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Middle School Grammar?

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 6:43 pm
by Dolly-VA
I'm looking for a FUN, easy, GOOD, simple, quick :lol: grammar program for my 12 yo (preferably one he can learn through osmosis.) We've been using Analytical Grammar and he really does not like it (I do...) I wish I could just ignore grammar, but he really needs it. (I keep hearing things like, "What's a preposition?" "Is this an adjective or an adverb?") This is our first year homeschooling so I'm still learning what he knows, what he doesn't know, and what I have to bring the cattle prod out in order for him to get done. :wink:

Anyway, all suggestions are welcome!

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:40 am
by Mark
You might try Shurley English. :)

my daughter is doing quite well with that one.

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:43 am
by Dolly-VA
Mark wrote:You might try Shurley English. :)

my daughter is doing quite well with that one.

What grade is your daughter in? I've a friend who's 4th grader uses it and likes it, but it will take her 45 minutes to an hour a day. I think that might be more than my son could tolerate. Otoh, if it is FUN and easy and all those other descriptives, he might do it (or he might quit before beginning. :? ) Thanks for your advice!

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 2:22 am
by Mark
she's in 5th grade, and I'm not sure how long it takes for her to get
through the lessons, as my wife has those subjects in hand...
Something about wanting the kids to speak English instead of talk Texan.

I'll try to remember to ask, but it seems like a fun curriculum. :)

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 4:56 pm
by su
Easy Grammar is what I have used with all my kids so far, and I really like it. As the name implies, it is easy. It doesn't take long to do the daily lessons.
Grammar has never been one of my strong points, but I have learned a lot by going through the lessons with my kids (one reason I love homeschooling!)

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:24 pm
by Dolly-VA
Is Easy Grammar the one where you are given a short lesson every day? I think I recently came across it. How old are your kids that are using it? When I saw it I was a little worried that it wouldn't cover enough material quickly enough (he really needs a lot of grammar work.) I'm a little worried about the tests he will have to take to show advancement, do these have grammar questions? Since he's in 7th now, I feel I need to make certain he gets it by the end of next year. (Am I being overly paranoid?)

Also, I recently found something online called English Grammar 101 (click on the homeschool button) that looks interesting and very complete. Has anyone tried this?

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:03 am
by su
1.) The lessons can be as short or as long as you want. I think the book says to do one page a day, although I assign more than that, and if you need to go through it quickly, you could do as many pages as necessary. There is review work at the end of each section, so you can see if the child grasps the info, or if you need to go over it again (if you are covering the material quickly)
2.) My 5th and 7th graders are currently going through it (it does have multitple levels).
3.) If he needs extra work, there is a companion book called Daily Grams. Or you could go through 2 books in double time.
4.) This has covered the material needed for the achievement tests our kids have to take. In Oregon we have to test at 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 10th grade. We take the California Achievement Test (CAT). You can buy test prep books that can give you an idea what material they need to know.

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:59 pm
by Dolly-VA
su wrote:We take the California Achievement Test (CAT). You can buy test prep books that can give you an idea what material they need to know.

Thanks for all the info and for this last bit, too. I hadn't thought of getting something like this to do beforehand. (I do like the name of the grammar program, too :wink:)

Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:00 am
by Dolly-VA
An update...

My "hates grammar with a passion" son started yesterday. He seemed to like it okay. He even did a couple extra sections just because he wanted to. :shock: Today, he WILLINGLY sat down and did 7 sections. So far, so good! :D :D :D

Posted: Tue May 01, 2007 11:40 am
by kkapfe
How old is your son using the Grammar101? I will be homeschooling my nephew this fall who will be in first grade and absolutely HATES diagramming and anything grammar related!

Posted: Sun May 06, 2007 10:24 pm
by su
Wow...first grade seems awfully young to be doing much in the way of grammar, let alone diagramming! I don't start with much in the way of formal grammar until around 3rd grade or so. They do get a little (very little) grammar in the readers and workbooks we use, but mostly at that age all I focus on is reading (as far as language arts is concerned).

Posted: Mon May 07, 2007 4:22 am
by Theodore
I'll be honest, I've always found formal grammar instruction horribly boring and pointless. Kids learn it just long enough to pass the test, then promptly forget most of it because they don't need to know what x, y, z parts of speech are in real life. Diagramming is even worse. What is far better than grammar instruction, in my opinion, is just doing some writing / dictation at least every few days. This builds not only grammar skills, but spelling, punctuation, penmanship, etc. If you really must cover grammar separate from everything else, start your child on learning a second language - this teaches grammar far better than any English language text will ever do, since you have to learn the parts of speech to learn a new language, and the material will stick with you a lot better as a result.

I'm speaking from personal experience, since while I'm a decent writer and can rearrange a sentence so it's written properly, I didn't retain anything but the most basic formal grammar. The only time I really learned grammar was when I did two years of Latin.

Diagramming didn't do anything except make me miserable.

Posted: Mon May 07, 2007 4:39 pm
by su
I agree with Theodore for the most part, although I have found that some of what I have learned from teaching my kids grammar has helped me be more aware of proper sentence structure (not that I always use it! :D ). We use Easy Grammar which is, as the name implies, easy. It seems to have taught them what they need to know for the testing we are required to do here in Oregon, and I have a better understanding of grammar for having taught it.

Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 8:15 am
by Dolly-VA
kkapfe wrote:How old is your son using the Grammar101?

My son is 13 now, he started this program at age 12.

Personally, I am also of the opinion that formal grammar instruction isn't necessary...until they reach the age where they need to know it for the tests. :lol: My son was in public school and used Wordly Wise for years. It is considered wonderful by many, public, private and home school people alike. It taught him nothing but to HATE the entire process. When I began homeschooling him at the beginning of this school year, he couldn't pick out a verb from a preposition. This program has really been exactly what he needed. He scored a 37% in the pretest and when he completed the first section (150+ short, sweet lessons) he scored an 87 or 89% (can't really remember now.) He knows what a verb is and can pull out a prepositional phrase. He feels much more successful about grammar now. That said, I certainly would not suggest it for a 1st grader. Probably not for anyone younger than 5th or 6th grade actually.

As far as needing it for "later," I'm a journalist and never really learned grammar myself. I know the basics and have learned more now that I'm homeschooling, but I still can't diagram and really have no idea why I would want to. Also, at one point I could read 6 languages besides English (and speak 3 of them) so it's VERY possible to learn a language without learning grammar! :P

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:05 pm
by phiferan
For grammar, my child loves Winston Grammar, it uses cards that the child manipulates to learn grammar, as well as a workbook. And, just like Saxon Math, it builds on what you learned in the past and reviews it with every new lesson, so you don't forget earlier lessons. It is superior to what is found in the public schools and you easily order the answer keys right on line. :idea: Here is the hyperlink