I’ll be the first to admit that grammar and composition are not concepts that I feel I can readily teach.  I understand how to write and have had plenty of experience with creative writing.  However, trying to narrow all of that down into 2nd grader bites is a daunting task.  Every time I think of the “great communicators” I want my children to be, my hands get a little clammy.  How will I ever teach them terms like complete predicate and dangling participle if I don’t even know what they are?  I’m sure that my abuse of English grammar is sufficient enough to render me unqualified to teach my own children, especially as we move forward into the upper grades.  But here I am.  I am the teacher, and it is my responsibility.  I’ve always said I love the thrill of a new challenge, and this certainly is one.  I heard of a program called the Institute for Excellence in Writing.  I love the firm foundation it supplies in literature and appreciation of good language.  Before children are expected to compose their own creative writing, they are taught how to analyze a piece of literature (anything from Seuss to Socrates – I think that’s even the title of one of the seminars), how to accurately summarize it, and how to reproduce it using their own words.  From what I can tell, the methodology IEW uses is straightforward and foolproof. Teaching my children how to speak and write is one of my top three educational priorities.  You simply cannot be taken seriously in this world if you cannot express your ideas and thoughts clearly.  Considering that we are to make disciples of Yeshua, it follows that we must prove ourselves to be good stewards of His gifts of language, communication, and, of course, His Word long before we can make disciples of others.  The blatant abuse of the English language is in our faces all the time, and it really irritates me.  I had an amazing English teacher in high school.  Though I can remember very few of the technical terms she taught us, the two years I spent with her made me realize that it is a gift to be able to communicate effectively, both in speech and written word.  IEW is going to teach me how to teach writing to my kids.  With these amazing materials, I finally believe I might have a chance to get these concepts into my little ones’ brains and keep them there!  Granted, they are only 5 and 6, but there is no time like the present to get my planning underway.  I get such a thrilling rush when brown boxes of books are left at our mailbox, and this time is no different.  I’m grateful for the incredible resources I’ve found already.  May I be found to be a good steward of my little pupils in God’s sight.