Saturday, June 21, 2008
Manners Can Be Fun for Kids
As parents, we know that teaching our children manners and good grammer can oftentimes seem in vain. Try as we might, our kids seem to let it go in one ear and out the other (although I am often pleasantly surprised when my daughter goes to a friend's house and I get a good report - she is listening after all!) So when I came across How to Speak Politely & Why by the late children's illustrator, Munro Leaf, I snapped it up thinking it would appeal to my now five-year old daughter.
Immediately after I gave Ivy How to Speak Politely, she began reading it out loud. As a beginning reader, she enjoys books that are easy for her to read and this fit the bill. Not only easy to read, How to Speak Politely speaks in a tone that kids can relate to. As a reprint that was originally published in 1934, How to Speak Politely helps kids to understand the difference between the ambiguous "uh-huh" and "un-un" versus the clear "yes" and "no". It also addresses ain't, gimme and got, as well as the confusing usage of "can" and "may", one of the most commonly used words in a child's vocabulary. Leaf's method addresses grammatical errors that have become commonplace in the English language though simple and humoroous stick-figure drawings and captions.
Kudos to Leaf for writing this book, and kudos to the publisher for reprinting it and making such an easy to understand book on grammer for kids available again. It just goes to show, everything old is new again. How to Speak Politely is surely not an oldie, but a goodie!