I am ready to start (re-start) grammar with my dd12. We used JAG a couple of years ago, but bogged down in adverbs. We dabbled with Winston Grammar. I own Easy Grammar Plus. Ugh, decisions. I need simplicity. I would like to move this dd into Latin using either First Form from Memoria Press or Latin in the Christian Trivium, but we need some English grammar first.
Thoughts? Easy Grammar Plus looks self directed which I like, but I really, really DISLIKE the layout. A LOT. Winston was fine, but I really would like a bit more self directed at this point to be able to work with my younger ones.
I’d thought of possibly using Memoria Press’ with both dd12 and ds9. Thoughts?
Any advice is welcome.
No, I’m afraid I haven’t. While there are SOME classical products I would use, I would probably never even have read about grammar for “grammar” stage since IMO grammar is the last thing I’d teach to someone “grammar stage” if I thought such a stage even existed. I would fear it would be very repititious, but I have not seen it myself.
We used it for a bit this year, but I don’t believe we stuck with it long enough for me to do a thorough review. My ds didn’t like it at all, there was a ton of writing for him (he’s pencil phobic) I do think we’ll be coming back to it over the summer, because I do like the program especially for the memorization of the grammar rules.
Michele, I don’t like the stages idea of the trivium and wouldn’t be interested for my young ones. I’m just looking for a good, basic English grammar that’s well thought out for dd12 before I start her on Latin. I’m drawn to things which are well laid out and organized. I may just stick with EGP since I already have it and its written to he student.
Des, thank ou for chiming in, too.
Thanks for the feedback.
I like Rod and Staff English (5th book is a great place to start) which is parts to whole grammar. Also we have used Harvey’s grammar (free at google books) with the Classical Writing Harvey workbooks (for diagramming practice) which is whole to parts grammar…and able to be finished in a year or two. And I love Michael Clay Thompson’s Grammar Town for a nice overview of subject, predicate, phrases, clauses. I have the teacher’s book only for Grammar Town.
Janell, did you use Harvey’s without using CW? I’m thinking of using Harvey’s Elementary grammar to finish out our year, before moving on to Hake Grammar next year.
Hi, Des. The CW Harvey workbooks are independent from their writing program. The workbooks (part 1 and 2) added clear diagramming practice. A simple answer key to Harvey’s grammar can also be found at Christianbook.com for about $5.
Oh, just to throw one more grammar suggestion out there…Our Mother Tongue by Nancy Wilson includes diagramming instruction. I love to diagram sentences…I love grammar books.
Janell, would you share hoe you used R & S 5 in your family and tell me whether you used the writing portion of it? If so, did you do anything else re. writing or only written narration. Thank you. Christie
Each Rod and Staff English lesson begins with instruction and oral exercises followed by the written exercises for practice. My children and I work through the oral lessons together before they finish the written portion on their own. Lately, however, they prefer to just read the lessons themselves, complete the written exercises, and check their own work. It is very self directed. The composition lessons scattered throughout these books are simple and clear, building on the previous one. We like them. I allow any writing/composition lessons from R&S to replace the daily written narration page. Doing a little every day from dictation, typing, grammar, and written narrations, we have a full workload in the language arts department, so I don’t add any other writing programs before high school.
Janell, that’s exactly what I was looking for. I like the idea of a writing exercise replacing written narration for the day. Those are the kinds of things that make perfect sense, but i dont always think of on my own. I think my dd12 and in 6th would be very self directed, too; and it might give just enough direction to help improve her writing, which isn’t bad, but could use some polishing. I do have couple of more questions for you.
Do you use R&S before the Grade 5 book or just start there? If starting there, when do you recommend – 5th, 6th, or ? I plan to start dd mid 6th next month, just wondering for my younger three if that’s a good place to start in the future?
Do you use R&S 5 alongside of the Harvey’s or use it before? Or Our Mother Tongue?
Do you recommend the worksheets and tests or is there enough in the student book alone?
Do you use 1-2 years of R&S and call it done or do you continue it through? I’m trying to form an overview of how it could possibly look a bit longer term.
If I start R&S 5 now, mid 6th and take a full year or year and a half moving on to R&S 6 mid 7th or even beginning of 8th, will I be on track to cover what needs covering or should I try to finish R&S 5 a bit sooner? This being my oldest child, I don’t have a well formed idea of how this should (or could) look in my mind.
I’m checking the R & S samples online, which are very good, but I’m just trying to get a feel for how other families have made it work for them. I will check out the Harvey’s and OMT, too.
Thank you for your time. I hadn’t considered R&S, but it looks like it might be just what we need.
My kids are younger, so take this for what it’s worth (which isn’t much I undersatnd!) lol
We looked at Rod and Staff grammar when we were looking at starting some grammar this year with my 3rd grader. Actdually I looked at EVERYTHING…because that’s just what I do. lol I found their grammar pages to be a little more legalistically “spiritual” than I thought was needed for a grammar curriculum. Now, we are a very conservative, evangelical Christian family, but I thought, “God created the sentence.” to be a little much.
Anyway, that’s just me…I just didn’t want you to order it and be unaware of, what seems to me to be, a sort of legalism contained within the text.
FWIW, we settled on the Abeka Language Book, and I couldn’t be happier. I know those kind of publishers get a bad rap, but I find it to be systematic, easy to understand, and the lessons very short and simple. It works well for us. Cathy Duffy mentioned in her book that the Abeka Grammar is so thorough, you could probably do it every other year and gain a very good grasp on the subject.
All this being said, I’ve heard really good things about the Rod and Staff Grammar program, so if what I mentioned doesn’t bother you, I think it probably is very good.
That’s my .02!
Rod and Staff only goes to 10th grade. You will have plenty of time starting with the 5th book. It may seem repetitive year by year, but that is why we like it and retain the info. I only use the teacher and student books. While I love Primary Language Lessons, English for the Thoughtful Child, Harvey’s grammar, I always seem to go back to our tried and true Rod and Staff (I start with R&S 2). I have used Harvey’s with my oldest child, but we went back to Rod and Staff. I have quite a collection of attractive vintage ebooks…and that was how I got into Harvey’s. Harvey’s is great…but I will stay with R&S for the younger ones. My sister had Our Mother Tongue which is recommended by Ambleside. I love looking at grammar books and found that book well done.
One more thing: We were not distracted by the Mennonite influence in the R&S books. Their older grades have less of that and explain grammar well.
Oh yes, I only looked at one book and it was a younger level than you are considering.
Thanks Janell! That’s good to know…as they grow, we may look at it again. I have never heard anything negative about the program from anyone.
Thanks everyone. I’ve decided to use R&S 5 for dd12. I like its organization much better than EGP. Janell, a special thanks for mentioning this and telling me how it works for you.
GRRRR…grammar. I have lost sleep over trying to choose a good program. R&S 5th – I tried last year & my son was pulling his hair out trying to remember all the rules. I went back to ILL, which I’d used for 4th. Now this year we will finish ILL & I have to find a good grammar program for 7th grade.
Then – my daughter is using PLL – so I am trying to decide whether to stick with it for her for 3rd grade (she’s in 2nd now). I love PLL & ILL. They can identify nouns & verbs & some basic things about grammar – but to tell me what a helping verb is or a preposition, adverb, adjective…oh my! Sometimes I don’t think this is too big of a deal – my son writes nicely (when he wants to). Maybe I’m stressing it too much – but when I look at the online grammar samples – I know my 6th grader doesn’t know everything in them. I’m considering switching her to R&S for 3rd so she gets a more gradual intro. But for him – I’ve thought about Winston, AG, All-In-One-English series, MCT – now I’m even thinking about checking out what Abeka has. I haven’t seen their materials. So hard to know!
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