To Diagram or Not To Diagram

To diagram or not to diagram, that is the question.

I can't really remember when I began diagramming sentences, but I know it must have been somewhere around third grade. Each year that dreaded form of learning continued with new additional lines or rocket ships being added to that one little horizontal line. 

Diagramming was a minor problem in all my high school English classes that helped in keeping my grade ~ average. The major problem was I had three English teachers and none of them were willing to spend extra time to help. I remember having my weekly grade report filled out for my coaches and how I would sweat bullets when it came to my English grade. For students to play sports the following week, we had to have no lower than a  C- on the report.  One week, I remember my English teacher writing a "D" on my paper. I was hurt; not surprised. When she looked up at me, she stated, "Lori, all you have to do is get a handle on diagramming, and you could have better grades." I was almost in tears, I was not going to get to play basketball at the following week's games. I quietly asked, "Will I need diagramming when I go to college?" The blank look I received from this teacher, told me that I more than likely would need it. For some reason, that teacher showed me grace and changed that "D" to a "C-" that day.

I wrote HERE that diagramming was a needed thing for college and I really did not make myself clear on this. If a young person is going to be attending one of the bigger Christian colleges, then diagramming is going to be needed. If a young person is attending a secular college, diagramming is not needed.

I keep in touch with three former students who are all in college. I sent them this message...
I need an honest opinion from you because I can't remember that far back ~ Did/do you really need diagramming in college? What about labeling the parts of speech? I know you three are not in a college that deals with a lot of Abeka, so I'm wondering about the "real world" colleges. ~ Thanks!
These are the responses that I received...
I am going to school to be an English teacher and I have yet to use diagramming. Most middle schoolers do not know anything beyond a subject or a verb. I definitely think it gives you the upper hand to know the different parts of speech, but I think diagramming is not necessary at all. Hope that helps you!
Yeah, I'm with ----. I took two English classes & I never had to deal with diagramming. It definitely helped knowing the parts of speech though!
Yeah, I have never had to use it either.
After doing some thinking and looking back at some of my college work, I never used diagramming. But, knowing the parts of speech was a big deal in all of the writings.

So, is diagramming a I Have To Teach thing? Not at all. Is it a useful tool? Absolutely, but there are other methods to learning the parts of speech. Will I be diagramming sentences with Jamie? No, we are using the labeling method with Winston Grammar.

Diagramming sentences is one of those things a home educating parent can choose to teach or not teach. It's definitely up to them in choosing a method that works for their family.

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