> Bless Their Hearts Mom: Make Grammar Lessons EASY With Fix It!Grammar from IEW! (Curriculum Review)
Thursday, April 4, 2019

Make Grammar Lessons EASY With Fix It!Grammar from IEW! (Curriculum Review)

I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW)

We have been using the same grammar series for the past 2 years and it is starting to get boring for my daughter, so when I saw the new Fix It! Grammar program from the acclaimed Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), I knew we had to give it a look over, and see if it could replace the program we have now.

fix it! grammar set

The Fix It! Grammar program is made up of multiple stages, and each stage has a Student Text/Workbook, and a Teacher's Manual. The first book (The Nose Tree) starts with the basics, and each subsequent level is founded on the previous book, while adding new and more advanced concepts. There is no 'set' age or grade level for each stage, as some students advance quickly with grammar, and others don't. It is recommended that you have your child take the placement test first. BUT many students will have holes in their Grammar knowledge,, so starting on book 1 allows them to be filled, or to review concepts for better understanding. 

fix it! grammar scope and sequence

For us, I knew what Miss Grace had already done the past 2 years and would be working on til the end of the year, so I opted to place her in Book 6 (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight). If you are thinking of skipping ahead, I would look at EACH book's sample Student Workbook pages and Teacher's Manual sample pages, for the beginning concepts, to see if your child already knows them, if not, you may want to go back one level, or two. Be sure to check their Scope and Sequence (above) listings too, to see how many concepts the book might help with.

Something that also encouraged me with this level (6), was that it used a book she had not read or heard, so she was less inclined to 'skim over' the passages, and miss the needed corrections. Let's look at one of the Week 1 daily samples up close:

Fix It! Grammar sample student workbook
As you can see, it is a run on sentence in desperate need of some help! What we did was make Miss Grace read it out loud to me. This not only have her much needed practice with pronouncing unfamiliar words, but helped her to 'hear' where breaks should be. Then when she took her correcting pen to it, she knew where the commas needed to be. We have been working heavily with prepositional phrases in her current program, so that also helped her with what info was extra, and comma placement. Although I had to laugh when she asked me if she could rewrite the sentence to make it better (before I even told her that was the second part of the lesson), as that is something she also has been doing, and apparently it's now habit for her!

And yes, I did let her do that AFTER the actual lesson! The hyphenated words vexed her, but a quick look at a dictionary, and she had them fixed as well. The editing marks are learned in book 1, BUT, they are also included in the glossary, so she was able to figure them out, as some are different than the ones she had felt more comfortable with, and that we have been using. The words in bold are the vocabulary words for the week as well.

completing a fix it! grammar lesson

She didn't mind re-writing the sentences daily, but doing a week's work at a time was a bore to her. So instead I just had her keep a journal page, and every time she edited a sentence, she wrote the next corrected sentence in place, in the journal. Problem solved, she wasn't doing it all at once, but it was rewritten. Plus at the end of the week, I had her read the section out loud again, and she could hear how much better the flow was, and how her corrections worked.  Additionally, any vocabulary words she didn't know had to be written in the back of the journal, with her definition of them. Then at the end of the week, she had to use them properly in a sentence.

As she has progressed through the book, the editing has gotten harder, and will keep doing so, as more advanced concepts will be taught. BUT, I feel like this level is challenging whereas the lower levels would have left her complacent, so I'm glad I picked the high level for her. If you have an elementary level student, I would definitely start with book 1 and work through all the levels. By doing the reading and editing, you get so much more than just a boring grammar lesson- you get vocabulary, spelling and reading. All in a SIMPLE 15 minute exercise, that helps to reinforce the concepts taught, without numbing your child by excessive busywork (which always makes kids forget them, not reinforce, especially if you have a dyslexic child)!

fix it! grammar collage

Besides the Daily work examples for each day to correct and vocabulary words, there are Learn It sections that teach the rules, or what should be looked for in the daily practices, and corrected, based on that learning. In this sense, the book CAN be self directed, as long as your student understands the rules and it not confused by them. Obviously if their work is wrong, then they didn't, and parent instruction may be needed. the Student Workbook also has a handy pull out index card section with the rules on the cards, for easy review (above left bottom), that can be pulled out on put on a ring, for easy access! There is also a glossary, for anything that needs to be looked up.

All in all, this is a new approach for older teens- a chance to stretch their mind muscles by showing what they already know and can correct, and learn the rest. Miss Grace REALLY likes this type of lesson, as it allows her to SHOW what she knows, without having to complete a full PAGE of similar work every day. In fact, it is set up fro kids to work 4 days a week, for about 15 minutes. Which she says is perfect, although I know she could do 2 days in 1,as her grammar work is on more of a high school level already. But you know your child best, and if you get the Teacher Guide, it can help you decide as well.

fix it! grammar lesson

The Fix It! Grammar Book 6 Teacher Guide should be read by parents, BEFORE starting your child on the course, as it contains the fundamentals of how the course should work, using the Socratic Method. If you aren't familiar with that, it is when you model the info/behavior, then ask questions about it, and in theory because your student has seen it in action, they are able to respond correctly. For most this is their teaching method, so the guide can be very helpful to understand why this method works with grammar. Additionally you get 2 free downloads that help to explain the program with your purchase.

The Teacher Guide also includes a glossary with punctuation and grammar rules, all in ONE place, so when your child gets stumped, YOU can have the answer for them, even if Grammar wasn't your best subject! And yes, it also has the answers for the daily editing lessons (for all 33 weeks of the program)! It also includes a recommended daily schedule, including the lessons, fixes and rewrites. The full Scope and Sequence is also there.

If you are going to be using the book for multiple children, there is also an amazing feature that allows you to purchase the Teacher Guide and download as many copies if the Student Workbook as you need! That way you can use the same book for all of your kids! Talk about a cost saving measure! PLUS, you can get ALL 6 of the Teacher Guides, with their free Student Workbook downloads, as a bundle for almost 25% off the cost of all 6 books!

Overall, this is a VERY sound system from IEW, and one that I wish we had started, as soon as I pulled her out of private school. If you are looking for something different, this might be JUST the program for your student!  Most of our fellow reviewers started with book 1 or 2 in this series, so be sure to check out their reviews (by clicking on banner below), to see how starting in the beginning of the series works!
Fix It! Grammar {Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) Reviews}

Be sure to follow Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), on social media for early notification on sales and bonus purchases. PLUS you'll get some wonderful tips on writing AND grammar: 

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