Let’s face it, grammar is a subject that makes most kids want to beat their heads against the wall. Sitting and learning about past participles is as exciting as having to go to a paint store on a hot summer day when the pools are open.
If we have any chance of teaching this subject, it will need to be short, easy to grasp, and feel as if we’ve given them a treat instead of school work. Fortunately, Easy Grammar Plus by Easy Grammar Systems, which I was given to review, fits the bill.
I’m going to start off by saying this is probably one of my favorite programs out there because of their prepositional approach.
Once your child memorizes the prepositions, which is the first thing he will do, it becomes second nature for him to find prepositional phrases in sentences. Removing these phrases makes identifying other parts of speech so much easier! And it’s enjoyable finding and crossing them out because it feels a little like a game.
Who Is Easy Grammar Plus For?
While Easy Grammar Plus is non-graded, they recommend using it around seventh grade. However, if you have a child who is struggling in grammar or needs a refresher course, it works great at the high school and college level also.
Someone Who Wants a Simple Curriculum with No Prep
This program couldn’t be any easier to teach. It has an open and go teacher’s manual that includes everything you need, even the student workbook.
Teacher’s Edition includes:
- Student pages
- Strategies for teaching,
- Unit reviews and unit tests
- Cumulative reviews and cumulative tests
This is a great way to save money. When the student is working on a page, you can put a sheet of paper over the answers on the left side. Then they can remove it and check themselves when they finish. If you feel this would be a problem for your student, then purchasing the student workbook or copying the pages is a good idea.
Students Who Need Short Lessons
The lessons only take about five to ten minutes. Yes, you heard that right! Then the student has a one-page worksheet to complete which reinforces the grammar concept. The whole process is only takes fifteen to twenty minutes. That’s faster than the drive-thru at a fast-food restaurant most days.
If your child is used to an intensive program that takes 30-45 minutes each day, this will feel like a real treat!
Parents Who Want a Program That Simplifies the Grammar Process
You might wonder how in the world your child is learning anything in such a short amount of time, but that’s the beauty of the prepositional approach. When you remove those little phrases first, the rest of the sentence becomes much easier to pull apart.
How to Use Easy Grammar Plus
Before beginning the book, there is an 8-page assessment the students take. They recommend parents do not share the results until the end when the student takes it again and you can compare the two so your child can see the improvement.
After the assessment, your child’s first step is memorizing the prepositions, which is the foundation for the rest of the program. Don’t skip this!
The book includes a bingo game and unscramble sheets to practice them. While these are great, some children need more to memorize them.
How to Memorize the Prepositions for Easy Grammar
One thing from my junior high English class that has stuck with me all my life is memorizing the prepositions. I can still recite all of them to this day and often do to impress my children. Perhaps that’s why English was easier for me and I’ve always enjoyed it?
Either way, my English teacher wasn’t your ordinary teacher. She had a unique approach to memorizing this huge list of words, and I suggest you use her idea and the one I’ve added as well. I’ll explain both below.
To start, she broke the list down into groups. There is a natural break for some of them because they’re alphabetized. The A’s and B’s can be split into several groups because there are more of them.
She started with the first group and we practiced until we had them. Then she’d add another group and so on. And before long, we could say the whole list.
But what really drove them deep was the crazy activity she had us do. She had us pull a slip of paper from a jar filled with activities. We had to recite the prepositions while doing whatever was written on the slip.
Each paper had an action written on it such as stand on your chair, jump on one foot, or yell through the classroom door (I was the lucky one to draw that gem!). I bet teachers next door loved us!
This incorporated several learning styles and every single one of us could remember that huge list of words.
You can get as creative as you want with your list of actions to do while saying the prepositions. Your kids will have a blast doing it and it will make memorizing these words much easier.
I took it a step further with my daughter did a different activity with hand motions. This added another kinesthetic element to make each word meaningful.
Here’s a video (we’re not professionals-sorry!) of my daughter doing the motions while reciting the prepositions. (I added a couple more prepositions to the list because I’m crazy like that). You will also notice we use a homophone for some words because it was easier to come up with a hand motion, but I made sure she knew they difference.)
It only took one day for my daughter to learn the entire list, but your child may take longer, and that’s fine. Just make sure he knows them before moving on.
Once the list is down pat, it’s time to start the lessons. Easy Grammar Plus can be done in any order you choose, however, the author recommends you cover the verb unit early on because it’s related to many other concepts in the book.
You’ll spend a few minutes introducing and teaching a lesson and then your child will do a worksheet practicing the concept. It’s as easy as that. Hence the name Easy Grammar!
At the end of almost every part of speech or grammar concept that’s taught, there will be a cumulative review and test.
What Is Covered in Easy Grammar Plus?
- Types of Sentences
- Sentences, Fragments, and Run-Ons
- Phrases and Clauses
- Letters-Friendly, Business, and Envelopes
My daughter’s enjoying this program so much more than three pages of grammar a day in the previous program she used last year. Until this point, grammar hasn’t really stuck with her (and we’ve tried several approaches.)
Easy Grammar’s approach to language arts simplifies the process and makes it much easier to identify the parts of speech in a sentence. She understands what to look for now.
The list of prepositions to memorize looks daunting but if you make it fun, they will love it. I heard my daughter saying them to herself in the car they day we learned them. She was voluntarily practicing them.
If your student is used to a long drawn out program, Easy Grammar Plus will feel like a treat and not like a summer day spent staring at paint chips while all his friends are at the pool.
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