What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Review~ Fix It! Grammar : The Nose Tree

Grammar.  The mere mention of it either gets you all excited to diagram sentences or makes you curl up in the fetal position and suck your thumb.  I have never met a lukewarm grammarian.  When I was in school, I learned very little grammar~if anything.  What I got was 'caught' by the hours I would sit with my nose in a book.  To me, a sentence either looks/feels/sounds right or it doesn't.  (And you can imagine how stressed I am when writing a review for a grammar program- is my grammar correct?!?)  Unfortunately, when teaching my own children the grammar of language, the "That is wrong because it sounds wrong" approach is not quite going to cut it.  I was happy to be given the opportunity to review a gentle grammar program that uses literature as a basis for teaching... the Fix-It! Grammar series put out by the Institute for Excellence in Writing (or IEW for short).

We reviewed both the teacher's manual and student text of Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree, the first book (and level one) in the series. I say that the Fix-It! Grammar series is a gentle approach to learning grammar because it doesn't involve strenuous or time-consuming grammar lessons each day.  Rather, it breaks the story down into sentences to be worked through each day.  That's right- a sentence...a day.  In the beginning of the week there is a LEARN IT lesson (which includes different grammatical rules, parts of speech, punctuation and language concepts.  And then each day of the week, the student is instructed to fix the vocabulary, punctuation, and grammatical errors that they learned about in the lesson using the sentence from the literature.  As the lessons progress, the story unfolds.  Each days' work is copied into a separate notebook which means the text is non-consumable and can be used with any up and coming students of the house in the future.

The Fix-It! Grammar series offer six separate units (with both student texts and teachers' manuals being offered) based on six different books:   Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree [Book 1], Fix It! Grammar: Robin Hood [Book 2] , Fix It! Grammar: Frog Prince, or Just Deserts [Book 3], Fix It! Grammar: Little Mermaid [Book 4], and Fix It! Grammar: Chanticleer [Book 5].    The age range is from 3rd grade and up.  I assumed, because I had done very little 'official grammar' that Corynn would be at the first level but I discovered I have done more work on grammar with her than I thought- she could very easily have progressed to a higher level.  For those people who actually take the time to do it (duh, Rebecca!) The Institute for Excellence in Writing has offered a placement test to help parents to determine what book would best profit their students' ability level.
Each spiral-bound book in the series provides 33 weeks of pleasant grammar instruction and editing practice while also introducing many new vocabulary words and working through an interesting piece of literature.   The student text contains within it a very informative glossary and some removable grammar flashcards on heavy-duty cardstock to use within the lesson and for review.

If you have always thought grammar would be a tedious subject to teach (and learn) then I would highly suggest you check these out!  I believe they would make even the most hesitant grammar student to flourish.

The cost:
Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree [Book 1] (Teacher Manual) - 228 pages - $19.00
Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree [Book 1] (Student Book)  - 126 pages - $15.00

Where to find IEW: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/excellenceinwriting
Twitter: https://twitter.com/iew 
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/iewriting 
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Iewriting/posts 
You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/user/iewtv 
Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/iewtv 

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