Why High School Students Need Punctuation and Grammar Classes

UPDATE: This live, interactive course has concluded and is now available as a recorded, self-paced course through our Unlimited Access program. You can learn more here: Catholic Homeschooling. It is also offered LIVE every school year. We invite you to call or email us if you have questions or need assistance: Homeschool Connections.

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 next semester in High School Essential Writing 1: Punctuation and Grammar. It is only a 6-week course, but it is six weeks that will change everything, for the better. Below are all the course details for the Fall 2015 course. The course will be repeated in the Spring 2016 semester if you need it in the spring. It is also available as a recorded, independent-learning course through our Unlimited Access program.

High School Essential Writing 1: Punctuation and Grammar
(Formerly titled Elements of Writing for High School; Essential Punctuation and Grammar)
Due to the popularity of this course, it is scheduled three times in the fall semester and twice again in the spring semester. If it fills up, register for one of the other dates/times.
Class dates: Due to the popularity of this course, it is offered twice in the spring semester. You can choose one of the following days/times:
Mondays, January 11 to February 15, 2016
Mondays, February 22 to April 4, 2015. No class March 28 for Easter Break.
Total classes: 6
Starting time:
Mondays (starting Jan. 11), 2:30 PM Eastern (1:30 Central; 12:30 Mountain; 11:30 Pacific)
Mondays (starting Feb. 22), 11:30 AM Eastern (9:00 Central; 8:00 Mountain; 7:00 Pacific)
Duration: 55 minutes
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th
Suggested high school credit: ½ semester Writing. Follow with Simplified Writing 1 for a full semester credit.
Fee: $80 if you enroll on or before November 15, 2015. $90 if you enroll after November 15 for all 6 classes
Instructor: Lisa Mladinich
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: All course materials are provided free for students by the instructor.
Homework: Weekly writing assignments, with grading and direct feedback from the instructor, with an estimated two to three hours per week for homework outside of class time.

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