Children can cope with learning grammar from the age of 5. Over the last 21 years, we have worked with schools to develop synthetic phonics programs and, latterly, grammar programs to cater for early years learning. We know that children at a young age display a good knowledge of how to use language: they already use perfect tenses such as “I have been playing”, they will use the continuous tense; “I was watching television”.
We shouldn’t view the teaching of grammar as difficult or something children will not be able to deal with but as something to get excited about. Grammar gives them a better understanding of what they are already using. Taking a child beyond their initial experience is all part of learning and hugely rewarding for child and for the teacher.
As the child constructs sentences with the tools they’re being given then a stability develops that doesn’t exist if the child is expected to just pick it up through reading in context.