A few months ago I started making plans our next year's curriculum. I was not sure what to use with Lily for language arts. We did a couple of different things this year that just did not seem to be a good fit and I wanted to find something new. We were offered an opportunity to review a new homeschool grammar program from Hake Publishing called Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 right at the perfect time.
Grammar and Writing 3 is designed to be used with students in the 3rd grade and the 111 lessons will take a full school year to complete. Grammar topics such as: parts of speech, sentence structure, diagramming, word usage, capitalization, and punctuation is covered along with spelling rules, vocabulary lessons, and writing instruction. Lessons are meant to be completed in order and they recommend that all the exercises in each lesson be completed. The curriculum includes:
Teacher's Guide- The Teacher's Guide is a paperback book that is 3 hole punched and has perforated pages. A script for each lesson is in the Teacher Guide along with the tests, extra practice pages, and answer keys. A schedule for the year is also included.
Consumable Textbook- The consumable textbook is a paperback book that is 488 pages long. It is also the student workbook that they complete their assignments in. Each lesson is around 3-4 pages long.
Writing Workbook- This paperback book is 92 pages long and has the students 21 writing lessons with space for them to complete their answers. This book also has perforated pages that are punched and can be removed and placed in a notebook if you wish.
Each lesson starts with a grammar meeting followed by a vocabulary lesson. The vocabulary lesson teaches two words by teaching a Latin root for the word. For example the Latin root popul means people. The two words taught in that lesson is population and people. Next there is a page or so of text to read explaining what that day's lesson is about with examples given. After reading through the text there are practice problems that focus on that day's lesson. After completing the practice problems, students then complete the review set which reviews concepts taught previously.
The first test is given after lesson 10. After that tests are given after every five lessons. The writing assignments in the writing workbook are completed on test days. The writing notebook begins with writing sentences, then paragraphs, and different types of writing such as: persuasive, expository, narrative, and descriptive.
I have been using Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 with my 9 year old daughter Lily who has not had very much formal grammar instruction. The Teacher's Guide gives an approximate amount of time for each lesson to be around 45 minutes, but it also assumes you are teaching it to a class. Our lessons only took around 20 minutes to complete. The grammar meeting with just one student goes rather quickly without multiple children to answer. I asked Lily the question from the grammar meeting, went over the vocabulary root and examples, and then moved on to the lesson. I sat with her and read the text aloud and watched her complete her work in her text to make sure she understood the lesson.
My first impression was that I loved that the text and workbook were together. The book is very clean looking without any distractions. The program does not require advanced teacher preparation. It is open and go. The concepts are explained in an easy to understand format and examples are given to help the student understand. Students have plenty of opportunity to practice what they have learned. I love all of the built in, continuous review. I have never been big on making my children take tests, but the included tests are very helpful to make sure they understand what they have learned.
The main reason for teaching students grammar is so they will be able to write and communicate well. I love the writing component of Grammar and Writing 3. It teaches in a very gentle manner going from basic sentences and moving on to paragraphs and different types of writing. This approach is wonderful for those who do not have a lot of experience writing or for reluctant writers.
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