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I need some ideas for grammar for this next year. We've been using FLL all the way through (DS levels 1-3; DD levels 1-4 and then Rod and Staff this year), and I'm having to acknowledge to myself that I just don't think it's working. Both kids can rattle off definitions and lists like nobody's business, but ask them to actually identify parts of speech in a sentence when we HAVEN'T just spent five minutes talking about that part of speech, and they look at me like deer in headlights. My son can easily tell you that "A sentence is a group of words that expresses a complete thought" and "All sentences begin with a capital letter and end with a punctuation mark" - and yet he routinely begins his sentences with lowercase letters. 🙄 The memorization just isn't making its way into practical use.

I'm looking for something that, ideally, would cover grammar in a thorough but incremental manner, in about 15 minutes a day, with CLEAR explanations, plenty of practice, and in a format/presentation that's attractive and interesting to my kids. DD11 is an artistic, dreamy soul who'd love to spend her whole day drawing and listening to audiobooks; DS9 is a budding engineer who's preoccupied with Legos, pistons, gears, and the like.

I don't even know where to begin looking. We've never used (nor really looked at) anything but FLL, and I've kind of been waiting to see if all the memorization would begin to pay off in practical application...but I'm just not seeing it, and I think I'm facing the fact that we need to try something else. Thank you so much for your help!!!

Eta: I realized I accidentally posted this in the wrong topic...and as I can't find a way to delete it, please pardon me! 😳 I'll go post in the K-8 curriculum board where it was meant to be.

Edited by Megicce
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Well I’ll reply here...we switched to Abeka. So so much better! My kids can actually identify parts of speech in a sentence. They are retaining and applying what they’ve learned. The instructions are clear and the workbook is colorful. It’s easy to use. I just read the explanation and instructions at the top of the page and then do a few sentences with them. Then they do the rest on their own. It’s not fancy or super exciting but it gets the job done and my kids don’t complain because it doesn’t take much time. FLL was not being retained. After completing up through FLL 4 I realized my kids could not edit or correct sentences and could not identify parts of speech. I was so discouraged. Abeka has tons and tons of review. My kids can do these things now! 

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  • 11 months later...

We used BJU English and that went well. That is a quick, get the job done, kind of program. But, also, we have been using TGTB this year and it has gone great too. But it is much more than English so maybe not what you are looking for. But it is free so feel free to check it out or even give it a try. I realized now that we have been finishing the year that son has retained a lot.

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We like Michael Clay Thompson's series - it has done wonders for my kids' abilities to recognize parts of speech, phrases and clauses, etc.  We have also used the Critical Thinking Company's Language Mechanic and Editor in Chief workbooks for quick practice.  

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