Are you looking for a great grammar program for your older kids and teens? We are using Analytical Grammar. Find out how we are using it in our homeschool and what we really think of it.
Analytical Grammar was the one program I was unsure of using this year for my son who is in Grade 9.
I am going to be honest, he loves it! I want to run the other way. Let me explain.
Often times I get asked what I am using with my children. This is the program I am currently using with my son.
I will not be using it with my daughter. Why? Because it would not fit her learning style in the slightest!
And that is the great thing about homeschooling, using what works for each child.
My Son Chose Analytical Grammar:
I knew he loved sentence diagramming from our experience using First Language Lessons. He says, “Diagramming is like solving a puzzle, when you figure it out, it all fits.”
For me, that is not the case. Not only is grammar not my best subject but also I do not exactly love sentence diagramming.
In fact, I never encountered sentence diagramming in school ever. The first I heard of it was in the Little House in the Prairie Series. Who said books don’t teach you anything?
That said it is his education, not mine. I am trying to give him as much say over his education as possible. After doing his own research he came to me and said he wanted to give this one a try.
You can read all his choices for Grade 9 here!
Analytical Grammar Overview:
I love that is designed to be taught in three “seasons” or changed to two seasons depending on your child.
Analytical Grammar is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step approach and can be used with middle school to high school levels. A teacher’s book is included for those that are helping their student so you don’t have to be an expert. In my case, this was a necessity.
We decided to use it as our only Grammar program for my son. We are using a 3-year “season”. They provide the recommended timelines, which of course I recommend doing what works for your child.
As we chose a 3-year schedule I also purchased the Reinforcement and Review book. These reviews are based on books the student may be familiar with. They will practice skills they learned in the previous lessons. Answer keys are included for the instructor.
We did 10 units in the Analytical Grammar and then moved on to Reinforcement and Review book for the rest of the year. We do one review lesson a week and he is done.
What Does Analytical Grammar Cover?
Here is a quick overview of what is covered in Analytical Grammar:
- All the parts of speech and parts of the sentence
- Phrases and clauses
- Classic sentence diagraming
- Rules of punctuation and capitalization
- Common usage errors.
Analytical Grammar includes:
- Student notes
- Plenty of exercises to practice skills
- Tests to evaluate progress
- Complete answer keys and useful teacher notes
- Instructions for creating a Grammar Notebook which becomes a valuable reference resource
- An optional Review and Reinforcement workbook to keep skills sharp between “seasons.”
Lesson Plans Are Available:
You might want to check out the ready-made lesson plans from Homeschool Planet that are available for both Analytical Grammar and Jr. Analytical Grammar.
Why Analytical Grammar Works:
When picking out your homeschool programs/curriculum it is vital to choose according to the child you are teaching right now.
This program works for my son because:
- It is a systematic approach
- It builds on what is taught the lesson before
- There is a workbook with 1-2 pages of work, a marked beginning, and end in sight.
- The lessons are based on how your student works, not timed
- It comes with a flexible schedule
- It comes with a teacher’s manual which means answers
What I Love About Analytical Grammar:
One of my favorite parts about this program is you do not repeat the lessons over and over again.
Once the child has mastered, say a verb, for example, then they move on to the next part.
Other programs I have used had tons of repetition and that gets boring fast!
Also, it builds on what is taught. Unit 2 builds on what was taught in Unit 1 and so forth. It continues to build.
Once they finished the “season” they have it mastered.
What I Hate About Analytical Grammar:
First of all, it is big and scary. The book is huge!
And it is not cheap. Even though I got it on sale through Christianbook.com it still added up. I was worried after investing over $100 in one program he would hate it.
(By the way, divided over 3 years the program becomes affordable and you don’t need to buy all 3 like I did.)
Which is why I am sharing our thoughts before you buy, reviews are a great way to check out a program before you spend the money.
Both the student book and teacher’s book. When I first opened the box I almost freaked out. My son’s eyes bugged out of his eyes and he lamented that he’d be doing it “forever!”
However, you don’t need to do the whole book in one go. It can be broken down into 2-years or 3-years. We chose 3-year schedule which calmed the nerves and made it doable.
This is also not a walk in the park program, your child will need to think and figure it out. My son loves a challenge and doesn’t like to be bored. He purposely chose this knowing it would be hard.
Yes, we discussed it because honestly I was terrified. *I* don’t know grammar. In my defense, I get him to explain it to me which helps both of us.
Lastly, as cool as the diagramming was at first, *I* find it boring. But who cares, it is not my education.
So we do it.
How We Are Using Analytical Grammar
We chose to do this together. This is one of “our time” subjects. We start by reading the teaching lesson for the week.
He does the exercise which includes parsing the sentences. This is when you label all nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, conjunctions, etc. When he completes this we go over it before he diagrams them.
^ that is a change I made because he was frustrated if he diagrammed with wrong parsing.
He diagrams very well and gets bored easy. Therefore once he was zipping through we switched it up. He did one and if he got it correct he was done for the day. If he got it wrong, we figured out what went wrong and he moved on to the next one.
For the Reinforcement and Review book, he does one lesson a week, usually on the first day of the week. He does it all and then I correct it. Any mistakes he makes he goes over what went wrong.
If you want more information along with a peek at the actual textbook, workbooks and review book watch the video:Are you trying to teach grammar to your kids? Check out our review of Analytical Grammar. Click To Tweet
Book List For Older Kids & Teens:
One of my favorite things about this program was the books it refers too.
As you know, I am a bookworm. My daughter is too. My son, on the other hand, not so much. He will read only if I make sure to provide time for him each week to read.
Once I added in the 30 minutes each school day I had a new issue. He refused to pick out books on his own.
I would take him to the library and the bookstore but nothing worked. For a while I let him pull the same books off our shelves over and over but I was worried he would get bored or his love of reading would die.
Once he gets into a book he’s gone! I just needed to find something that would spark his interest.
In the Reinforcement and review book, it refers to a different book each week. The child does not need to have read the book in order to do the lesson.
Some of the books quoted are:
(Check out the a full list of 22 American Authors most are from the Reinforcement Book!)
I do not force him to read the books, however I do ask him if he’d like me to get the book so he can find out what happened in the story. Sometimes it is a yes and sometimes a no.
Well, you can’t win them all.
Is grammar part of your curriculum, if so what do you use to teach it?
PS. Curious about the rest of our curriculum? Click here and choose the grade level to find out.
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