Grammar is a very important concept to me, and it’s imperative to me that my kids learn proper grammar. I see so many kids today (and adults, too!) who use horrible grammar, and it makes me nuts. When our family was given the opportunity to review both the Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree [Book 1] Teacher Manual and Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree [Book 1] Student Book from Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), I jumped at the chance. I hadn’t used an actual grammar curriculum in the past, I just sort of mentioned certain rules as we went along and something came up. Of course, I had heard of IEW in the past, but I’ve never used any of their products in our homeschool. The Teacher Manual is $19 at the time of posting, and the Student Book is $15 at the time of posting. The program is recommended for grades 3 and up.
IEW’s goal is to assist you in helping your child to hone their writing, thinking, and expressive skills. What better way to start than to learn proper grammar? The Teacher Manual is 228 pages long, with 177 pages being instructional, 3 pages of the scope and sequence, and there is a glossary in the back of the book that contains the official terms for topics that are taught. Layman’s terms are typically used in the lessons, but it’s good to know the actual terms. There are 33 weeks of instruction, and each week contains 4 days of lessons. Each day is broken down individually, and a new skill is introduced each week. Students will learn about nouns, pronouns, indents, articles, homophones, end marks, etc. At the beginning of each week in the Teacher manual, you’ll see what the week’s topic is, along with the week’s instructions. On each day’s lesson, there is a sentence that needs to be “fixed.” The sentences actually all come together as a story. I thought that was pretty neat. There are extra notes in the Teacher Manual, so that you can better explain what’s going on for the day. The Fixes may include homophones (choices are given and the student chooses which word is correct), end marks, commas, quotations, etc. There are also Grammar Notations where student learn about and label words that are nouns, articles, verbs, etc. The book is very easy to understand and teach from. There’s no wondering if you’re teaching enough, because if you’re reading the notes, you’re doing it right. Purchasing the Teacher Manual also gives you access to the Student Book via download, and you can download that book as many times as you need for use within your family only. There are 6 books in the Fix It! series, but I wanted to start from the beginning.
The Student Book is 126 pages long, and like the Teacher Manual, contains 33 weeks of lessons plus a glossary in the back, but it also contains Grammar Cards. These are card stock cards that are introduced and used for lessons as indicated. The cards are cut-out, and the back of each indicates when it should be introduced and “added to your collection.” There are 24 Grammar Cards in all, so there’s not a new one for each week. The glossary could be used for extra reading in order to drive home the actual lessons. Each week is broken down and is similar to the Teacher Manual, but obviously doesn’t have all of the teacher notes. The beginning of each week has a page on the week’s topic and instructions, just the way the Teacher Manual does. On the next page is the week’s sentences that need to be corrected. On the top of the sentence page are the skills that are worked on for that week. Each sentence has one bolded word for vocabulary. The definitions for those are in the Teacher Manual. For example, for Week 3, the skills are vocabulary, paragraph indent, homophones, end marks, quotation marks, nouns, and articles. Each day, students will label any words that need to be, such as articles and nouns for Week 3, and add appropriate end marks in the book. After that is completed, the student will the copy the sentence on notebook paper correctly, including the fixes they made in their book.
How We Used It
Since the program is for grades 3 and up, I knew I could easily use it with my 3 oldest, and that’s what I did. I received 1 physical copy of the Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree [Book 1] Student Book, and since the Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree [Book 1] Teacher Manual includes a download of the Student Book, I was able to download the other 2 copies that I needed. I gave the kids folders to keep their work in, so hopefully it wouldn’t get lost (our house has a tendency to eat things, or something like that). I decided to include Fix It! Grammar in our Group Time around the table. It’s easy enough for the kids to understand, and we can take as much time as we need. However, the lessons do not take very long for us to complete. I don’t think we’ve ever spent more than 20 minutes on an actual lesson, including writing, unless someone is sloppy and has to redo their work. Here is my daughter’s work:
So far we’ve worked on nouns, articles, indention, homophones, and quotation marks.
I actually love this program. It’s so ridiculously easy to use. Everything is laid out for you, and it takes very little effort to teach. I love that my kids enjoy it as well. They haven’t complained once about doing the work, and that’s always a plus. I will definitely continue to use this in our homeschool. I also love that I can download extra copies of the Student Book if I need/want to. If you’re not sure how to go about teaching grammar, check this program out!
You can follow along with IEW at the following links:
Be sure to click the graphic below to read reviews from my fellow Crew Mates. Each family received similar products to review. Thanks for stopping by!