Write It Right on National Punctuation Day ~ by Jennifer Smeltser

On Thursday, September 24, Jeff Rubin and his wife, Norma, will celebrate National Punctuation Day (NPD), which is an event they created more than 10 years ago. You may wonder why they would create such an event, and the logical explanation is because “Punctuation counts. A misplaced comma can alter the meaning of a message.

As homeschoolers, we do understand the importance of punctuation and it’s proper use. There is nothing worse than reading a sentence with punctuation gone haywire.

How many of you just cringed while reading the previous paragraph? Believe me; it was just as difficult for me to write as it was for you to read.

Let us try that again.

As homeschoolers, we do understand the importance of punctuation and its proper use. Is that better?

The Rubins, also known as Mr. and Mrs. Punctuation, have gone all out for this event by even creating an official dish, Punctuation Meat Loaf. To further highlight the importance of punctuation, Mr. and Mrs. Punctuation take the fun to schools making guest appearances in classrooms and assemblies sharing through their program Punctuation Playtime. The 45-minute program is geared toward children in first through sixth grades and makes an otherwise boring subject fun and entertaining, and has been a great way to promote literacy in children.

I must admit I never realized brackets [ ] or { } were punctuation marks. I just never thought about it, because I do not use them often unless I am using them for personal work to make notes. They are neat looking symbols on my keyboard that I thought I should use for something. Instead of using them, I have been using the dash – when I should have been using brackets and using a comma , when I should have been using a dash - . Oh my goodness! What did they teach me in that school?

Along with the correct usage for brackets, the Rubins include an explanation of the proper use of 13 of the 14 commonly used punctuation marks. In fact, all of the symbols have a specific purpose. Are you using them correctly?

What are you teaching your children in school about punctuation? Jeff has quite a few valuable resources that may be helpful with teaching punctuation to your children as well as offering a quick refresher for you. If you need a refresher before the annual day of celebration, visit the National Punctuation Day website and brush up on a few punctuation marks, write a few sentences and make the teacher in you proud.

Thanks to Jennifer Smeltser of HomeLife Academy for this article.
HomeLife Academy is a private school that has been serving homeschool families for over 11 years. We offer families freedom and flexibility while providing them with legal coverage and the support of a full records and counseling staff. Visit our website to find out more about HomeLife. 

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