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Hake Grammar vs. GWG?

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I haven't used either program (and I hope that someone who has will enlighten us!) but I was just comparing these two yesterday, so I couldn't resist jumping in. :) Going by the table of contents, you can see a pretty big difference in teaching style. GWG builds on a topic before moving on to the next one. For example, here are the topics of the first three lessons from chapter two:



Commas and Adjectives

Articles and Appositive Adjectives


By contrast, Hake takes a very spiral approach, switching from topic to topic rapidly. Here are three lessons in a row:


Verbals: The Gerund as a Subject

Capitalization: Titles, Outlines, Quotations

The Progressive Verb Form


I don't know if that helps you make a decision, but it sure helped me. Hake would drive MY daughter absolutely batty. It switches around so much that her head would be spinning. But some kids do well with a spiral approach, so obviously YMMV. Just wanted to point that out in case it would be of help. I do hope you hear from others who have actually used them, though. Good luck!


ETA: Forgot to mention that I was comparing the 7th grade books, because that's what I was looking at for next year.

Edited by GretaLynne
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My son, who struggles with language skills, has done very well with Hake. He will be using it for the 3rd year this year. I've been so happy with the program, my dd, who does not struggle, will likely begin it this year in 5th grade.


It is the continual review, the great explanations and practice problems and the fact that the problems are mixed, rather than all of one kind that have made it a success for ds.


I do let him write in the book and it doesn't take particularly long to do. He never complains about it. He has a feeling of success because of it. We do not use the writing, except the studied dictation at times.



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I agree with Paradox5 and her comments fort GWG. My 4th grade DS Hated FLL. Too much repetition and structure. We love GWG - you're in; you're out. Short lessons that can be done independently. Throw in a few chants for linking verbs, etc. then a viewing of schoolhouse Rick parts of speech, and you're good to go!

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I've used both (GWG 3 and Hake 5).


I found that the way GWG was structured (at least at level 3) it was too easy for my son to find a pattern, apply it to a group of sentences, appear that he was understanding the concept, while really having no clue. Even when he did have a clue, he forgot what he learned because there was no review beyond the chapter the lesson was in.


The continual review (with increasing difficulty level) really worked for my son. And it allowed me to relax because if he didn't understand something on the first day, he had a zillion more chances to get it in the future. The sentences in the exercises can be fairly complicated, which really made him have to think. And it really drills capitalization and punctuation, which my son needed.


GWG is a good product. I just found Hake to be more effective for my son.

Edited by EKS
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My ds tried FLL 1 and it just had too much repetition for him. So, I tried GWG 1/2 when it was still one book. He just finished GWG 6 a couple of weeks ago and is enjoying a grammar break for the rest of the summer.


We both looked at the Table of Contents for Levels 7 & 8 on the website. They are much more challenging, just what he needs! He does great with English grammar and it has provided a great grammar frame of reference for foreign language study, as well. I haven't had him do the tests for the 1-6 levels, but with the sets I have ordered for 7 & 8, I will have him do the tests for better retention.

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Having used both Hake and GWG, I have to say that Hake is far, far superior. GWG, imo, teaches kids to recognize patterns in the sample sentences, and that is all. It is very easy, and there isn't much review. You will read on TWTM many people who said that their kids used GWG and retained very little. I think that is because GWG never really taught the concept in the first place; the kids just looked at the sample sentences and found the same pattern in the exercises. I think GWG is grammar-lite or grammar-ultralite. (I know there are people who are happy with GWG and I don't mean to offend; this is just my experience of using/reviewing GWG.)


Hake is, imo, far more rigorous. The topics are introduced in broader depth, the exercises are just plain harder, and there is constant review. With Hake my student has to think and apply, not just recognize/circle. Also, whereas GWG just uses random sentences that have a "created for a grammar book" feel to them, Hake uses themes such as American history and geography and literature, so the exercises have more complex language and the student will actually learn something about a various topic while going through the lesson. I will say that I don't like it as much as FLL, but it is my second choice.


ETA: I know some people have complained about the amount of writing in Hake, as the student is supposed to copy everything onto separate paper. I let my daughter write in the book and I don't make her recopy it all.



Edited by TaraTheLiberator
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