September 12, 2019

Easy Grammar: Plus~ The Grammar Curriculum I Didn't Know I Was Looking For {Curriculum Review}

Grammar. We put a high priority on grammar instruction in our studies and I have used several different programs to teach it. We recently decided to leave one of our curriculum we've used for the last several years and I've been exploring other options--and getting rather overwhelmed. Fortunately, we were picked to review Easy Grammar: Plus from Easy Grammar Systems with my oldest son from a program that wasn't even on our radar! Getting to have it and actually use it helps so much in making a decision--so will we use Easy Grammar: Plus this school year? Join me in my review of this open-and-go grammar program geared for middle school students.

About the Product

Easy Grammar Systems provides award-winning grammar curriculum for elementary, middle, and high school students
starting from first grade with the Easy Grammar: Grade 1 and continuing to the Easy Grammar Ultimate Series for grades 8-12. All of the products are designed for mastery learning and consist of short under 15-minute lessons. Additionally, there are the Daily GRAMS daily review books for grades 3-7.

Each of the Easy Grammar series for grades 1-6 is available with a teacher edition, student workbook, and student test book. The Easy Grammar: Plus book, however, combines all of these into one SUPER thick book making it easy to have all you need in one place. The books are available separately for those interested.

Unlike the other books in the series, Easy Grammar: Plus is non-graded. This means it has been designed for grades 7+ as it is written to include higher-level concepts that even those at a college level may need to learn, yet written on what would be a 4th-grade reading level. This makes it applicable to a wider group of students.

The Easy Grammar: Plus book contains:

* Unit reviews, unit tests, cumulative reviews, and Cumulative tests
* 665 pages See "Scope and Sequence" for content
* Reproducible worksheets (answer key on the left side and reproducible page on right)

We reviewed the Easy Grammar: Plus curriculum with my 13-year-old as his primary grammar instruction.

Our Thoughts on the Product

Easy Grammar: Plus is a grammar program geared for the middle grades--especially 7th grade. The lessons are short with lots of practice for mastery. While you could do it in order as designed, the author does note that after you teach the prepositional unit first, you can jump ahead to punctuation and capitalization, followed by the verb unit. The author suggests that the remainder of the book should be taught in order as many concepts are interrelated. Throughout the book, there are reviews over the topics to confirm mastery.

Checking the answers of the Pre-assessment
The best way to get started with the book is definitely to give the Pre-Assessment quiz which tests the knowledge of the student in all the areas in the book. Each section is labeled by letter. The book provides the grading information for scoring the assessment and recommends that you don’t share it with the student until they are completed with the course so they can see how they improved.

Because the pre-assessment was very comprehensive, we took a week to work through it. My oldest son did well in some areas and rough in others. He actually did about as I expected. One thing that this showed me was that our previous grammar program was definitely teaching different things—or at least focusing on different things. I narrowed it down to that our previous program taught grammar more for writing skills rather than in-depth grammar analysis and usage. My youngest son was far more familiar with the skills on the pre-assessment quiz (more on that later) because he just finished a very rigorous grammar program for third grade. In his program, the grammar was taught separately from writing much like this one.

Once we did the pre-assessment, I started pulling the portions of the Easy Grammar: Plus book that coordinated to the skills the quiz shared as needing attention. I started with the basic preposition unit to get us started—but for us, it was really a review as he studied prepositions in-depth on his previous grammar program. From there we went to a review of preposition vs adverb and then I gave him the preposition quiz.

We jumped ahead to a review of direct objects, contractions, verb phrases, and this week we reviewed possessive nouns (one of his weakest scores on the pre-assessment).
Learning about Nouns that are Determiners

Reviewing the rules for possessive nouns
Right now we are only doing a page a day. If it has an instruction page, I do a basic review of the rules and then we work an example or two together before he dives into the assignment.

One thing that this has revealed is that it is the PERFECT grammar for my youngest son who just came off a strong grammar program for his third-grade year. Yes, it IS geared towards middle school grammar; however, my youngest took to grammar like a duck to water and none of the other grammar programs I have explored at, at the level, he is currently in, besides the one he just finished. I even looked through the grade level one from Grammar Plus to see if I should go that route. He actually worked the possessive noun assignment with his brother. I heard him whispering the answers, so I decided to let him complete it as well. He did excellently. I decided to purchase him the Easy Grammar: Plus Student Workbook while we continue using this big one (with photocopies) for my oldest. The reason behind this is that my oldest is doing it more as a complete review, whereas some of it is brand new for my youngest and I want to go in order.

There really was only one aspect of the program that I don't necessarily agree with--the need to memorize every single preposition. I understand their logic--if you know them, you can cross them out to find the actual subject/verb of the sentence. However, I believe that if you show them what they are and then explain what their purpose is, they really don't have to memorize the entire list. I have found though, that continuous grammar study sort of imprints them into their memory banks just from repetitive usage.

For purchasing in general, I think that if you have more than one student who will be able to use Easy Grammar: Plus, get the big 600+ page version that has everything you need in it. This is because the book allows reproducing of the pages needed. And you may find you don't need every exercise, but will still have all the answers, the quizzes, etc. As I said--I did purchase a student workbook version for my youngest son, simply because we won't be jumping around as much and he needs the additional exercises for each topic, unlike his brother who is doing more review than anything else. Fortunately, both versions are reasonably priced!

I am thankful for having the chance to review this product, as it has helped me find just the right grammar curriculum for our family—one I didn’t even have in my radar! I encourage anyone who is looking for a straightforward to the point, easy to teach grammar curriculum, to give Easy Grammar: Plus (or any other in the series) a try!

Want to Know More?

For the last several weeks, we have been reviewing the Easy Grammar: Plus curriculum from Easy Grammar Systems. I encourage you to see what the other Easy Grammar levels look like and take a peek at the Daily Gram series that my other crew team members reviewed.
Easy Grammar, Daily GRAMS & Easy Grammar Ultimate {Easy Grammar Systems Reviews}

I was really surprised to discover that this product was such a great fit for us, after using and singing the praises of another grammar program for so long. I think that the other program is still an excellent one, but Easy Grammar Systems is where we need to be at this point in our grammar studies! It's always so exciting to have a "perfect fit" just fall into your lap! ❤

No comments: