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Monday, July 28, 2014

Schoolhouse Crew Review: Analytical Grammar

Analytical Grammar Review
Do your children get excited about learning grammar?  Mine don't either.  But, having knowledge of the parts of speech and how they are supposed to work in a sentence will lead to better writing. Analytical Grammar uses a systematic approach to language mastery that will help learning grammar be less painful for the student and the teacher.  Over the last several weeks I have had an opportunity to use and review Junior Analytical Grammar.

Junior Analytical Grammar was written for students in 4th or 5th grades.  The program contains 11 units with each unit taking one week to complete.  Each unit builds on the one before it. If you are familiar with Analytical Grammar, Junior Analytical Grammar contains the same material as taught in the first 10 units of Analytical Grammar, but the reading level is lower and the exercises are shorter. The units are: Nouns, Articles and Adjectives, Pronouns, Prepositions, Subject and Verb, Adverbs, Patterns 1 and 2, Pattern 3, Linking Verbs and Patterns 4 and 5 Helping Verbs and Conjunctions and Compound Situations.  There are notes written to the student at the beginning of each unit explaining the concept that they will be learning during that unit.  Then there are 3 days worth of exercises, a playing with words assignment, and a test for each unit.  

There are two books you need to purchase to use Junior Analytical Grammar.  The Teacher Book is a paperback spiral bound book that contains all of the notes and exercises that are in the student book and of course the answers.  It also contains some information on the education philosophy of Analytical Grammar, notes for home teachers, description of what will be taught in each unit, and notes on correcting tests.  The Student Book is also paperback and spiral bound and contains all of the notes and student exercises.  The Student Book is consumable so you will need one for each student who is using Junior Analytical Grammar.  The Teacher/Student book set is $39.95 and you can purchase additional student books for $19.95.

View a sample of Junior Analytical Grammar.

I have been using Junior Analytical Grammar with my 10 year old son who just finished 4th grade. We use it four days per week completing one exercise per day except since we take Fridays off we complete the playing with words and the unit test on Thursday.  We usually spend 10-15 minutes per day on Junior Analytical Grammar except on Thursdays which take a bit longer because we are doubling up.  I sit down with Alex on Monday and read all of the notes on the lesson to him.  Then I go through the first few sentences with him and allow him to work through the others and then we go over the ones he completed on his own.

I don't think there is really any grammar program out there that is going to make my children stand up and cheer.  But, I really like Junior Analytical Grammar and honestly he has not complained even once when it was time to do his work. I like their educational philosophy of "scaffolding", making sure all of the layers are well built and weaving in the concepts with the prior concepts. The workbooks are simple and not distracting at all.  I love spiral bound books, they allow you to easily keep your place in both books without having to keep them propped open, and they lie flat on the table. The lessons are simple and to the point and can be taught in only minutes a day. I like the constant review and the adding new topics in with the old. There is not much teacher prep at all.  All you need to do is read over the lesson before presenting it to your student.  Even in the few weeks that we have used the product, my son has shown a much greater understanding of the parts of speech then he ever has before.

Members of The Crew reviewed a variety of products from Analytical Grammar.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, click on the banner below.
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