Interview with Dr. Wanda Phillips
We all want to be good examples to our children, yet try as we might, we may have learned habits that are incorrect and not even realized it. Poor grammar can be one of those habits. Well, parents, the tables have turned . . . but don’t worry, it’s for the better. There is now a workbook for parents who want to speak and write correctly. Dr. Wanda Phillips has written Easy Grammar’s Guide for Parents: Improve Your Grammar in Minutes. [www.easygrammar.com] Welcome, Dr. Phillips!
TOS: All of your other teaching texts are for students in grades 2–12. What made you decide to write a book for parents?
Dr. Phillips: I grew up in a wonderful but educationally disadvantaged family in which improper grammar was rampant. The Lord blessed me by placing a wonderful woman in my life who became like a mother to me. She would coax and correct me—she was a wonderful role model. This experience, along with later classroom teaching experiences of the students desiring to correct their parents’ grammar usage, made me truly realize that we can all help each other to grammatically better ourselves. This is a user-friendly book for parents who want to ensure that they use correct grammar—without identifying parts of speech, diagramming, or learning concepts such as noun plurals or possessives. The focus is on speaking correctly.
TOS: We all know that our children’s brains are like sponges, soaking in everything around them. It is important not only for us, but for our children that we speak correctly. It is very easy for poor grammar to be passed from one generation to the next, isn’t it?
Dr. Phillips: People’s grammar usage, whether it’s correct or incorrect, sounds right to their own ears. They may unknowingly be using incorrect grammar. If parents make usage errors, I can almost guarantee that their children make the same mistakes. This book benefits both parents and their children. If parents change their improper usage, they can help their children improve their speaking and writing.
TOS: How does Easy Grammar’s Guide for Parents: Improve Your Grammar in Minutes work?
Dr. Phillips: Parents privately complete two short assessments in areas that can be a challenge for everyone. Then, I provide ways to help them change their usage easily.
TOS: How does that help readers?
Dr. Phillips: This isn’t a typical text. Adults are too busy for meaningless instruction. If they make a specific error, I help them to change it. Doing every lesson isn’t necessary.
TOS: I’ve used the book and it can really be completed in just minutes and the time required depends on the number of errors. You’ve done a fine job giving examples of proper usage and ways to implement the necessary changes. (Some examples are when to use good/well and who/whom.) The book can be used on its own, but you mentioned that you present seminars for home education groups. Please tell us more about this.
Dr. Phillips: I’ve developed a one-hour, free seminar based on the book. Easy Grammar’s Guide for Parents allows parents to take the two quick assessments privately (although in a group setting). Then I offer strategies and ideas for changing to correct usage easily.
TOS: What a blessing for you to offer a free seminar! How can homeschool parent groups contact you?
Dr. Phillips: They can follow my Facebook page to learn my speaking schedule or go to our website and click on “Seminars.” If groups are interested in arranging a seminar, they may email me personally at [email protected].
TOS: You are very passionate about Easy Grammar’s Guide for Parents: Improve Your Grammar in Minutes. Please share with us why you have this passion.
Dr. Phillips: I’m passionate about all of my books. The Lord has given me this talent and the blessing to be able to teach. Although my books don’t contain biblical references, I assure you that Easy Grammar Systems is about honoring Him.
TOS: I’ve very much enjoyed our time together. Thank you for sharing your talents with us!
Wanda Phillips earned an education degree from Shippensburg University, a Master’s Degree from NAU, and a Doctorate from George Fox University. After developing a thorough, easy-to-use, yet innovative approach to grammar instruction, she published the Easy Grammar series, Daily Grams series, and Easy Grams Ultimate Series (grades 8–12). Dr. Phillips presents seminars to help homeschoolers. Her “Parents Improve Your Grammar in Minutes” workshop is based on Easy Grammar’s Guide for Parents, a book that helps parents identify and change mistakes easily. Wanda’s goal is to serve the Lord in this capacity.
Heather Mader lives in a household full of music with her husband and four children. “Have Faith, Have Fun” is their motto. She loves to encourage homeschooling families to heed the Lord’s leading in every aspect of life, love, and education. Heather also loves to bring stories to life as a voice-over artist, which is handy for family read-alouds.
Copyright, 2014. Used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine, July/August 2014. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.