Grammar historically elicits groans from students. I vividly remember a class-wide moan when I was in a traditional grade school class, even from the teacher! My own best teaching of grammar came from my father who taught me at home to diagram sentences and gave me a much deeper grammar foundation than I received in school. I believe the core problem we face in teaching grammar is excessive complexity without solid foundations paired with excessive amounts of time spent on the subject. As with everything in our homeschool I prefer quality over quantity. I have been incredibly impressed with the ability of Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 from Hake Publishing to address both of these problems! Grammar has been a part of our schooling since the beginning. In first grade I introduce a little bit each week and then second grade provides a more structured experience in our home. This means Grace already has had more grammar instruction than many kids who begin this series. The format is simple and scripted, my two favorite attributes for a homeschool curriculum! It is written to a teacher working with an entire class, but it can easily be adjusted to individual teaching.
The slim nature of each of the books surprised Grace. This is thinner than others we have used and she absolutely loved that she could write in the book rather than use another paper. The consumable textbook and writing workbook are a great feature so you don’t have to include extra paper or notebooks. The teacher guide has a full answer key as well as tests which can be copied for each student. I appreciate this aspect because if you are teaching multiple children over the years you will only need to purchase the student books again. I also really like that more practice is available in the back of the teacher guide for students if needed. So far Grace has not utilized this, but knowing it is there eases my mind if we come upon a more difficult concept.
Completing one lesson each day took about 15 minutes total. Wow! That is really fast. I love that there are Greek and Latin roots taught at the beginning of each lesson and reviewed in subsequent lessons. The grammar teaching is bite-sized and very clear. Because Grace has had a full year of formal grammar instruction I asked her what she thought about this. She said she really loved that she could write in the books and that it was short. She also really enjoys the vocabulary with Greek and Latin. Grace loves new words and even enjoys reading the dictionary for fun, so this was heaven for her!
After each test there is a writing assignment which will help them apply what they have learned in the structure of grammar to actual writing. I adore this application. One of the problems with many grammar programs is a lack of application. There are a variety of writing styles represented here. While this feels a little bit too structured for my taste when it comes to writing, I appreciate that it does take what has just been learned in the lessons and applies it to actual writing.
Overall both Grace and I give this curriculum two thumbs up! We like the short amount of time it takes each day and the overall structure of the program. It also teaches diagramming which is a huge plus in my book!