Grammar has been the thorn in the side of my existence as a homeschool mom; finding a program that worked but that wasn’t dull and dry has been a real challenge. Along came an opportunity to review Fix It! Grammar which promised short lessons and the opportunity for students to apply grammar concepts in context. I knew that Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) created quality products and so I decided I would give it a chance and see how it worked for my daughter. We started at the beginning and review Student Book 1, The Nose Tree.
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The program is built around four, approximately fifteen-minute long lessons per week. The first day took a bit longer than that as we got set up and my daughter and I both got learned how the program worked. After the first day, she was able to finish each day’s assignments in 10 to 15 minutes. I went over each day’s work with her but (after that first day) she was able to complete the work independently.
In each lesson a student only has to work with one sentence. They read the sentence and then in their notebooks define the one word that is in bold print. Next, they mark the sentence for grammar by marking the parts of speech that have been taught thus far as well as fixing any mistakes. Once they have it corrected, they turn to a second section in their notebook and add that sentence to the story that they are working on, making sure to include the correction punctuation and any fixes they noted in their books. Each sentence from the beginning to the end of the book adds to the same story. This makes it fun for them to find out what happens next. This whole process generally takes no more than fifteen minutes.
The student workbook also includes grammar cards with the different concepts to cut out and use for review. They are double sided with the concept on one side and an explanation on the other. For example, the first card says “Nouns N” and then the back gives the definition of a noun and a couple of tips for helping determine if a word is truly a noun.
“I liked the story and how it kept adding on to the same story. I also liked how it slowly added in things like nouns and pronouns and did not have me try to remember them all at once. ” Elizabeth, Age 11
The teachers manual shows the sentences that are in the student workbook with the appropriate corrections. It also includes explanations and helpful tips. For example, when it taught about quotation marks, the teacher tip explained why quotation marks were supposed to be curved but were sometimes straight because of type writers. There is also a glossary at the back of the teachers manual and the student workbook which have lots of great grammatical information. It explains concepts like Oxford comma, capitalization rules, and clauses.
Fix It! Grammar turned out to be a great program for my daughter. Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) did an excellent job offering a high quality, thorough program that is easy to implement (all the busy moms rejoice) and engaging. Other reviewers from the Review Crew checked out other levels of Fix It! Grammar so make sure to check out some of the other reviews at the link below.
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