I am a total grammar nerd. So it’s very important to me that my children learn and develop strong grammar and writing skills. However my children don’t tend to enjoy homeschool grammar lessons so it’s tricky to find curriculum that is thorough without being tedious. Enter Fix It! Grammar by Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW)!
We were blessed to receive Book 1: The Nose Tree of the Fix It! Grammar curriculum to try out in our homeschool. Because Fix It! is not a grade-level based program, I chose to use this book with Isaiah who is 17 and complete lessons at double pace, completing two weeks of material per calendar week.
This program is set up so that each book builds on the book before it, so IEW recommends starting with Book 1 – The Nose Tree regardless of grade level. However, a placement test is provided if you think your student can skip a book or two. I have embedded an introduction video to the curriculum below.
In each book, your student will find and correct errors, find parts of speech, select correct vocabulary usage and rewrite corrected passages taken directly from an actual published piece of literature. This makes Fix It! unique in that they are learning grammatical concepts in the context of sentences and paragraphs instead of just filling in the blanks. The recommended pace includes correcting one sentence per day, then copying the corrected passage into a notebook at the end of the week. This way, the student ends up with a corrected, handwritten copy of the entire story, as well as a handwritten glossary!
IEW provided us with one Teachers Edition and one Student Book for review. Both are spiral bound, soft cover books. Please do note that the Teachers book includes a downloadable, printable student book so that you can use each book with multiple students. They were kind enough to send us a printed and bound student book as a bonus, but this is not a necessary separate purchase. To me this is a huge incentive to purchase this curriculum as I often use books with more than one student. The Teachers edition with downloadable student book retails for $19 with the optional printed student book available for $15. I don’t normally mention cost in my crew reviews, but I think this program is an incredible value for the price and wanted to reflect that.
The Teacher’s Book includes an introduction and implementation instructions at the front. Each week includes step by step instruction and discussion topics for the weeks concepts, student page views, answer key, vocabulary definitions, advanced concepts and student rewrite key. At the end of the weekly lessons is a scope and sequence for reference. The back half of the teachers edition includes a Grammar glossary for quick reference of all grammar concepts taught throughout the book.
Here is how I chose to use Fix It! With my older student, covering two weeks in a calendar week:
DAY 1 – Go over new concepts with Mom, prepare Grammar cards, correct Day 1 sentence with mom, correct Day 2 sentence independently.
DAY 2 – Correct Day 3 and 4 sentences. Go over with Mom.
DAY 3 – Go over new concepts with Mom, prepare Grammar cards, correct Day 1 sentence with Mom, corrrect Day 2 sentence independently.
DAY 4 – Correct Day 3 and 4 sentences. Go over with Mom.
DAY 5 – Copy corrected passages into notebook.
Each day we spend no more than 10-15 minutes working in the Fix It! book. Following this schedule, we will complete one book per semester and two books in a school year. When I use this book with my younger child we will complete the lessons at the normal pace, completing one weeks exercises at a time as written in order to complete one book in a school year.
Isaiah seemed to not mind completing the Fix It! lessons daily and didn’t even complain about copying the corrected passages at the end of each week. Grammar and writing is a troublesome area for him and usually a cause of grumbling. We didn’t have that issue with Fix It!, so I am very pleased to have found something that is a good fit for him. We will definitely continue using this homeschool grammar program, purchasing additional books as needed.
Make sure you head on over to the crew blog to read more Fix It! Grammar reviews!! Simply click the graphic below 🙂