In an earlier post I shared what I like to use for elementary grade English grammar curriculums. See my post on First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, Level 1 over here. But when we have been through the four levels of First Language Lessons, what is next?
For fifth grade my oldest doll went through Simply Grammar: An Illustrated Primer By Karen Andreola. It reviewed the basics of grammar in the Charlotte Mason style. Additionally, we practiced diagramming sentences from the book and from other books we read. But when we hit middle school we knew we needed something that dug deeper. We kept hitting snags in diagramming, trying to figure out what part of speech certain words served in complex sentences.
After much searching at the FPEA Homeschool Convention in Orlando, I came across the Analytical Grammar booth. I talked to contributing author Erin Karl and was excited about what the Analytical Grammar Set offered. Initially I had been been put off by the price until I realized that this book would last three years – all the way through middle school. This program offers support and a terrific monthly newsletter with hints and – my favorite – grammar comics! The second year was the toughest for us. Grammar is not glamorous, but it is necessary. I had to cut down on the assignments because of the time it took for my daughter to complete them, and let her take the entire year (no summer off) to finish. The third year has been a breeze so far, with all of that intricate grammar foundation built under her.
We have also enjoyed the Beyond the Book Report- Season One writing supplement. Season Two is just starting for us. We have used Lost Tools of Writing with our co-op, so I did not want to pile too much writing on at once. Additionally we have enjoyed How to Write a Story by Lee Roddy, published by Institute for Excellence in Writing. Completing the exercises in this book resulted in my daughter publishing her first book On Ms. Mandy’s Desk.
This grammar foundation has served my daughter well in learning Latin, Greek and currently, Spanish. My younger doll is in her last year of First Language Lessons. She is an entirely different learner, but that program has been adaptable for both girls. I am taking it slower for my math minded child. She appreciates the rules and form in grammar, though does not like to do the work of identifying parts of speech. I am excited to
see how she enjoys Analytical Grammar later on.
“Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
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