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What is your favourite open and go grammar?


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I'm looking at simplifying and reducing some of DS10's workload.  He has just completed FLL3 and we are both ready for something else. We are looking for a program that is not intense, can be done in about 10 minutes a day, is open and go, and can be worked on fairly independently.  We would prefer something that doesn't have a tonne of memory work.

I feel he needs grammar instruction, however his current workload is heavy and weighing him down, so I would like to start reducing/simplifying, and grammar is the first area to get a chop. We would like something that is quite unlike FLL and maybe workbook-y.

Would love to hear any suggestions (no MCT - have tried and disliked this one). 

Sorry meant to add: prefer secular

 

 

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I reduced grammar to a review book for my 4th and 6th graders this year, so we could focus on other things. They're using Daily Language Review by Evan-Moor, one grade ahead of the rest of their language arts. It never takes more than ten minutes if they're focused (translate: not dawdling), and I'm content with the concepts it covers.  This fall they'll go back to a full grammar course.

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I'm looking at simplifying and reducing some of DS10's workload.  He has just completed FLL3 and we are both ready for something else. We are looking for a program that is not intense, can be done in about 10 minutes a day, is open and go, and can be worked on fairly independently.  We would prefer something that doesn't have a tonne of memory work.

I feel he needs grammar instruction, however his current workload is heavy and weighing him down, so I would like to start reducing/simplifying, and grammar is the first area to get a chop. We would like something that is quite unlike FLL and maybe workbook-y.

Would love to hear any suggestions (no MCT - have tried and disliked this one). 

Sorry meant to add: prefer secular

 

I think Growing with Grammar meets all that you are looking for.

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Why is that?

 

Because Daily Grams is not primary instruction; Easy Grammar is. Although there is *some* instruction in DG, it isn't as comprehensive as EG, and it wasn't intended to be the primary instruction. The author now recommends doing them simultaneously, but I have the temerity to disagree with her, lol. Easy Grammar first, then DG the next year, then Easy Grammar, then one more DG (or the Ultimate series, which is DG for older dc, depending on how old the child is).

 

A child who has had pretty extensive grammar already should be able to do DG, with a little adjustment time for differences in methodology and vocabulary and whatnot.

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Okay, thank you - can IEW's Fix It be used if we are not using other IEW products?

Will check out Easy Grammar too.  We tried GWG a number of years ago and I can't recall why we stopped using it.

 

We are using Fix It without ever having used any other IEW product.  

 

I didn't mention Fix It, because we don't use it independently.  But...I think you can do it that way.  I have a blog post about Fix It, if you're interested.  

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Because Daily Grams is not primary instruction; Easy Grammar is. Although there is *some* instruction in DG, it isn't as comprehensive as EG, and it wasn't intended to be the primary instruction. The author now recommends doing them simultaneously, but I have the temerity to disagree with her, lol. Easy Grammar first, then DG the next year, then Easy Grammar, then one more DG (or the Ultimate series, which is DG for older dc, depending on how old the child is).

 

A child who has had pretty extensive grammar already should be able to do DG, with a little adjustment time for differences in methodology and vocabulary and whatnot.

Yep, ok, that's what I meant- if they have a good grasp on grammar already, then they can do DG, so they don't lose what they have already learned etc...

 

My dd 12 came from CLE LA 5 and finds DG7 easy-peasy. :-D

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JAG and AG

 

I never used JAG, but we used AG in 6th-8th grade.  Here is my review:

 

Analytical Grammar website is www.analyticalgrammar.com.  The videos at the website do a great job of explaining the program.  AG breaks it up into 3 seasons/years.  Season 1 has 10 weeks of daily grammar work, then review 1x every 2 weeks.  Season 2 has 7 weeks of daily grammar work, then review 1x every month.  Season 3 has 17 weeks of daily grammar work and then you are done.  It can be completed in 1 or 2 years as well.  We completed the program as they suggest in 6 th-7th-8th grade with review between the seasons.

 

Season 1 - basic grammar (parts of speech, parts of a sentence, basics of diagramming)

Season 2 - advanced grammar (verbal phrases and subordinate clauses) (this completes the study of grammar)

Season 3 - application of grammatical knowledge to the rules of capitalization, punctuation and usage

 

Pros:

  • Clear and concise
  • Pick up and go (little to no preparation required from mom)
  • Teach lesson on first day of week and student can work on their own for rest of week.  Only checking/correcting required from mom.
  • Each lesson in Season 1 has a theme (American flag, humorous Johnny Carson story, women & math, Mexican-Americans, Martin Luther King Jr., Jewish Americans, fairy tales, etc.) which makes the lessons more interesting.
  • Built-in review – new concepts are learned, but old concepts (ex. adverbs, conjunctions, gerund phrases) are never dropped.
  • Sentences are much more complex than Shurley grammar.
  • The review paragraphs are from real books (in other words, the sentences are not made up especially for grammar parsing).
  • Novelty of getting a letter grade on test
  • Comfort of letter grade for perfectionist mom (ds is missing some but still getting As/Bs)
  • Student book turns into a reference manual when you remove student exercises.
  • Erin Karl (author’s daughter) is very responsive to questions on AG yahoo group.

 

Cons:

  • While I thought Season 1 was perfect, we could have used 2x as much practice/review for Season 2 (because it’s difficult) and 3 (because it’s detailed).
  • Some say it’s expensive.  I spent $120 but will use it over 3 years.  It has been worth every penny in the TIME that it has saved me.

 

Disclaimer:  I have a master’s degree in Operations Research, which is concerned with all things efficiency.  Part of the reason I love AG is that it is the most efficient use of my time and my child’s time.  This leaves time for other wonderful things like math, history, music, and sports!  I imagine that if you are a good teacher, and you teach grammar year after year after year, you learn to make your lessons more and more efficient.  That must be with the author, Robin Finley, did.

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Easy Grammar worked pretty well here. It does start by having them memorize prepositions though. I told my kids to work on them for a week & if they knew them, we'd go out for ice cream. They loved that idea and did learn them. I found it helped a lot to start with prepositions, and it made taking sentences apart easier. 

 

I don't do grammar every year though. Consider whether he needs a break and whether in a year it would be easier to learn some of this. 

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Easy Grammar.

 

Yes--as someone else said they're supposed to memorize the prepositions. This took us a long time, so we did it simultaneously as we progressed through the book. It wasn't too big of a deal not to have them all memorized for the first 20 or 30 pages.

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Easy Grammar worked pretty well here. It does start by having them memorize prepositions though. I told my kids to work on them for a week & if they knew them, we'd go out for ice cream. They loved that idea and did learn them. I found it helped a lot to start with prepositions, and it made taking sentences apart easier. 

 

I don't do grammar every year though. Consider whether he needs a break and whether in a year it would be easier to learn some of this. 

 

I did notice the preposition memorisation with Easy Grammar. After FLL3 we are trying to avoid programs with lengthy memorisations.  Apart from the preposition memorisation - is there much else in the way of memory work?  I want a program that will allow him to use the grammar he learns, in context.  DS hasn't retained all of the memorisations in FLL3.  I asked him what an adverb was and he said "An adverb is a word that describes..... um... was it another verb or something"...  So after a full year of FLL memorisations he hasn't retained it all. 

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I did notice the preposition memorisation with Easy Grammar. After FLL3 we are trying to avoid programs with lengthy memorisations.  Apart from the preposition memorisation - is there much else in the way of memory work?  I want a program that will allow him to use the grammar he learns, in context.  DS hasn't retained all of the memorisations in FLL3.  I asked him what an adverb was and he said "An adverb is a word that describes..... um... was it another verb or something"...  So after a full year of FLL memorisations he hasn't retained it all. 

 

The prepositions are the only things that the dc memorize, and really, you can work on those some, and then just print the list and refer to it as needed.

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If you want something workbooky and unlike FLL that takes 10 minutes for a lesson, then you might want to check out Evan-Moor or Hake. Evan-Moor is a public school workbook type of open-and-go grammar, and Hake is to grammar what Saxon is to math (IMO). We haven't used either, but one of these might be what you want. HTH.

 

Just wanted to add that we did use Growing with Grammar, and hated it intensely.

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If you want something workbooky and unlike FLL that takes 10 minutes for a lesson, then you might want to check out Evan-Moor or Hake. Evan-Moor is a public school workbook type of open-and-go grammar, and Hake is to grammar what Saxon is to math (IMO). We haven't used either, but one of these might be what you want. HTH.

 

Just wanted to add that we did use Growing with Grammar, and hated it intensely.

 

Thanks I am looking at Hake now.  We tried GWG back in grade 1 or 2 but cannot recall why we stopped, it could have been that there was no retention.

 

I wouldn't mind something that is GWG in style, but better quality.

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Love Saxon Grammar and Writing and he's the PERFECT age for it.    (Saxon Grammar and Writing is the same as HAKE Grammar;  Hake became Saxon Grammar).     The 2nd editions of Saxon Grammar and Writing offer it for Grades 4 through 8.    The First Edition offers it for Grades 5-8.     What are the difference in the two editions?   The 2nd edition offers a few more writing assignments.    It is SO easy to implement!!!      

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Love Saxon Grammar and Writing and he's the PERFECT age for it.    (Saxon Grammar and Writing is the same as HAKE Grammar;  Hake became Saxon Grammar).     The 2nd editions of Saxon Grammar and Writing offer it for Grades 4 through 8.    The First Edition offers it for Grades 5-8.     What are the difference in the two editions?   The 2nd edition offers a few more writing assignments.    It is SO easy to implement!!!      

 

This is what I couldn't work out from their site - is it a writing program too? Perhaps that is why a lesson takes 30-50 mins? 

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This is what I couldn't work out from their site - is it a writing program too? Perhaps that is why a lesson takes 30-50 mins? 

Yes, it's a writing program as well.   You can opt to do a different writing path quite easily if you already have another writing curriculum you want to use

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Going to second or maybe third Analytical Grammar. My 13 yrs olds put the video in on Monday to watch the videos and then does the activity and corrects it themselves. Then they do the next activity Tuesday and correct, next activity Wednesday and correct, next activity Thurs and correct and Friday is test day and correct. Everything is in the book and very much do the next thing and open and go. Saves time and energy. Independently done by girls.

 

I do absolutely NOTHING other than put it on their schedule. 

I am so excited to see that they will have a cool grammar reference book for the rest of their lives once they are done with their program.  

 

 Not sure how JAG would work with younger kids. Going to try it out with my 11yrs old next year. I will post back. She works much slower and memory issues are hard for her. 

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I never used JAG, but we used AG in 6th-8th grade. Here is my review:

 

Analytical Grammar website is www.analyticalgrammar.com. The videos at the website do a great job of explaining the program. AG breaks it up into 3 seasons/years. Season 1 has 10 weeks of daily grammar work, then review 1x every 2 weeks. Season 2 has 7 weeks of daily grammar work, then review 1x every month. Season 3 has 17 weeks of daily grammar work and then you are done. It can be completed in 1 or 2 years as well. We completed the program as they suggest in 6 th-7th-8th grade with review between the seasons.

 

Season 1 - basic grammar (parts of speech, parts of a sentence, basics of diagramming)

Season 2 - advanced grammar (verbal phrases and subordinate clauses) (this completes the study of grammar)

Season 3 - application of grammatical knowledge to the rules of capitalization, punctuation and usage

 

Pros:

  • Clear and concise
  • Pick up and go (little to no preparation required from mom)
  • Teach lesson on first day of week and student can work on their own for rest of week. Only checking/correcting required from mom.
  • Each lesson in Season 1 has a theme (American flag, humorous Johnny Carson story, women & math, Mexican-Americans, Martin Luther King Jr., Jewish Americans, fairy tales, etc.) which makes the lessons more interesting.
  • Built-in review – new concepts are learned, but old concepts (ex. adverbs, conjunctions, gerund phrases) are never dropped.
  • Sentences are much more complex than Shurley grammar.
  • The review paragraphs are from real books (in other words, the sentences are not made up especially for grammar parsing).
  • Novelty of getting a letter grade on test
  • Comfort of letter grade for perfectionist mom (ds is missing some but still getting As/Bs)
  • Student book turns into a reference manual when you remove student exercises.
  • Erin Karl (author’s daughter) is very responsive to questions on AG yahoo group.
Cons:
  • While I thought Season 1 was perfect, we could have used 2x as much practice/review for Season 2 (because it’s difficult) and 3 (because it’s detailed).
  • Some say it’s expensive. I spent $120 but will use it over 3 years. It has been worth every penny in the TIME that it has saved me.
Disclaimer: I have a master’s degree in Operations Research, which is concerned with all things efficiency. Part of the reason I love AG is that it is the most efficient use of my time and my child’s time. This leaves time for other wonderful things like math, history, music, and sports! I imagine that if you are a good teacher, and you teach grammar year after year after year, you learn to make your lessons more and more efficient. That must be with the author, Robin Finley, did.
I love the efficiency as well.

 

JAG - 11 weeks basic grammar (parts of speech, parts of a sentence, basics of diagramming)

JAG Mechanics - 15 weeks application of grammatical knowledge to the rules of capitalization, punctuation and usage

 

They recommend starting in 4th or 5th grade.

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  • 4 months later...
Guest MichelleWay71

Because Daily Grams is not primary instruction; Easy Grammar is. Although there is *some* instruction in DG, it isn't as comprehensive as EG, and it wasn't intended to be the primary instruction. The author now recommends doing them simultaneously, but I have the temerity to disagree with her, lol. Easy Grammar first, then DG the next year, then Easy Grammar, then one more DG (or the Ultimate series, which is DG for older dc, depending on how old the child is).

 

A child who has had pretty extensive grammar already should be able to do DG, with a little adjustment time for differences in methodology and vocabulary and whatnot.

 

Thank you, Ellie.  I am new to Easy Grammar and was having trouble trying to figure out the best way to use DG.  This really helps.

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Okay, thank you - can IEW's Fix It be used if we are not using other IEW products?

Will check out Easy Grammar too.  We tried GWG a number of years ago and I can't recall why we stopped using it.

 

I use Fix-It Grammar without using any other IEW products.  It's an independent grammar program.

 

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We tried GWG back in grade 1 or 2 but cannot recall why we stopped, it could have been that there was no retention.

 

I wouldn't mind something that is GWG in style, but better quality.

 

I tried GWG with my son. I found that it was extremely formula-driven with very little concept. All the practice exercises contained sentences that were a) poorly written and b) nearly exact replicas of one another in style. All my ds had to do was figure out the pattern of the sentences and go through and mark them. He didn't have to actually understand what he was doing. He learned, literally, nothing. It was a a huge flop here.

 

Hake will take a LOT longer than 10 minutes a day. I think it is an OUTSTANDING program, but it's not lickety-split quick.

 

I recommend either Ridgewood Grammar or Rules of the Game, both from EPS. Ridgewood is for 3-5, RotG is for (I think) 6-10.

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