June 27, 2018

Exploring Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 {Curriculum Review}

I have already picked out the Language Arts materials that I have planned to use with my soon-to-be third grader for the new school year. We are planning on going with some much beloved material—but I’m always willing to give other products a try. We were recently asked to review the new Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 from Hake Publishing. I have always tended to stay away from the workbook heavy Saxon curriculum in the past, but had never actually used it. Would this curriculum be good enough to convince me to switch gears for this fall?

About Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing

Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing is a well known language arts curriculum used in private schools and homeschools. This rigorous program (available for grades 3-8) focuses on
English grammar, writing, spelling, punctuation, and vocabulary. Each grade levels focuses on the eight parts of speech, as well as sentence structure, capitalization, punctuation and correct word usage. There is also focused attention on teaching sentence diagramming to help the student visually see how a sentence works. There is daily vocabulary practice, a teaching of spelling rules, and even spelling tests incorporated throughout the curriculum. Available as a separate part of this curriculum is the consumable writing workbook. If you are unsure where you would start your child, I would check out the Scope and Sequence for the program which lays out what is taught in each of the grade levels. It is good to note that the program doesn’t expect your child to have worked their way up through the levels, as they incorporate much review in each grade level.

The newest member of the program is Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3—geared for the third grade student. There are 111 grammar lessons in this book providing about 21 weeks of material. The book begins with instruction about basic information about sentence structure, then moves to identifying subjects and predicates. A review of the different tenses of verbs and nouns make up the first 14 lessons. Spelling rules begin at lesson 15 and continue about every 5 lessons. Your child will start diagramming in lesson 29. By the end of the book, they will have an excellent grasps on all the main parts of a sentence including various punctuation like commas, apostrophes, colons, and semi-colons.

The separate consumable level 3 writing book contains 21 lessons focused on teaching about writing good sentences, and then shifting into learning about paragraph structure. It next teaches about persuasive, expository, narrative, and descriptive writing. It concludes with showing the student how to write a chapter summary. There is one writing lesson for each week, beginning after week 2 (or lesson 10).

The Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 curriculum includes the Teacher Guide (answer keys and tests), consumable textbook, and the writing workbook. It retails for $63.30. And additional student kit with the consumable textbook and writing workbook can be purchased for $42.10.

Our Thoughts on Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3

Confession: When I heard this was a Saxon product, I was skeptical. I have looked at Saxon products before and they are very workbook heavy—a style that isn’t our first or second choice in our homeschool. I didn’t have much confidence that this product was going to work for us; however, I asked to review it because my youngest is heading into 3rd grade this fall. I also remembered that he doesn’t mind doing workbooks as much as his brother does.

Easy to plan out your year
When it arrived, the first thing I noticed was the teacher schedule in the very beginning of the teacher guide. I noticed that the writing assignments fell on the same day as the grammar tests, making them only happen once a week. I also saw that the first writing assignment didn’t even happen until after the first ten grammar lessons were completed. Not having daily writing assignments was actually a big YES in their favor for my reluctant writer.

The teacher guide gives simple tips for using the program and then dives right into the material. MOST of the teaching material is actually in the student consumable textbook. The only things that are used each day in the teacher guide is just the starting portion with the random question for the day and the vocabulary lesson.

I really liked how the vocabulary lesson teaches Greek and Latin roots and what they mean—then incorporates two vocabulary words containing those roots. This was a great way to get my son thinking about other words containing those roots. For instance, Lesson 8 teaches "The Latin root pac- means peace." The two vocabulary words for this lesson are pacify and pacifists. The student then learns how these are used in a sentence in the practice section and will be asked to use them correctly in a sentence later.

working on the daily assignment
We quickly discovered that the lessons follow the same routine each day with little deviation. This made my son happy because he likes it when he already knows what to expect. Each lesson begins with the random question and vocabulary review. Then it has the grammar lesson for the day. Following this is a series of practice assignments, and then it finishes with a review. Each of the review items have a tiny number notation in parentheses to indicate the number of the lesson the concept was introduced. Every so often, a lesson will have a note for “more practice”. These are worksheets included in the teacher's guide and help cement in the lesson. All the answers for the practice and review problems are included in the back of the teacher guide. The first quiz is after lesson ten has been completed. It is just a review of all the first ten lessons and is done in the same style as the consumable textbook. The first writing lesson is done on the same day as the quiz.

97% on first quiz
This program has been IDEAL for us to use during our summer break. We do school about 3 days a week and have worked through the first 12 lessons, completing the first test and writing assignment. My son decided one day to time how long it took us to do a lesson from beginning to end, so we set the stopwatch. Know how long it took? A mere 12 minutes. Yes, TWELVE MINUTES to do an entire lesson. Surely that was a fluke, right? So we kept timing them. Every single lesson has taken an average of 12 minutes. There was one that took 18, but it had more lesson material to teach. Even the day we did the test and writing assignment. The test took him 6 minutes to complete and the writing assignment 10 more. 16 minutes!

But the material is IN DEPTH! I honestly cannot believe how in depth it is when it takes so little time to complete! It also reviews previous lessons so well that my son has learned all four of his types of sentences faster than ever! I am surprised at how quick he can label sentences as either declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, or imperative!

Working on Writing Lesson #1
Because it is so short—and because he knows exactly what to expect each day—he never complains about doing it. Now, in the future there may be longer lessons, but for right now, they are short and sweet and he’s learning! Not much of what we are doing now is brand new to him—so that may also play a part. But we never studied diagramming or using the words subject and predicate, so that is definitely new to him.

Long story short—I am now conflicted! This program has worked FABULOUSLY for him and seems to be right up his alley, even though it wasn’t anything I had even considered before. So now I have to decide if we will use THIS program in place of what I had already planned on. There is a high chance that I will and that frankly surprises me!

If you are looking for a complete grammar and writing program that is easy to use, open-and-go, everything is there for you curriculum AND you have a child that likes workbooks, I highly suggest you check out the Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing curriculums!

Want to Know More about Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing?

For the last few weeks we have been reviewing the Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 from Hake Publishing with my 7 1/2 year old. I hope you will visit other crew members to learn their thoughts on this program!
Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 {Hake Publishing Reviews}

So there you have it. I cannot believe that I actually liked this program, or that my youngest enjoyed doing it! This shows me that you shouldn't assume you won't like something until you've at least tried it out. So now, will we make the switch to this full time for the 2018-2019 school year? We shall see, but the odds are looking pretty good. LOL

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