Grammar. Oh grammar. It took me such a long time to find a way to teach you! I remember early in my homeschooling journey I asked a fellow homeschooling mom what she used to teach grammar. She responded, “Oh, I don’t. As a matter of fact, many homeschoolers don’t really teach grammar anymore.” Dear reader, no. At the humble dwelling, I want my kids to read critically, to communicate thoughtfully, and to revise and edit their own essays. In order for that to happen, we must teach grammar! But all of the programs I found had such contrived exercises that my kids hated doing.
I want my kids to read critically, to communicate thoughtfully, and to revise and edit their own essays.
Finally someone suggested Fix It! Grammar from IEW, and we’re now on year 3 of using and loving it! Fix It! Grammar is a program with 6 books that model proper grammar within stories. The stories keep my children engaged, and I’ve seen them use this knowledge from this grammar course in other areas of their schooling. That alone was worth continuing with Fix It! I’ll explain a bit about how my kids use this and the benefits they’ve gained.
IEW offers the option to get a student e-book or printed. I opted to get the ebook so I can make grammar binders for the kids. This way my children have easy access to their printed out books, vocabulary, and copywork.
Each week is divided into 4 easy days of work. Using the teacher’s manual, I go over the lesson that week on day 1. The kids then work each of the 4 days for about 10-15 minutes per day.
The beauty of Fix It! Grammar is that the work the kids do is labeling and correcting a story. The example above is work done by my 7th grader. I’ve started noticing that when he edits and revises his essays for various subjects, he uses methods he learned with Fix It!, especially when it comes to usage and homophones. The kids, knowing the reasons for the fixes they do during grammar, are able to better edit their own work!
Each day the students are given a word (in bold) to define within the story. The benefits of this exercise are that the students improve dictionary skills, and I see many of these words trickle into essays throughout the school year. I also really love that the kids are learning nuances in our language. There may be many definitions for one word, and Fix It! Grammar allows them to figure out which definition best fits a particular sentence.
After completing the vocabulary portion, the students flip to the last section of their binders and copy the corrected story. By the end of the year, they have a complete, grammatically correct story copied! This copywork allows the kids to slow down and internalize all that they have learned. The fact that it’s one complete story makes the copywork really enjoyable and brings such satisfaction with the very last punctuation mark.
Fix It! Grammar also comes with quick reference grammar cards that are very helpful. I put them at the beginning of my kids’ binders for easy access.
Using stories to teach grammar and vocabulary is really engaging for my children and teaches them these skills in a natural, uncontrived way. And who can beat 15 minutes a day!
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