar I and II courses during the Spring semester if desired.
Duration:  55 minutes
Prerequisite: Required. HIGH SCHOOL WRITING ESSENTIALS 1: Essential Punctuation and Grammar I (HS 9-1). Prerequisite can be taken as a live course or through Unlimited Access. Your student will also need Word 2007 or later version or the ability to convert a document to a Word-compatible document.
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th grade
Suggested credit: 1/2 semester Writing or English. Add another course for full credit.
Fee: $99 if you register on or before November 15, 2016; $119 after Nov. 15 for all 6 classes. ($139 after Oct. 16)
Instructor: Lisa Mladinich
Course description:  This course continues your student’s understanding of punctuation and grammar with instruction and exercises taking your student to college-level understanding. Students will move beyond common understanding to mastering the skills. If you want your teen to never struggle with punctuation and grammar and be able to be skillful in upper-level, college-prep punctuation and grammar, this is the course for you.
Course outline:
Class 1: The power of punctuation; what punctuation does (and doesn’t do) for your writing, and how you can harness that power
Class 2: Complete comma understanding and practice: identification of commas with multiple clause sentences (the sentence/non-sentence trick)
Class 3: Complete comma understanding and practice: typical comma errors and editors’ choices with commas
Class 4: Common, unusual, and rare comma placement in common, unusual, and rare places
Class 5: Semicolons, colons, and commas used together correctly
Class 6: End punctuation issues, quotation mark errors, and quotes within quotes issues
Class 7: Citations, references, footnotes, and research-centric punctuation
Class 8: Mastering punctuation in the SAT and ACT

Course materials: TBA, ordering information forthcoming. Word 2007 or later version or the ability to convert documents to Word-compatible documents.
Homework: Homework: Weekly quizzes, with an estimated two to three hours per week for homework outside of class time. Quizzes are graded automatically by the computer for instant feedback. Course includes skill-building sheets with corrections guide. Personalized question time will be offered in class to insure a strong understanding of concepts. 

HIGH SCHOOL WRITING ESSENTIALS 5: Punctuation and Grammar II (HS X-5)
College Preparatory
* This course is for students who want to confirm and excel in their skills. College preparatory.
Total classes: 6
Class dates: Mondays, February 27 to April 3, 2017
Starting time: 11:30 AM Eastern (10:30 Central; 9:30 Mountain; 8:30 Pacific)
Note: Because this course’s dates “fit” the schedule to immediately follow the weeks of HS 9-1 Punctuation and Grammar I, you can sign up for both Punctuation and Grammar I and II courses during the Spring semester if desired.
Duration:  55 minutes
Prerequisite: Required. HIGH SCHOOL WRITING ESSENTIALS 1: Essential Punctuation and Grammar I (HS 9-1). Prerequisite can be taken as a live course or through Unlimited Access. Your student will also need Word 2007 or later version or the ability to convert a document to a Word-compatible document.
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th grade
Suggested credit: 1/2 semester Writing or English. Add another course for full credit.
Fee: $99 if you register on or before November 15, 2016; $119 after Nov. 15 for all 6 classes. ($139 after Feb. 19)
Instructor: Lisa Mladinich.
Course description:  This course continues your student’s understanding of punctuation and grammar with instruction and exercises taking your student to college-level understanding. Students will move beyond common understanding to mastering the skills. If you want your teen to never struggle with punctuation and grammar and be able to be skillful in upper-level, college-prep punctuation and grammar, this is the course for you.
Course outline:
Class 1: The power of punctuation; what punctuation does (and doesn’t do) for your writing, and how you can harness that power
Class 2: Complete comma understanding and practice: identification of commas with multiple clause sentences (the sentence/non-sentence trick)
Class 3: Complete comma understanding and practice: typical comma errors and editors’ choices with commas
Class 4: Common, unusual, and rare comma placement in common, unusual, and rare places
Class 5: Semicolons, colons, and commas used together correctly
Class 6: End punctuation issues, quotation mark errors, and quotes within quotes issues
Class 7: Citations, references, footnotes, and research-centric punctuation
Class 8: Mastering punctuation in the SAT and ACT
Course materials: TBA, ordering information forthcoming. Word 2007 or later version or the ability to convert documents to Word-compatible documents.
Homework: Homework: Daily quizzes, with an estimated two to three hours per week for homework outside of class time. Quizzes are graded automatically by the computer for instant feedback. Course includes skill-building sheets with corrections guide. Personalized question time will be offered in class to insure a strong understanding of concepts. 

Registration is open. Click here: Homeschool Connections Registration (Click on the semester and Writing, then click on Search.)

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