Grammar (the process of learning and using correct grammatical rules in language) is in my opinion, one of those subjects that can be either difficult to learn or fun to learn depending on the method being used to teach it. How do you motivate students to learn grammatical rules?
Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) is a company that specializes in teaching grammatical rules in fun and creative ways to students of all ages. We reviewed IEW’s Fix It Grammar: The Nose Tree (Book 1) Teacher’s Manual and Fix It Grammar: The Nose Tree (Book 1) Student Workbook curriculum.
IEW has a large body of curriculum options to fit many different levels of learning. The grade / skill levels IEW curriculum options include:
Level Primary (Grades K–2)
Level A (Grades 3-5)
Level B (Grades 6-8)
Level C (Grades 9–12)
English Language Learners
There is no way I could tell you about all of the various creative curriculum options at IEW, so I encourage you to stop over to their website and take a look around.
FIX IT GRAMMAR
We were recently sent IEW’s Fix It Grammar curriculum for grades 3 through 12 to review.
Fix It Grammar teaches a grammar mastery method that includes six progressive levels of learning grammatical skills. Each level has its own spiral bound student workbook and spiral bound teaching manual. Each level builds upon the skills learned and practiced in the previous level.
It is recommended to spend 15 minutes a day and complete 1 lesson a week, for 33 weeks, to complete a year’s worth of lessons. The great thing about homeschooling is that it is a personal approach to education and you can work through lessons faster or slower depending on what you and your student needs. You can take a free placement test to see what Fix It Grammar level your student should begin at.
We received Fix It Grammar:The Nose Tree (Book 1) Teacher Manual 229 pages spiral bound, retails $19.00; and also Fix It Grammar: The Nose Tree (Book 1) Student Manual 126 pages spiral bound, retails for $15.00.
Inside the student workbook, each lesson is progressive builds on the skills learned in the previous lesson. The student workbook is a complete year of grammar curriculum divided into 33 lessons, 132 vocabulary words, glossary of grammar, and flash cards. My son is working on one lesson per week.
At the top of each page in the workbook it is labeled as week 1, week 2, week 3 and so on. Every two pages that face each other comprise a weeks worth of lessons. For each lesson, there is a Learn It section, and a Fix It section, Discuss It section, and Copy It section. In the Learn It section you learn a grammatical rule that you will put into practice during the week. There are corresponding punch out flashcards in the back of the book that contain each grammatical rule and your student is encouraged to use them to help remember what rules they have learned. In the Fix It section, there is reading of a few sentences, Vocabulary words to look up, and sentences that are to be fixed in the workbook. In the Copy It section your student will re-write the corrected sentences in their own notebook.
I had my son work in his student workbook for 15 to 20 minutes a day. He could have easily done more work on this curriculum some days, because he actually liked learing with it and he was motivated to complete the writing exercises. This totally surprised me because the only time he likes to use written words seems to be when he is typing on the computer. He states “I don’t like learning grammar rules because they are a bottomless pit with no end. ENGLISH is nuts! Why do I have to learn this?” Now, he says “I like this, it isn’t hard to do, and makes sense. I like that I am accomplishing something instead of just random facts or rules.” I know he is not alone in feeling this way. I think it becomes more boring to learn grammatical rules as kids get a little older. I am not sure why, but I just bet that you could stroll through almost any American middle school, highschool, or college Language and Arts / English classroom, and most of those students in class are bored to tears or are struggling to write and re-write their essays! So this is very positive that he likes the Fix It Grammar curriculum. The fact that he is progressively learning to re-write a story and will have a correctly written masterpiece when he is through is the motivation. He hates to fail. He is excited just knowing if he follows the step by step activities, he can’t fail, but will succeed.
I recommend IEW curriculum products for homeschool families. The list of curriculum options available is wonderful and covers many creative fun ways to get your kids interested in writing and writing well. I have a big wish list of their products I hope to obtain in our homeschool. This is our second IEW curriculum product to use in our homeschool, and I believe it is a great addition to our homeschool learning curriculum.
Check out IEW media links for all the latest news and updates.
Be sure to check out what other homeschool families on the TOS Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about using Fix It Grammar in their home.