Grammar has always been the unwanted stepchild of Language Arts. Very few will argue that it has a place and even a necessity, but somewhere along the way, certainly in the past twenty or thirty years it has gained a possibly undeserved but nevertheless earned reputation: Grammar is boring! All those rules and rigid
Along came diagramming. Again not a terrible idea, certainly it’s one way to dissect a perfectly innocent sentence. What it can hardly be accused of is fun. Certainly not approachable by your average student. Absolutely not a great way to instill the true purpose of grammar: to create concise, creative, clear-headed writers.
Therefore, what seems to be happening over time, over school years, is that the teaching of grammar has been either segmented into a small, hummingly boring segment of the school year; a sort of torturous cram-session to get all the terms and rules in then it’s time to move on to the fun stuff. Worse, what happens in other instances is that grammar is being left out altogether, the assumption that students will “pick it up” as they read and write.
The truth is, the skill of writing, once felt to be pretty much a given, is slipping. Writing well is not assumed anymore, and just ask many college acceptance boards, not to mention employers and would-be employers, they are not just getting it. And writing is suffering for it.