Monday, July 12, 2010

The Carnival of Homeschooling - The Punctuation Edition

Welcome to the Punctuation Edition*
of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

*Most of the grammar rules are courtesy
of Basic Rules of Punctuation at

1) End Punctuation: Periods, Question Marks, and Exclamation Points

There are only three ways to end a sentence: with a period (.), a question mark (?), or an exclamation point (!). And because most of us state far more often than we question or exclaim, the period is by far the most popular end mark of punctuation. The American period, by the way, is more commonly known as a full stop in British English. Since around 1600, both terms have been used to describe the mark (or the long pause) at the end of a sentence.

Until the 20th century, the question mark was more commonly known as a point of interrogation--a descendant of the mark used by medieval monks to show voice inflection in church manuscripts. The exclamation point has been used since the 17th century to indicate strong emotion, such as surprise, wonder, disbelief, or pain.

Use a period at the end of a sentence that makes a statement.

Barbara explains that Homeschooling a child with special needs gets easier once you face the facts at Barbara Frank Online.

Kid-erpillars makes the point on another life lesson from watching animals, from Home Spun Juggling.

"I'm one of those people who purposely grows plants for those hungry caterpillars."

Use a question mark after direct questions.

With Thoughts on Education Jessica writes about her evolution from being a school teacher to homeschooling at Teachable Moments.

"How was I to know that my long held plan to be a working parent would dissolve the moment I thought of placing my six month old daughter in day care?"

Marbel wonders about Counting days or hours? At Two Kid Schoolhouse she muses about how best to record educational days or hours to fulfill my state law.

Now and then we may use an exclamation point at the end of a sentence to express strong emotion.

Misty at Homeschool Bytes shares Keeping the Cute Rascal Busy While We Homeschool

"Here he is helping me hammer a little turtle stamp into some soap I made. Only afterwards did I shudder a bit when I realized I’d just taught him how to use a hammer. Eeek!"

In Frugal Homeschooler: Presidential Timeline the Nerd Mom tells how to get a great homeschooling resource. (Posted at NerdFamily Things.)

"Remember as always, homeschooling doesn’t have to be expensive to be educational!"

The summary for Congratulations, Kitten! is: Blogging has become a large part of our homeschool language arts over the past three years. Will you help us celebrate Kitten's blogiversary! (At Blogging 2 Learn.)

Skills Round Up starts with both an exclamation mark and a question mark. (Posted by the Home School Dad)

"Howdy Homeschool Pardners! How are your doggies getting along now that summer's breaking at your home school on the range?"

2) Commas

The most popular mark of punctuation, the comma (,) is also the least law-abiding. In Greek, the komma was a "piece cut off" from a line of verse--what in English today we'd call a phrase or a clause. Since the 16th century, comma has referred to the mark that sets off words, phrases, and clauses.

Keep in mind that these four guidelines for using commas effectively are only guidelines: there are no unbreakable rules for using commas.

Use a comma before a coordinator (and, but, yet, or, nor, for, so) that links two main clauses.

In Kitchen Inventory - The Pantry, Mrs. White explains how she and her daughter create a pantry list to help with meal planning. (From The Legacy of Home.

"I want to stress the fact that I do not create a pantry list based on things I want, or things I hope to have on hand."

Lynn, noticing that we’re half way through summer, writes some of her thoughts about Goals, at Eclectic Education

"I have some of their year planned, but I am still trying to figure out what all I am going to doing with them."

Use a comma between words, phrases, or clauses that appear in a series of three or more.

Jamie responds to Top Five Reasons NOT to Homeschool, or excuses not to homeschool, at Parent Community and Forum.

"I am a very busy mom of six, a business owner, a pastor’s wife, and I have two part time jobs, but somehow homeschooling and investing in the children that were given to me always seems more important than the other stuff."

What Can a Homeschooling Parent Do When Math Isn’t a Strength? explains how homeschool co-ops can help. (Posted at Math Learning, Fun & Education Blog : Dreambox Learning.)

"Most co-ops offer some combination of classes, clubs, field trips, potlucks, and parent discussions."

Use a comma after a phrase or clause that precedes the subject of the sentence.

Elena explains How we hope to give five kids college educations for under $50 grand at My Domestic Church.

"So for our family, College Plus looks very attractive."

Janine writes about some recent good news in Homeschoolers in the News on our blog Why Homeschool.

"While community college GPA is not necessarily the reason we homeschool, it is nice to see homeschoolers doing well in the academic arena."

Beverly shares about another homeschooling success in Homeschooler's Journey to (Kids) Jeopardy, at Beverly’s Homeschooling Blog (

"On April 12th, I received an email from Jeopardy telling me that Samantha had qualified for an in-person interview and audition in Philadelphia on June 19th."

Use a pair of commas to set off words, phrases, or clauses that interrupt a sentence.

Grocery Store Math by Rational Jenn is about making a sometimes-frantic family chore a little more interesting . . . with math.
"Everyone agrees to the general plan, and apparently I am an idiot because I will often feel good about our prospects for a smooth grocery store run, suffering as I do from Grocery Store Amnesia (similar to Pregnancy Amnesia)."

3) Semicolons, Colons, and Dashes

These three marks of punctuation--the semicolon (;), colon (:), and dash (--)--can be effective when used sparingly. Like the comma, the colon originally referred to a section of a poem; later its meaning was extended to a clause in a sentence and finally to a mark that set off a clause.

Both the semicolon and the dash became popular in the 17th century, and since then the dash has threatened to take over the work of other marks. Poet Emily Dickinson, for instance, relied on dashes instead of commas. Novelist James Joyce preferred dashes to quotation marks (which he called "perverted commas"). And nowadays many writers avoid semicolons (which some consider to be rather stuffy and academic), using dashes in their place.

Planning Our Almost Completely Free Homeschooling-Part 1 is about a first time homeschooler's plans for a mostly free homeschooling curriculum, from the Musings of a Real Housewife.

Use a semicolon to separate two main clauses not joined by a coordinating conjunction.

In A Disciplined Will Naomi includes several quotes from Charlotte Mason and comments on them, at Living Charlotte Mason in California.
His thoughts are wandering on forbidden pleasure, to the hindrance of his work; he pulls himself up, and deliberately fixes his attention on those incentives which have most power to make him work, the leisure and pleasure which follow honest labour, the duty which binds him to the fulfilling of his task. His thoughts run in the groove he wills them to run in, and work is no longer an effort. ~Vol.1, p.324

Make Online Tests Easily With Free Zoho Challenge reviews a service for making online tests, at I Want to Teach Forever.
"The quiz editor is straightforward; I was able to assemble this example in just a few minutes."

Use a colon to set off a summary or a series after a complete main clause.

Linda Dobson is announcing a July Book Giveaway, for The 15th Anniversary Edition of The Art of Education: Reclaiming Your Family, Community and Self. (Posted at Parent at the Helm.)

"You are allowed one entry per book, with the exception of BLOGGERS: I know your pain."

Use a colon between the title and subtitle of a book or article
Christine has a New Homeschool Project: JETS. The Thinking Mother is sharing what her latest homeschool research project is, an engineering competition for high schoolers.

Lain has a provocative topic, is Banning Books: A Parent's Job? (Over at the Parenting Squad)

Use a dash to set off a short summary after a complete main clause.

The summary for Mistakes I Have Made - A Regular Feature is: some things you might want to know about graphing calculators so you avoid the mistake I made. (From The Home (School) Stretch.)

With Sorry State Financial Affairs Cause Bureaucratic Breakdown Susan wonders if bureaucracies will fail -and homeschoolers prevail- with the continual poor fiscal governmental policies, at Corn and Oil.

4) Apostrophes

The apostrophe (') may be the simplest and yet most frequently misused mark of punctuation in English. It was introduced into English in the 16th century from Latin and Greek, in which it served to mark the loss of letters.

The use of the apostrophe to signify possession did not become common until the 19th century, though even then grammarians could not always agree on the mark's "correct" use. As editor Tom McArthur notes in The Oxford Companion to the English Language" (1992), "There was never a golden age in which the rules for the use of the possessive apostrophe in English were clear-cut and known, understood, and followed by most educated people."

Use the apostrophe to form contractions.

Margy writes about The Case Against Homeschooling at Homeschool Highschool.

"Don't worry, I haven't gone over to the dark side. But read on. You may be surprised."

Use an apostrophe plus -s to show the possessive form of a singular noun, even if that singular noun already ends in -s.

Balderdash is Alasandra's reponse to a claim homeschool text books are only aimed at Christians.

To form the possessive of a plural noun that already ends in -s, add an apostrophe.

Five Things Your Kids Don’t Really Need reminds parents to l earn to say no. It's not only better for your pocket book, but it's better for your kids too, posted at MoneyNing.

Many criticize this company for selling overpriced casual clothing, exchanging parents’ money for the promise that their kids would be “cool.”

5) Quotation Marks

Quotation marks (" "), sometimes referred to as quotes or inverted commas, are punctuation marks used in pairs to set off a quotation or a piece of dialogue. A relatively recent invention, quotation marks were not commonly used before the 19th century.

Use double quotation marks (" ") to enclose a direct quotation.

Nancy has some thoughts about treating High Schoolers as Persons from her blog Sage Parnassus.

"Just because they are in high school, doesn't mean you stop treating them as persons." - me

Gifted Kids in Art: Color Constancy has some suggestions on how to really see when painting, from Crack the Egg.

"In order to learn to draw, you must learn to see." This is a well-used dictum for art students. It means one must learn to draw what one actually sees and not just what one thinks they see.

Use double quotation marks to enclose the titles of songs, short stories, essays, poems, articles and so forth.
Reading a Gift for All Seasons is about how important reading is, in so many ways. (At Homeschooling for 3

'Do you remember “RIF” back in the days of the Flintstones? It stands for “Reading Is Fundamental” and is something that should be engaged in everyday, not just for homework or something to keep the kids busy during the summer months.'

6. Ellipsis (...)

Use an ellipsis to indicate a pause or an interruption in speech.

With It could be worse . . . And maybe it should be? April wonders whether we should always choose the path of least resistance in homeschooling? (At her blog ... Chronic Learning.)

Carnival of Homeschooling

If you have enjoyed this carnival, please spread the word. Please mention the carnival on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, and other appropriate places. You can also help promote the carnival by adding the carnival images. Learn how by going here.

Go here for the archives of previous carnivals.

Next week the carnival will be held at The HSBA Post.

If you are interested in submitting a post for a future carnival, click here for information.

We thank everyone who has helped out. Thank you to all the participants in this carnival. And thanks to all those who help promote the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Carnival of Homeschooling


Technorati tags: homeschooling, homeschool, home school, home education, parenting, children, education,


Alastriona, The Cats and Dogs said...

Thanks for including my post. I can't wait to get home from the store so I can read all the great entries.

Lynn said...

Great carnival! Thank you for including my blog. I did want to mention that I was having a bit of a problem viewing your blog. When I was in FireFox, the screen kept going blank after I would arrive at your blog. I switched to Explorer and it was fine. I hope it is just my computer, but I wanted to let you know in case others were having a similar problem.


Marbel said...

Thanks for posting. Looks great. Thank you for including me. It's been a long time since I've read or participated in a carnival.

ChristineMM said...

Love the theme. It's loading perfectly for me. Thanks for hosting and owning this carnival Henry. Hope you are enjoying your summer!

Henry Cate said...

I am glad everyone enjoyed the carnival, even with the hassle of FireFox 3.6.6 not liking our link to Technorati.

Marbel - I hope you participate again soon.