If a 5 year old can do it…

I’m probably going to alienate myself from many people with this blog, and lose several FB friends should they read it, but here goes…

My five year old daughter was writing her ‘shopping list’ this morning before school. It consisted of one item – Sun cream for Mum and Dad. What I have written there, is exactly how she wrote it. A simple enough sentence you would think, yes? I didn’t think anything of it at all, and only commented on how neat her hand writing was getting now that she was willing to practise. And then she said something that, as a writer, I am truly proud of: “I have used a capital letter for the start of the sentence, and capital letters for ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’ because they are names. You should always use capital letters for names. If they weren’t names, if I was saying ‘my mummy’, I wouldn’t use a capital letter because I am describing you, not naming you.” Yes, my five year old has an understanding of basic grammar, something that seems to be lost on a lot of adults I know.

I’ve read on FB and heard a couple of parents questioning why children at the age of 4, 5, and 6 should be learning the difference between nouns and verbs, and what a connective and preposition are. Are they too young to understand grammar? In my opinion, the answer is a firm and resounding NO. They should learn how to create and form sentences correctly. I get so frustrated when I read emails and status updates using incorrect wording. Grammatical errors I can forgive. Not everyone is as anal as me regarding the correct use of a semi-colon, and I have been known to overuse commas. But the basics of spelling and grammar should be ingrained at an early age.

My daughter knows the difference between their, there and they’re. She knows the difference between your and you’re. She knows how to use a capital letter correctly. So I ask again, if a five year old can grasp the concept of forming a sentence, then why can’t some fully grown adults?

I blame mobile phones and social media. We’re all becoming lazy. Perhaps I’ll write my next book entirely in txt spk…

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5 thoughts on “If a 5 year old can do it…

  1. Well if you lose friends because of this post, who cares! I love it! I have to admit that I am guilty of make mistakes (usually in to much of a hurry). In chats try to capitalize letters but a few times just rushing through and don’t. ;(
    Thanks for reminding me to slow down just a little and take care in what I write! I believe kids are smart, learn quickly and your daughter will get excellent grades in school for write, grammar and reading!

    Alice

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