When lessons are chapters and grammar is fun. The narration begins with Mary who just won’t stand for another grammar lesson and Mother winning her over with simple, understandable lessons. “But,” Mother warns and encourages, “we cannot learn without taking pains; but if you understand what is taught you, the pains are not very painful.” First printed in 1848 by prolific writer Jane Marcet, this Yesterday’s Classics text spends a chapter each on all main parts of grammar (nouns to participles and modes). Every third chapter is a delightful story that Mama tells us, and (either to our irritation or pleasure) Mary interrupts with her recently acquired grammar knowledge. Listen carefully. You might find Mary making mistakes.
Two reviews break up the material (middle and end), and these are presented almost catechism-like as a memory tool. Question: What is a noun? Answer: It is a name. Question: Are there any nouns which we cannot discover by the senses? Answer: Yes, those which belong to the mind. Question: How do we form an idea of things? Answer: By our understanding alone, which makes us comprehend their meaning. 322 pgs, pb. ~ Ruth
An engaging introduction to grammar through the conversations Mary shares with her mother. Stories are interspersed periodically to enliven the short lessons on grammar. The author of this book, Jane Marcet, was a prolific writer in the first half of the 19th century. Her success lay in her ability to explain complex concepts in simple language to a broad audience, to adults as well as to children. In her works for children, she guides the youthful reader to discovery, prompting her to be observant and engendering in her a thirst for further knowledge.
These programs focus on grammar only and do not cover usage or mechanics.