As a homeschool, one of the most important skills you can teach your child is how to write effectively. Proper punctuation is a key component of good writing, and the Oxford comma is one punctuation mark that can make a big difference in the clarity and effectiveness of a sentence.

The Oxford comma, also known as the serial comma, is the comma that comes before the final item in a list of three or more items. For example, consider the following sentence:

“I need to buy milk, bread and eggs.”

Without the Oxford comma, this sentence could be interpreted in two different ways. One interpretation is that the speaker needs to buy milk, bread, and eggs. The other interpretation is that the speaker needs to buy milk and bread, and also needs eggs for some other purpose.

By including the Oxford comma, the sentence becomes unambiguous:

“I need to buy milk, bread, and eggs.”

As you can see, the Oxford comma eliminates any confusion about the speaker’s intended meaning. This is especially important in more complex sentences where the meaning can be even more easily misconstrued.

Teaching your child the importance of the Oxford comma can help them develop better writing skills and improve their ability to communicate clearly. Here are a few reasons why learning the Oxford comma is great for homeschoolers:

1. It teaches attention to detail
The Oxford comma is all about paying attention to details. By teaching your child to use the Oxford comma, you’re helping them develop a habit of paying close attention to the details of language and how they can impact meaning. 

2. It encourages critical thinking
Using the Oxford comma requires critical thinking skills. Your child will need to consider the impact of their word choices and the structure of their sentences in order to effectively communicate their intended meaning.

3. It improves writing skills
Proper punctuation is essential for effective writing. By mastering the Oxford comma, your child will be better equipped to write clearly and effectively, which will help them in all areas of their academic and professional life.

2. It helps with standardized testing
Many standardized tests, such as the SAT and ACT, require students to use proper punctuation. Knowing how to use the Oxford comma can give your child an advantage when it comes to these tests.

Overall, the Oxford comma is a small but important part of good writing. By teaching your child to use it properly, you’re helping them develop important skills that will benefit them for years to come.

In our training, we love the Oxford Comma because it tells your student how to read the sentence out loud. This writing by ear is the key to good punctuation. For more info: