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Æthelthryth the Texan

Grammar program comparison thread

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Can we play "let's compare grammar programs", the 2019 version? 

What did you use/are you using? 

How long did you use it and for which levels?

Is it writing heavy? If so is it easily modifiable to use on a whiteboard to work through with students? 

Did you feel it had a lot of busywork? Scale of 1-10- with 1 no busy work, 10 scads of busywork, how would you rate it? 

Did it (eventually) teach diagramming? 

How did it compare to any other grammar programs you may have used before or after?

Do you think it would be hard to jump into the program if using a different program perviously? 

If you had it to do over again would you still choose it? 

Anything else you'd like to add? 

****Personal interest in this- I'd particularly like to compare FLL, A Beka, R&S, CLE, and any other programs that eventually teach diagramming, and all of the comparison threads I'm finding seem to be older (2010-ish). Maybe they haven't changed enough since then to matter thought? That would be nice to know too. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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1 hour ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

What did you use/are you using? MCT

How long did you use it and for which levels? 4 Levels, multiple kids and we are still going

Is it writing heavy? If so is it easily modifiable to use on a whiteboard to work through with students? Not writing heavy. One sentence analysis a day.

Did you feel it had a lot of busywork? Scale of 1-10- with 1 no busy work, 10 scads of busywork, how would you rate it? 1 - only what us needed

Did it (eventually) teach diagramming? No, it teaches analysis in a different form. One of my kids went on to learn diagramming and it was very easy after MCT

How did it compare to any other grammar programs you may have used before or after? Other grammars I previewed were too long (too many years) and drawn out. I did/do use PLL and LOE which have a smidge of Grammar mixed in them and MCT is so much more effective for my students - high dose of non-repetitive learning that respects their intelligence.

Do you think it would be hard to jump into the program if using a different program perviously? Probably not because each year goes deeper into the grammar.

If you had it to do over again would you still choose it? Yes. I am doing it over again next year with my 4th child. My oldest scored a 33 on her English ACT mostly because of MCT (she stopped in 8th with Magic Lens 1).

Anything else you'd like to add? 

 

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I've used FLL all the way through with one kid, and plan to finish it with the next.  I've been very pleased with the program.  Both kids have retained the content very well.  I appreciated how much was oral (one of my kids really balks at writing).  Some say it's too repetitive, but I think that's a strength - my kids need the reinforcement.

I tried Grammar for the Well Trained Mind this year with my fifth grader and he hated it - too dense, too "grown up".  I think he's not mature enough for it yet.  It might be a better fit later.  For now I have him working through the exercises in The Giggly Guide to Grammar.  He's not far enough along for me to judge whether or not it's a success, but at least he likes it!

 

I realize I didn't actually answer your questions:

First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind

Used it for 4 years, grades 1-4, 2 kids.

Light on writing

No busy work

Introduction to diagramming taught. 

Would be easy to jump in from another program. 

I would still choose it.  It was pretty much a perfect fit for my kids.

 

Edited by wathe
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I have used all the ones on your list.

FLL- 1-3

ABeka- do not remember the level. Survived less than a week

R&S- 2-5

CLE- 100-300

Out of all these (and more) I liked FLL best. It was thorough, short and sweet daily, and long-term retention was high. My olders can still chant what we learned years later.

Will I use it again? No, actually. Not because of the program, but because I have changed the way I think about Lang Arts as a whole. What I have learned is teaching LA subjects in isolation for my kids is a bit of a waste of time. Yes, the kids can chant those definitions and do some diagramming, but it does not help for the reason we teach grammar in the first place-- writing. From here on out, I will be placing less emphasis on grammar and more on using it to write.

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10 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Can we play "let's compare grammar programs", the 2019 version? 

What did you use/are you using? I've used FLL 3, Fix It, and AG

How long did you use it and for which levels? FLL 1 year, Fix It 2 years, AG all the way through for 3 kids

Is it writing heavy? If so is it easily modifiable to use on a whiteboard to work through with students? Fix It is the most writing heavy but It's just 1 sentence/day so not onerous at all. AG would easily be used on a whiteboard although we've never done that.

Did you feel it had a lot of busywork? Scale of 1-10- with 1 no busy work, 10 scads of busywork, how would you rate it? FLL 7 or 8, Fix It 2, AG 4 (if you don't need all the exercises and do them all anyway)

Did it (eventually) teach diagramming? FLL and AG yes, Fix It no

How did it compare to any other grammar programs you may have used before or after? Those are the only 3 we've used

Do you think it would be hard to jump into the program if using a different program perviously? FLL 3 was no problem to jump into, Fix It might be ok if you already were familiar with the IEW lingo, AG I think requires the whole program

If you had it to do over again would you still choose it? I would not choose FLL again, too repetitive and scripted for me. I like Fix It as an easy intro to formal grammar in 4th and 5th, and AG as our "real" grammar program to teach the meat of diagramming in 6th-8th.

Anything else you'd like to add? 

****Personal interest in this- I'd particularly like to compare FLL, A Beka, R&S, CLE, and any other programs that eventually teach diagramming, and all of the comparison threads I'm finding seem to be older (2010-ish). Maybe they haven't changed enough since then to matter thought? That would be nice to know too. 

 

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15 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

 

What did you use/are you using?  Bookshark 2 (2nd grade), FLL 3 (3rd grade), and Cottage Press Fable & Song (4th grade).  I was a student of Abeka K-12

How long did you use it and for which levels?  See above

Is it writing heavy? If so is it easily modifiable to use on a whiteboard to work through with students? Cottage Press includes a writing program, so there is copywork, outlining, and rewriting of stories.  Also, it asks the student to find example of sentence type, parts of speech, descriptive verbs, etc in a book they are reading and add it to their copybook.

I remember Bookshark having too much writing for her age and asking for writing assignments and she would just sit with a blank page for a long time.

Did you feel it had a lot of busywork? Scale of 1-10- with 1 no busy work, 10 scads of busywork, how would you rate it? Bookshark = 1. FLL = 6, CP = 2, Abeka = 10

Did it (eventually) teach diagramming?   Bookshark:  I don't know.  FLL:  yes. CP:  yes.  Abeka:  yes.

How did it compare to any other grammar programs you may have used before or after?   

Bookshark, I can't really say... I only used the one level, and it may really change.  I felt it was weak though.

I like FLL for it's simplicity, but didn't like that it is completely teacher dependent and scripted.  The child's book has no instructions so the teacher has to explain what to do for every thing.  I think it had a good amount of review.  Memorization of poems and chants was great.  It was clear and easy for the student.  It was dry, but didn't bother my daughter.

Cottage Press is a mixed bag for me.  The more I try to find something better, the better CP looks.   I am not sure if I like that everything is included, but my daughter seems to like it now.  Initially it was a big jump in writing.  Now, she gets out the book, and does the copywork and writing sections herself.  It also includes some spelling studies of words in the reading passage.  She does those on her own.  It does have diagramming, and I love the sentences they use.  However, I have taught her since FLL to mark sentences (as I learned in Abeka) before diagramming.  Find the verb and underline twice, underline subject once, etc.  I think the next level of Cottage Press, Bards & Poets, would be too advance for my daughter as it is for grade 6-8.

Abeka has a solid grammar program with a lot of review.  It is busywork though and is boring when the student gets it.  I prefer the programs with sentences from classic literature.  It is very thorough, and I wouldn't mind just using their worksheets occasionally for my daughter to have some review.  From experience with their math curriculum, I know I wouldn't use their heavily scripted, classroom format teacher's manual.

Do you think it would be hard to jump into the program if using a different program perviously?  No, no of them would be a problem.

If you had it to do over again would you still choose it?   I would use FLL and Cottage Press again.

Anything else you'd like to add?    I also used LOE Foundations for K-1.  This level has almost no grammar but it did come with the grammar rule cards which I use to supplement.

****Personal interest in this- I'd particularly like to compare FLL, A Beka, R&S, CLE, and any other programs that eventually teach diagramming, and all of the comparison threads I'm finding seem to be older (2010-ish). Maybe they haven't changed enough since then to matter thought? That would be nice to know too.   This is of great interest to me right now too, but I want to hear more about MCT, Analytical Grammar, and CAP Well Ordered Language.  Diagramming is also important to me.

 

Edited by parent
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Another point I just remembered.  If your child is doing Latin, you are also getting an extra dose of grammar so keep that in mind.  Like Abeka + Latin sounds like overkill in elementary.

Edited by parent
Misspelled your:) Blaming my phone!
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What did you use/are you using? 
1.Grammarland
2.ELTL
3.Harvey's Elementary Grammar (middle school learner)
4.The First Whole Book Of Diagrams

How long did you use it and for which levels?
We used each for a year, level 3/C of ELTL.  The others stand alone

Is it writing heavy? If so is it easily modifiable to use on a whiteboard to work through with students? 
ELTL is an integrated writing program, with grammar learned through the literature and copywork.  It is very age appropriate in its demands and can be modified for the whiteboard.  Harvey's has a workbook available that was very nice, and it is easily modifiable to use on a whiteboard.  The First Whole Book of Diagrams is only as heavy as you make it.  It is deceptively simple in its layout.

Did you feel it had a lot of busywork? Scale of 1-10- with 1 no busy work, 10 scads of busywork, how would you rate it? 
1. 1
2. 3 (often two copywork pieces in a day)
3. 3 (workbook was mostly fill in the blank)
4. 1

Did it (eventually) teach diagramming? 
I do believe 2, 3, and 4 all teach diagramming, but it's been a few years since Harvey's so I'm not sure

How did it compare to any other grammar programs you may have used before or after?
They all covered the basics, but each had its strengths for the age I was using it

Do you think it would be hard to jump into the program if using a different program previously? 
No, for all of them.

If you had it to do over again would you still choose it? 
These, yes.  I didn't list any I didn't like. 🙂

Anything else you'd like to add? 

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What did you use/are you using? 
grammar "spine"
- Winston (main instruction) - gr. 3-8
grammar instruction resource (for ME in how to understand/teach grammar)
- booklet by Joyce Herzog (now expanded to 6 Weeks to Understanding Grammar)
grammar supplements
- homemade dictations (similar to Sonlight), working with words/sentences - grades 3-6
- Mad Libs, and, Grammar Ad Libs (parts of speech) - grades 1-3
- Schoolhouse Rock: Grammar videos and computer game (parts of speech) - grades 3-4
- Comicstrip Grammar (worksheet practice of various concepts) - grade 5-6
- Take Five Minutes: A History Fact a Day for Editing (proof-editing practice) - grades 4-5
- Editor in Chief (proof-editing practice) - grade 6-7
- Daily Grams (grammar review/practice) - grade 8
grammar review
- Chortling Bard = gr. 9-12 -- we did it about 2x/week
(program is a paragraph a day, each building on to a story that is a humorous retelling of a Shakespeare play; covers review of grammar concepts, proof-editing, vocabulary)

My answers below are all about Winston Grammar:

How long did you use it / and for which levels?
grades 3-8  /  all 3 levels (Basic, Word Works, Advanced)

Is it writing heavy?  /  If so is it easily modifiable to use on a whiteboard to work through with students? 
NO  /  YES
Winston also has "cue cards" that the student can use and place next to each word in the sentence to help figure out what part of speech each word is, and how it is working (what it's "job" in the sentence is).

Did you feel it had a lot of busywork? Scale of 1-10- with 1 no busy work, 10 scads of busywork, how would you rate it? 
NO /  2-3

Did it (eventually) teach diagramming? 
NO  (however: I adapted Winston and on the whiteboard we used colored markers and we *parsed* (used arrows, boxes/circles, lines) to show the simple subject & predicate, and then how all the other words/phrases were connected to/adding on to this "simple sentence")

How did it compare to any other grammar programs you may have used before or after?
I also briefly used Easy Grammar for about half a year in the mid elementary grades. It was very "rote" and DSs quickly figured out the "pattern" to the answers, rather than actually learning the concept, so Easy Grammar was not a fit for us. In contrast, because of how I had us use Winston on a whiteboard, DSs could see how words/phrases were actually working in context of real sentences.

Do you think it would be hard to jump into the program if using a different program perviously?
NO -- but it probably depends on the student and the parent, as with ANY change in program 😉

If you had it to do over again would you still choose it? 
YES -- and I would still use a wide variety of supplements to provide practice and seeing grammar from multiple perspectives, and I highly recommend learning (at least some of the time) grammar in context of writing, rather than solely as an isolated stand-alone topic, as grammar is an integrated part of writing. I would probably also take a look at some of the new (since we homeschooled) items out there like Treasured Conversations and Fix-It.

Anything else you'd like to add? 
- Winston Grammar does NOT teach punctuation/capitalization, so other resources are needed to cover those topics.
- Winston is a good hands-on / visual program (largely due to the "cue cards") so it can be a good fit for "right brain" learners, or students who need VSL materials or have mild LDs. Also, Winston's explanations were concise and clear. The Basic and Advanced levels were similar in style and especially useful. The Word Works level covers word usage and other odds and ends, and was less clear in explanation.

FLL, A Beka, R&S, CLE, and any other programs that eventually teach diagramming
I believe Analytical Grammar and Growing with Grammar also teach diagramming, so you may wish to also look at those programs.

Edited by Lori D.
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What did you use/are you using? R&S, LLATL and Easy Grammar, have also used Climbing to Good English

How long did you use it and for which levels? I've used R&S 2-6, LLATL Orange to Gray (3-8), just started Easy Grammar 6, and CTGE 3-8.

Is it writing heavy? If so is it easily modifiable to use on a whiteboard to work through with students? R&S can be writing heavy, but is easily adaptable to white board or doing it orally. CTGE is writing heavy because there are lots of exercises. I crossed some out sometimes. EG and LLATL are not writing heavy.

Did you feel it had a lot of busywork? Scale of 1-10- with 1 no busy work, 10 scads of busywork, how would you rate it? EG is a 1 (there are lots of exercises and repetition but I feel this is necessary), CTGE is a 4 (too many exercises sometimes) and R&S is a 3 (lots of the exercises repeat from the oral exercises to the written exercises but I just skip). I'm not sure how to rate LLATL. Some would say it has lots of busy work, but I did not find that to be the case in the grammar lessons (I often skip the other stuff, like sections on tall tales or research, etc.).

Did it (eventually) teach diagramming? All of them teach diagramming except EG.

How did it compare to any other grammar programs you may have used before or after? R&S is the most rigorous, with CTGE a close second. R&S gets very wordy, especially in the upper levels, with long explanations, and CTGE is very concise in its instructions. LLATL is grammar-light until the 7th-8th books, but I really like the grammar in 7 and 8. It is definitely not as in-depth as R&S or CTGE but all the parts of speech are there. It's good basic coverage and pretty much starts at the beginning (no assumed knowledge).

Do you think it would be hard to jump into the program if using a different program previously? LLATL and EG are pretty easy to jump into. R&S is not as easy. It would depend on how good your kid is at grammar. I think it's been said that you can jump in at grade level through the 5th book, but then people mostly recommend starting at 5 (or they used to) even if they are in a higher grade. I think I would agree with that assessment, but I prefer using R&S a year behind since my boys are all grammar-phobes.

If you had it to do over again would you still choose it? Of all the programs I've used, CTGE is *my* favourite but my boys hated it. R&S 2-5 used a year behind, followed by LLATL Green and Gray has become our standard grammar sequence, and that works for them.

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ELTL levels 1-4/A-D
* It is integrated (writing, grammar, spelling through prepared dictation), so, yes, it has a lot of writing. If you just did the grammar, it wouldn't be much writing, but it would take a lot of time to do all the reading/lessons just for grammar. You can easily do the grammar work on a white board.
* I didn't do it exactly as written (skipped dictation, only one copywork a day). Done that way, it didn't feel like busy work. My kids didn't like having to diagram so many sentences each day, but I think that was what made it such a strong program.
* Yes, diagramming starts in level 3/C.
* I don't think it would be hard to jump in, especially since each level has so much review.
* I've moved away from it. I really liked the grammar instruction/exercises (especially in levels C and D). But the writing didn't work with my kids, and, as stated above, it would take too much time to use it just for grammar.

MCT: Island, Town (currently using Voyage)
* Although writing is included (if you do all the books), we don't do the writing assignments. We do almost everything orally or on a white board.
* I think the vocab books can have busy work (word finds, roman numeral math, etc), and the writing books have assignments that don't seem useful, but the grammar portions don't have busy work.
* No diagramming taught, it does analysis that is helpful for diagramming (although it bothers me that the analysis doesn't by default include the student stating what is being modified by any given adjective, adverb, or phrase).
* The instruction was very clear and concise. The practice sentences help cement the material.
* I think one could easily jump in. There's a lot of review and the sentences to analyze start out very simple.
* I do want to do it again. I'm trying to figure out how to fit it in with my youngest while also teaching diagramming.

Beowulf Grammar (only one level available)
* I did a lot of it orally with my kids. Done as written, it's not writing heavy, but there is writing.
* It had some busywork.  There are a lot of activities to learn about prepositions, for example. We skipped those.
* It does teach diagramming.
* It's fun and colorful. I'm planning on using at least the first half again as an introduction to parts of speech for my youngest.
* It's a stand alone program. Easy to jump into and skip parts that your kids have solid.
* This would be expensive to print (it's a PDF curriculum). But if you can do it on a tablet using a PDF viewer that lets you write/mark up the PDF, that's a great way to use it.

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18 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Can we play "let's compare grammar programs", the 2019 version? 

What did you use/are you using? 

How long did you use it and for which levels?

Is it writing heavy? If so is it easily modifiable to use on a whiteboard to work through with students? 

Did you feel it had a lot of busywork? Scale of 1-10- with 1 no busy work, 10 scads of busywork, how would you rate it? 

Did it (eventually) teach diagramming? 

How did it compare to any other grammar programs you may have used before or after?

Do you think it would be hard to jump into the program if using a different program perviously? 

If you had it to do over again would you still choose it? 

Anything else you'd like to add? 

****Personal interest in this- I'd particularly like to compare FLL, A Beka, R&S, CLE, and any other programs that eventually teach diagramming, and all of the comparison threads I'm finding seem to be older (2010-ish). Maybe they haven't changed enough since then to matter thought? That would be nice to know too. 

I hsed for 15 years. We tried several things for grammar, and ended up with Easy Grammar as the hands-down winner.

We used the red book--the only level that existed when I bought it (the first year it came out). I think it might equate to Easy Grammar Plus.

There was little writing. I don't know why you'd need to modify it to use on a whiteboard, but I suppose you could.

On a scale of 1-10, 1.

No diagramming.

It is different from other methods, because it teaches prepositions first. I think it's much more logical that way.

No, it wouldn't be hard to jump into it from another method.

I would absolutely do EG again.

I doubt that there has been any change in FLL, ABeka, R&S, et al, so there wouldn't be a need to compare them again.

Also, for someone who wanted *just grammar,* I don't recommend any English textbook/workbooks from school publishers (i.e., ABeka, BJUP, R&S, Christian Light, ACE, Alpha Omega, secular textbook publishers like HBJ or MacMillan). I know that people do, and they seem to be happy, but school publishers include more than just grammar in their products, and so you have to use your brain cells to go through each one and have your dc do *just* the grammar. I think it's just better to choose something just for grammar, and something just for writing, or to use the text as it was written and intended.

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11 hours ago, parent said:

Another point I just remembered.  If you're child is doing Latin, you are also getting an extra dose of grammar so keep that in mind.  Like Abeka + Latin sounds like overkill in elementary.

And if you are doing Latin, use Memoria Press English Grammar Recitation. That and the Latin will be all you need.

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3 hours ago, Paradox5 said:

And if you are doing Latin, use Memoria Press English Grammar Recitation. That and the Latin will be all you need.

I have not seen this before.  It looks interesting but does not have diagramming:( 

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I have used FLL twice and AG once (so far.) I agree with @Momto5inIN 's assessments. For me, I couldn't have effectively taught AG if I hadn't been through FLL previously. There were a couple places where AG didn't have enough teacher information for me on its own. Neither had busy work, exactly, but both programs have had more than my dc needed to master the material, so I've edited them down on the fly.

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HomeAgain mentioned above that ELTL often has 2 pieces of copywork a day. There is a reason for that though. The program is designed to be done 3 days a week. However, some people wanted their children doing copywork every day. So the author chose to provide 2 pieces of copywork for 2 out of three weekly lessons. That way, those who want copywork for 5 days a week can do so. If 3 days a week is enough for you/your child, skip 1 of the choices on those days.

I am currently using ELTL B with our oldest and about to being level A with the next. So far, it's just right for us. I'd give it a 2 on the busywork scale.

FWIW, my kid looks forward to hearing his poem and fable every day. And given that he is a reluctant reader/language person, I call having a program he likes a win.


 

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On 2/10/2019 at 8:54 PM, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Can we play "let's compare grammar programs", the 2019 version? 

What did you use/are you using? Currently using Grammar for the Well Trained Mind, purple workbook. We started when the sample came out in Sept. 2017

How long did you use it and for which levels? See above. Previously we used FLL 1-4, Fix It Book 1 and part of Junior Analytical Grammar

Is it writing heavy? If so is it easily modifiable to use on a whiteboard to work through with students? If you mean composition, I would say no. There has only been one "composition" style exercise in GWTM and it had to do with footnotes, endnotes and works cited, etc. Also, FLL1-4 had at most sentence copying or maybe writing a letter.  If you mean physical act of writing, I am not sure how to evaluate that.  There are some lessons where I allowed them to do it in a word processing program (we bought the pdf and I copied and pasted those exercises into Word. These were mostly exercises where they were supposed to order phrases/clauses or put in punctuation. 

Did you feel it had a lot of busywork? Scale of 1-10- with 1 no busy work, 10 scads of busywork, how would you rate it? I have never considered any of these programs to be busywork--all of it seemed for a purpose, so 1

Did it (eventually) teach diagramming? Yes, all but Fix-It include diagramming 

How did it compare to any other grammar programs you may have used before or after? Fix-It was easy to implement but too "easy" level wise for my kids.  It was a nice break I guess, but I missed the rigor of FLL. We should have started with a  higher level. I looked at the placement for Fix-It and made my own call that they would make too many mistakes to go into Book 2 but I think that was what we should have done. Jr. Analytical Grammar was not a good fit for us. I wanted more instructor guidance and to me it zipped through concepts too quickly. For that reason, we did not do Analytical Grammar.

Do you think it would be hard to jump into the program if using a different program perviously? The difficulty would be not knowing what concepts had been covered and to what level. There have been things in GWTM that I have never seen before, and my english teacher friends don't even cover in high school grammar. I personally would not recommend to jump into GWTM if you had not done FLL 1-4.

If you had it to do over again would you still choose it? Yes, I would absolutely choose FLL 1-4 again. My regret with GWTM is that to me it is very rigorous and perhaps too high a level for most kids. However, we are going to start the red book this spring and I hope to finish it before my oldest completes 8th grade (or at least most of it). I have had to release the one book per year mindset with GWTM. It's just too much for us.

Anything else you'd like to add? I liked the vocabulary component of Fix-It but my kids are both doing Vocabulary from Classical Roots now, so we get that in other ways. After FLL4 when there was no GWTM I also looked at Saxon/Hake Grammar but it seemed sort of workbook-y.  I like the instructor guided lessons in FLL and GWTM but the negative is of course that you have to be a part of the process.  I never looked at R&S and I am actually not sure now why (except maybe that you had to skip large portions of the book because it also covers writing?). I never looked at CLE, also not sure why on that.  I wonder if anyone on here has input on CAP's Well Ordered Language?  It's a lower level than GWTM but it might be an alternative to FLL for some people. 

****Personal interest in this- I'd particularly like to compare FLL, A Beka, R&S, CLE, and any other programs that eventually teach diagramming, and all of the comparison threads I'm finding seem to be older (2010-ish). Maybe they haven't changed enough since then to matter thought? That would be nice to know too. 

 

edited for clarity and typos

Edited by cintinative
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I forgot a program we've used!

Fix-It Grammar, book 2 (Robin Hood)
* The student is supposed to copy the sentence(s) after going over it with the instructor, so, yes, it has a lot of writing. One could theoretically skip that, but I counted it as copywork and had my kids do it.
* Unless you aren't a fan of copywork, it doesn't really have busywork.
* No diagramming taught. I found that with MCT, we could diagram the practice sentences--this is not the case with Fix-It, as the sentence structure is too complex for my kids to diagram on their own.
* It gives a lot of practice identifying independent and dependent clauses, more so than the other programs we've used. It also gives more practice with punctuating quotes than other programs. I did tweak it heavily, though. We used our own terminology (adjective clause rather than "who-which clause", independent clause rather than "main clause", etc). I also had my kids mark the part of speech for every word (which Fix-It does not require) and also mark subject complements, direct objects, and indirect objects (not required in level 2, perhaps required in higher levels). Since my kids knew about participle phrases and infinitive phrases, I had them mark those, too (not required, and not too many, since level 2 isn't meant to teach those). As we did it, it became a rigorous grammar program. I think it would have been light for my kids and where they were at without those modifications. If used as written and without prior grammar exposure, it probably would be fine. 
* In some ways it was easy to jump into level 2 for my kids who had prior grammar teaching (nothing too hard, some parts were just the right level of difficulty). But in some ways, it was tricky, because the program was assuming less knowledge than my kids actually had.
* I might use it again simply because I already own it. If I were to do that year again, though, I'd likely use Daily Grammar Practice (DGP) instead, as it includes diagramming and requires more marking. The downside of DGP is that the teacher needs to know grammar to teach it, as there are no lessons included to teach new (to the student) concepts.

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I am worried this might get lost in my post, so I will ask here as well. Can anyone post a review of Well-Ordered Language by CAP? It's elementary level, and that's about all I know other than one of the authors taught at a classical school here and was highly praised. My kids are too old for it, but if we are going to talk about various grammar curriculum, I thought it would be useful to bring this (newer) curriculum option into the discussion.

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1 hour ago, cintinative said:

I am worried this might get lost in my post, so I will ask here as well. Can anyone post a review of Well-Ordered Language by CAP? It's elementary level, and that's about all I know other than one of the authors taught at a classical school here and was highly praised. My kids are too old for it, but if we are going to talk about various grammar curriculum, I thought it would be useful to bring this (newer) curriculum option into the discussion.

I am also interested in a review.  I've been researching this one.  It appears to be set up for classroom use, so a lot must be weeded out?  Also, it appears to include writing which is odd since they produce W&R.  I was hoping to pair with W&R but think it may be more than I want to deal with.

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1 hour ago, silver said:

I forgot a program we've used!

Fix-It Grammar, book 2 (Robin Hood)
* The student is supposed to copy the sentence(s) after going over it with the instructor, so, yes, it has a lot of writing. One could theoretically skip that, but I counted it as copywork and had my kids do it.
* Unless you aren't a fan of copywork, it doesn't really have busywork.
* No diagramming taught. I found that with MCT, we could diagram the practice sentences--this is not the case with Fix-It, as the sentence structure is too complex for my kids to diagram on their own.
* It gives a lot of practice identifying independent and dependent clauses, more so than the other programs we've used. It also gives more practice with punctuating quotes than other programs. I did tweak it heavily, though. We used our own terminology (adjective clause rather than "who-which clause", independent clause rather than "main clause", etc). I also had my kids mark the part of speech for every word (which Fix-It does not require) and also mark subject complements, direct objects, and indirect objects (not required in level 2, perhaps required in higher levels). Since my kids knew about participle phrases and infinitive phrases, I had them mark those, too (not required, and not too many, since level 2 isn't meant to teach those). As we did it, it became a rigorous grammar program. I think it would have been light for my kids and where they were at without those modifications. If used as written and without prior grammar exposure, it probably would be fine. 
* In some ways it was easy to jump into level 2 for my kids who had prior grammar teaching (nothing too hard, some parts were just the right level of difficulty). But in some ways, it was tricky, because the program was assuming less knowledge than my kids actually had.
* I might use it again simply because I already own it. If I were to do that year again, though, I'd likely use Daily Grammar Practice (DGP) instead, as it includes diagramming and requires more marking. The downside of DGP is that the teacher needs to know grammar to teach it, as there are no lessons included to teach new (to the student) concepts.

Great idea to just diagram practice sentences on another paper!  I didn't think of that but it will make me reconsider the program.  I don't care for the MCT diagramming method.

I'm looking up Daily Grammar Practice.  That sounds great!  I don't like wading though convoluted teacher's manuals.

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On 2/11/2019 at 3:51 PM, Ellie said:

I hsed for 15 years. We tried several things for grammar, and ended up with Easy Grammar as the hands-down winner.

We used the red book--the only level that existed when I bought it (the first year it came out). I think it might equate to Easy Grammar Plus.

There was little writing. I don't know why you'd need to modify it to use on a whiteboard, but I suppose you could.

On a scale of 1-10, 1.

No diagramming.

It is different from other methods, because it teaches prepositions first. I think it's much more logical that way.

 

Agreed!

I have used R&S for years and years (and absolutely love it) BUT I had my son take a whirl through Easy Grammar for a period of time.  He did the yellow book (EG 3/4 I think it was?), but it's not on print any longer.  Regardless, I think the way EG teaches prepositions first is much more logical than traditional diagramming.

So when my kiddos are in the 4th grade and start the 'real' diagramming, I also have the photocopied packet from EG to work through simultaneously.  I also have them memorize all of those prepositions from EG.  Makes diagramming infinitely more easy since they can start by crossing out the prepositional phrase(s) from the sentence.  The skeleton of the sentence is more obvious after you cross out those extraneous words!

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On 2/12/2019 at 2:11 PM, cintinative said:

I am worried this might get lost in my post, so I will ask here as well. Can anyone post a review of Well-Ordered Language by CAP? It's elementary level, and that's about all I know other than one of the authors taught at a classical school here and was highly praised. My kids are too old for it, but if we are going to talk about various grammar curriculum, I thought it would be useful to bring this (newer) curriculum option into the discussion.

Yes! I have been searching through all samples and reviews I can find on this. It appears to be intense sent structure but I am not seeing much punctuation. I am not sure if this intensive type of grammar program is even necessary for us though? I am struggling on how to handle grammar for my 3/4 ish grader

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What did you use/are you using? 

The Sentence Family

R&S

Daily Grammar Practice

How long did you use it and for which levels?

tSF - it is a single "level;" We go through it a few times during the late elementary years

R&S - used level 4 for 2yrs, 4th and 5th grade

DGP - used levels 5, 6, 7 for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade

Is it writing heavy? If so is it easily modifiable to use on a whiteboard to work through with students? 

tSF - no writing except for the diagrams at the end

R&S - writing-heavy, but we did most of it orally and on whiteboard

DGP - not writing-heavy; only takes 5 min/day

Did you feel it had a lot of busywork? Scale of 1-10- with 1 no busy work, 10 scads of busywork, how would you rate it? 

tSF - 1

R&S - 8

DGP - 1

Did it (eventually) teach diagramming? 

yes for all

How did it compare to any other grammar programs you may have used before or after?

tSF - the most enjoyable grammar we've ever used. Very clever in how it shows relationships between parts of speech. This is ONLY parts of speech, so for younger students

R&S - the most thorough, but also the most tedious. I feel R&S puts too much effort into grammar, and not enough into writing. They need to switch their ratio

DGP - this teaches pretty much everything R&S does (on GUM) but with a fraction of the time and effort. I really like how it analyzes the same sentence for a week.

Do you think it would be hard to jump into the program if using a different program previously? 

tSF - super-easy

R&S - levels 5 and below should be easy to jump into; not easy work, just easy to begin

DGP - some hand-holding of the student is needed at the beginning since the grammar instruction is all found in a reference section; it is not in the daily work

If you had it to do over again would you still choose it? 

tSF - absolutely

R&S - if nothing better was available, and only orally/whiteboard

DGP - yes, getting ready for my second round

Anything else you'd like to add? 

Both R&S and DGP are pretty advanced. I would review before purchasing and not assume grade levels are in line of where you need to be. I'm also remembering that we started with FLL in 1st and 2nd grade, but I dropped it after that because the grammar seemed too abstract for those ages. We still use and love the FLL audio though!

I have also looked at Thinking Through Grammar, which has a brilliant approach and is not very well-known. It utilizes sentence-combining so it is kind of like killing two birds with one stone. I don't think I have room in my curriculum lineup to use it, at least for the next student. 

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