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I'm looking for a grammar program for my two middle schoolers (rising 6th and 8th).  I've looked at the WTM recommendations, but they seem largely religious and our charter school won't cover that expense.  What are secular grammar options for these grades?  Thanks!

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We use Hake Grammar (also known as Saxon Grammar).  I'm pretty sure it was recommended in a past edition of WTM.  We do not use the writing portion of the program - we only use the grammar portion.  The grammar book has a soft cover and students are supposed to write their answers in separate notebooks.  My kids write directly in the workbook.  There is enough white space on the pages to write directly in the book and to diagram sentences too.  The formatting of the grammar book is ugly.  You need to take a deep breath and look beyond the formatting in order to appreciate this program. 

The lessons can be self-taught by the kids, or the parent can review the lessons with the kids.  Beyond the basic grammar lessons, there are vocabulary words, dictation passages, and journal ideas.  (We don't use the dictation or journal ideas - mostly b/c there is not enough time in the day to do it all.)  My kids are strong in grammar.  They are using the book numbers corresponding to their grade levels (Level 5 for 5th grade; and Level 6 for 6th grade).  I think the levels are appropriate.  Not too hard, not too easy.  My kids would probably have done fine in the next higher level, but there are so many other priorities that I didn't want grammar to become a major headache. 

There is a lot to like about this program.  It's too bad the author/publisher did not spend more time creating an aesthetically pleasing workbook format.

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We love Analytical Grammar! Easy to teach, open & go, spreads out over 2-3 years, thorough, so far has worked for my 3 oldest who are all very different learning styles, and when they're done with it they're done with grammar and just need to be held accountable for it in their writing.

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We've also been very happy with Analytical Grammar. I can all be covered in one (fairly intense) year if you would like your oldest to finish grammar before high school. Otherwise, you can spread it out however you like. 

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Middle school is a great time to hit grammar hard.  We used MCT which worked well with my kids, but it's not everybody's thing.  Dd got a 34 on the English portion of the ACT after doing a Magic Lens 1 two years ago. 

If your charter school will cover it, Barbarian Diagrammatian is an excellent grammar intensive! It doesn't cover punctuation or usage really, but it is a well designed grammar class and Mr Barr runs it very well.  I believe they are actually launching a print version of the class, but I'm uncertain of the release date.

Good luck choosing!

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  • 3 weeks later...

We use Hake as well. As stated above, it ain’t perty but it gits ‘er dun! I needed something for mine that did not have a ton of sentence diagramming and had lots of review. We also skip all the writing for now and use thevtext as a write-in wkbk.

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We use AG as well and have spread it out over the years but using only in the summers. I guess there is no grammar book that can be exciting. I would have gone with Lukeion's grammar, but we haven't been able to find the time, and from what I remember, it seems better to take this class before starting Latin. FWIW, Dd took the SAT and the multiple choice portion that has the grammar section was easy for her.

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