The Curriculum Choice

Language arts – Junior High

Grammar for Jr. High

1 – 5 star rating. 5 ***** being the most.
1-3 dollar rating. $ is a bargain, $$ is worth every penny, $$$ is over-priced

Analytical Grammar: A System Approach to Language Mastery by R. Robin Finley. I am following the guide in the front of the book that suggests using this program for 3 years. The first year, we do 10 units (or 10 weeks). For the remainder of the year we should do reinforcement exercises. You can purchase her workbook for this – we choose to do other things this year to sharpen grammar skills instead, SEE BELOW reviews. The author believes that students do not need to “do” a grammar worksheet every day, for years and years. She believes if grammar is taught sequentially and logically, there is no need for so much repetition. I do agree with this, however, coming from 2 rigorous programs, Shurley English and Rod and Staff, I can’t help but feel like these prepared Serious for Analytical Grammar to be the success that it is. I am finding a balance between “doing” grammar every day and infusing it into our everyday work through writing. But, simply, I am not an English aficionado so I have had to learn along side of him. I’m feeling more confident each year about creating our own grammar curriculum. In the meantime, AG is great for Jr. high and up. It’s “no frills”, strictly meat and potatoes, so it suits Serious well. The worksheets take him a long time and often I will split them into 2 days, which has delayed our 10 week goal. He hasn’t needed extra practice, but I could see that if a student did then the teacher would need to make more sentences. The teacher isn’t really needed unless the student doesn’t understand the concept. You could hand this over to a highschooler and just check in on them.

Analytical Grammar: $$
Teacher Friendly *****
Extra Practice ***
Student Friendly *****
Ease of Use ****
Organized *****

The Roar on the Other Side, A Guide for Student Poets by Suzanne U. Clark. I got this book for Serious to do a poetry study. It is a book he can read through and complete on his own. There are exercises and writing projects along with lots of good poetry to read through. This book is for Jr. High and up. I have read through it already and do believe that Serious will need some help but I’m hoping he will be writing poetry in no-time. I think this is a good addition to IEW, since poetry is not taught.

The Roar on the Other Side: $$
Teacher Friendly *****
Student Friendly *****
Ease of Use *****
Organized *****

The Language Mechanic, Tuning Up English with Logic by M.A. Hockett. Grades 5 -7. This workbook helps make learning fun by offering a humorous slant on the subject of grammar through comical examples of incorrect usage, plus exercises with a logic twist. This is published by The Critical Thinking Co. This book has sections on capitalization, run-ons and fragments, pronouns, modifiers, verbs, agreement, unnecessary words, punctuation, friendly letter, and spelling and vocabulary. Each lesson has the “grabber” – an example of miscommunication that illustrates the need for the rule, the logic of why the rule makes sense, the rule and how to use it, several practice exercises, and then a section called Your Turn, which is the independent practice.

The Language Mechanic: $$
Teacher Friendly *****
Extra Practice ***
Student Friendly *****
Ease of Use *****
Organized *****

Our Mother Tongue: A Guide to English Grammar by Nancy Wilson. Jr. High and up.

Our Mother Tongue: A Guide to English Grammar, is extremely well written. The entire textbook is divided into six units. The first unit, like all textbooks, is a review, mainly of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and the like. The following units then focus on sentence structure, special properties, and verbals. Each lesson gives examples, detailed explanations, definitions, and sometimes, a bit of a history lesson. One of my favorite examples is: When an adverb clause comes at the beginning of a sentence, it is always followed by a comma. Adverb clauses, when they appear in the middle of a sentence, are enclosed in commas. No comma is needed when it comes at the end of the sentence. Each lesson is also divided into a few different exercises making it easy to complete one to two lessons in a week. Samantha S., age 14; used OMT at age 13 in 8th grade. Review written by Samantha S. (thank you!)

Our Mother Tongue: $$
Teacher Friendly *****
Extra Practice ****
Student Friendly *****
Ease of Use *****
Organized *****

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