english

Hi everyone! Welcome to day 3 of my homeschool curriculum forum/discussion series. Today we’re going to be talking about English & Grammar.

I have to admit this is always one of my hardest subjects to finalize when picking curriculum. For the most part I am happy using Abeka phonics for the earlier years, but when it comes to 3rd grade and up I’ve been wavering. For the last two years we’ve been using BJU Press English & Grammar. I started this in 3rd grade and had planned to stick with it for future grades.

While that is still my plan, I’m not totally in love with this curriculum. I’ve just been sticking with it because it’s “okay”. The pages are colorful which is nice for visual learners, and the daily lessons are nicely outlined at the top of the student worksheets which I also find helpful. You do need the Teacher’s Manual in my opinion for this curriculum as there are more examples and help for the student in the TM. The TM also includes a smaller duplicate of the student workpage but also includes the answers as well which is helpful.

english2

Pros:

  • Fairly thorough and straight forward
  • Colorful worksheets
  • Student workbook answers are in the teacher’s manual.

Cons:

  • Can be pricey unless you buy used.

I have looked into Abeka, Rod & Staff English, as well as Shurley English, and Easy Grammar but haven’t been brave enough to try any of them as of yet haha!

So for lack of wanting to change I’m currently planning to stick with BJU English. While BJU English isn’t a bad curriculum at all, it’s just that I don’t feel my kids are really “getting” English. I am also not a huge fan of the writing, so we use something else for that, but we’ll tackle that in the writing curriculum post coming soon.

 

IEW Fix It Grammar!

As many of you know we switched to a new English/Grammar curriculum. We’ve been using Fix It! Grammar now for about 2 years and so far I really like it. Click below to see the full review on this English/Grammar curriculum.

TT_FixItGrammar

What I like about Fix It! Grammar:

  • It takes less time, about 15 minutes per day.
  • It includes vocabulary.
  • I like that we’re learning to edit a continuing story line.
  • Story is interesting and kids are excited to see what happens next.
  • It correlates well with the IEW Writing program.
  • Helps reinforce proper paragraph formation, writing structure, etc.
  • Teacher’s manual is easy to read and concepts are clear and concise.
  • Love the extra teacher notes, so far any questions the kids have asked have been listed in the teacher notes which is great!
  • Like the easy reference flash-cards.
  • Cost is great!

 

So, now comes the fun part!

What are your favorite English curriculum, resources, websites, etc? Leave a comment below discussing your choices for this year and why.

Feel free to ask questions or reply to each other too!

It’s my way of doing a forum without actually doing a forum haha!

And hopefully this will help us all as we start the process of researching curriculum, and trying to decide what will be the best fit for our homeschool.

Note: Please keep today’s conversations geared towards ENGLISH & GRAMMAR, I will be posting one for each subject separately so we can keep our comments organized.

Disclosure: This was not a sponsored post, I may however be affiliated with one or more products mentioned. The opinions expressed in this post were not influenced by the company. They are products I have used and felt like sharing, cuz’ it’s my blog and I can if I want to.

197 Comments

  1. I just ran across this blog post and did not see anyone talk about the curriculum we used this last year its called Essentials in writing. Its half grammar and writing. If you like the Math u see set up with a workbook and video you will like this curriculum. I have a 4th grader and I have seen his writing really improve using this curriculum. Bonus I called and talked to the author who was an english teacher for many years.

    Jennifer R
  2. I have been agonizing over what main LA program to use for my daughter who will be in 6th grade next year. She was in PS last year. After looking at Abeka, R&S, BJ, and many others, I think we will go with CLE. I had her take the 500 placement test (it’s free if you just click to see the sample) and she scored well in some areas and poorly in others. Not well enough to pass though. What’s great about CLE is that they have 10 separate books to cover the entire year so I can just pick the books that I need to focus on to catch her up. I think spelling is also included. They also have a separate diagramming book for only $3 or $4 which she didn’t learn in PS. For anyone that has used CLE, do I need to find programs for writing & vocabulary to add? Was your child prepared for the SAT or ACT? Thanks for your help!

    Kathy
  3. Since 2013, have you used any of the suggestions? I am struggling with my oldest. I think I just have to be consistent in Math and English, but am struggling with what to use. Please pray for me. We are taking our CAT test now and he is really not doing great. Way below his percentile. And I also know it’s because he is slightly stressing out, but I think he is frustrated with himself for not knowing the answers.

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      I use BJU English now, and it seems to be working well. But that’s just what is working for us, you might want to check out my forum where several people have posted their thoughts on English/Grammar curriculum.
      https://community.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/t/poll-whats-your-favorite-english-grammar-curriculum/44

      I would encourage your son to do the best he can, but try not to get too worked up about it. There are so many reasons why kids don’t do well on standardized tests. Some kids, like my oldest, get really nervous taking tests because they want to do well. And it backfires against them and they end up getting so nervous that they don’t do well. Some don’t feel well, or are hungry, or have a hard time focusing. I would use this year as a baseline and take results with intention of making sure to work on areas where he needs improvement. But you’ll also know if he’s doing well at home, but then didn’t do so well on the test, that he probably isn’t great at taking tests.

      To help with test anxiety we added in regular tests to our homeschool year. We also added in the Abeka Read and Comprehend Skill Sheets which are basically timed reading comprehension tests where they read then answer questions. They take math, spelling, and English tests weekly as well. All of that has made the annual tests not so daunting since they’re used to testing.

      I hope that helps, please email me if you have any other questions!

      erica
    1. My son is in 7th grade now. He likes BJU over the unit studies using living books. The BJU texts read well, are meaty and they offer distance learning online self paced, which is great for math and science. BJU English includes grammar and writing that can be done mostly independently. Tests are great to see if your child is understanding what he is learning. For reading and reading comprehension, vocabulary and analysis BJU has their literature course. I haven’t tried VP Omnibus 1 yet but that is something I am considering for 8th. It includes literature, Bible and history. MP has literature guides that are great. The idea is to go through the books at a slower pace and dig deeper.

      Adriane

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