Grammar and Daniel Boone

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Ten years ago Ray and I went on a church history tour of sites in our general area. The tour included the Old Mulkey Meetinghouse State Historic Site in Monroe County, Kentucky. The meetinghouse was built in 1804. One of the many early settlers who worshipped there was Hannah Boone Stewart Pennington, youngest sister of Daniel Boone.

Here are a much younger Ray in the pulpit . . .

. . . and a much younger me on a “pew.”

Hannah Boone Stewart Pennington is buried in the area. A gravestone in the church’s cemetery honors her life.

When Boone was 72 years old, he wrote about his faith in a letter to one of his relatives. Though Boone was literate, his spelling and grammar were poor. However, his expression of faith and conviction is beautiful. Boone wrote:

I am as ignerant as a Child all the Religan I have to Love and fear God believe in Jesus Christ. Dowall the good to my Neighbors and my Self that I can and Do as Little harm as I can help and trust in God’s mercy for Rest.

Sometimes homeschooling mamas despair of their children’s grammar, spelling, and punctuation ever getting much better than Boone’s was at 72. Try not to despair. It may not work out the same way for you, but we found that grammar, spelling, and punctuation take more time for some children. I encourage you to:

  • Keep reading great literature aloud.
  • Keep having them write creatively.
  • Keep having them read great books.

And keep on teaching what is most important. We don’t have to choose faith or good writing skills, but if we did, I would certainly rather my child write what Boone wrote the way he wrote it than to express a lack of faith with perfect grammar, spelling, and punctuation!

The unfolding of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple.
Psalm 119:130


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