Jan 5, 2015

The Great Grammar Discovery

We have had quite the grammar journey in our family. We started simple, went to rigorous, tried some popular curriculums and some not-so-well known ones, and even experimented with the living book route. In short, we did everything but give up completely. Now these methods and products are not bad ones and I'm not telling you what they are simply because I have no desire to knock. They simply did not work for us. At all.

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As we progressed through the list, I found myself wishing for a little bit of each program, only combined together. I wanted something simple and easy to do (without a lot of writing for my handwriting phobic kids) but rigorous in that it taught the heavy stuff and not just the fluff. I wanted something that incorporated real literature but used hands-on methods of marking up sentences and lots and lots and lots of review. My kids grasp concepts quickly, but easily forget them if they don't use them. Often. So I knew I needed lots and lots and lots and LOTS of review.

First thing we did was drop all grammar in early elementary. I got tired of trying to force concrete brains to absorb abstract concepts and we just stopped. That helped everyone.

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The second thing we did was start using Fix It! Grammar from IEW. I love this program, and, just as importantly, my kids do, too! It is based on a real story, not made-up-for-a-grammar-exercise-sentences. The kids learn one new grammar concept a week. They use that grammar concept each day as they label parts of speech, punctuate, and edit one sentence a day.

It takes us less than 15 minutes a day. They are learning the heavy stuff, it's as hands-on as grammar gets, It uses a real story. And the genius part? It has built-in, uncomplicated, review. When they mark their sentences, they are required to mark or edit every topic they have already been taught. So once they learn about nouns, they use that info every day as they look for the nouns to label in their sentence.

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We use Fix It! slightly differently than it is intended. I only print out the actual worksheets for them. Kaytie, Nate and I sit down all together and I read the information and directions. They read aloud the sentence and define the bolded vocabulary word. We are supposed to look it up in the dictionary. However, they know how to use a dictionary and they already know the definitions for the words we have encountered so far. So they just tell me the definition and we go on. Then they mark their sentences and check them right away. If they make an error or don't mark everything required then we discuss it until they understand. Then they rewrite the sentence and put their stuff away and we are done.

It was a long journey to get here but Fix It! Grammar is a discovery that is worth the struggle it took to find.

This post is a part of the 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair. This week's theme is Playing With Words: Language Arts click on the links below to read more entries to the fair!

Building a Foundation of Words by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Language Arts for 2015 by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses

Bible-Based Language Arts Resources by Tauna M @ Proverbial Homemaker

Relaxed Homeschooling: Language Arts in the Early Elementary Years by Brittney @ Mom's Heart

Loving Books and Words by Sarah@Delivering Grace

5 Language Arts Resources We Love by Becky @ Milo & Oats

Teaching Reading at Home: A Tale of 5 Readers by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset

A More Simplistic Approach to 7th Grade Language Arts by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

Language Arts Reading for Delight-Directed Learning by Susan @ The Every Day of Education

How To: Spelling Dictation by Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity

The World of Words in our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

Unschooling and Words, Words, Words by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun

Learning With Literature and Language Arts Resources by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road

Words and More Words! by Michele @ FamilyFaithandFridays

Language Arts in Our Homeschool (2014 � 2015) by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World

Our curriculum choices ~ Language Arts by Renata @ Sunnyside Farm Fun

The 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair ~ Language Arts in Our Homeschool by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life

Loaded Pistols: Virtual Curriculum Fair Playing with Words by Lisa @ Golden Grasses

A Renewed Focus on Reading Aloud by Debra @Footprints in the Butter

Language Arts in our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool by Sharra @ The Homeschool Marm

Logic of English Foundations: The Grand Prize Winner of Phonics by Chelli @ The Planted Trees

A Sentence a Day Teaches Grammar the Fun Way by Amy A @ One Blessed Mamma

Tackling Language Arts by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

Middle School Monday - Lightning Literature and Composition by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

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