As a writer, I love the fact that there is a homeschool company called Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). They believe in the power of writing and effective communication as I do. IEW publishes quality materials to help homeschoolers achieve this goal. We have had the opportunity to review Book 3 Frog Prince, or Just Deserts in their Fix It! Grammar series, including both the Teacher Manual and Student Book.
What is Fix It! Grammar?
Fix It! Grammar is a series of 6 books to help students learn grammar and reading comprehension through entertaining stories that build through each lesson. They are written by Pamela White.
Book 3 is designed for grades 6-8, or grades 9-12 if remedial work is necessary. It retells the story of The Frog Prince, adding a fun twist that allows students to build on their grammar skills and use them in practical application as they edit the story. Each section focuses on a different grammar skill and adds a little more of the storyline. There are 33 weeks’ worth of lessons and 132 vocabulary words.
Concepts learned and skills used include: indenting for paragraphs, capitalization, homophones, comma usage, prepositional phrases, general punctuation, vocabulary, parts of speech, comprehension, and context.
Each lesson includes four sections:
- Learn It (explore the concept)
- Fix It (find and fix the errors in the passage)
- Discuss It (practical application)
- Copy It (rewrite the correct passage into a notebook)
They recommend that all students begin with Book 1 and complete the series in order because it builds the foundation for all future books. However, IEW has simplified the process of choosing the right level book by making a placement test available on their website, if you feel that your child has mastered earlier concepts. They even offer a free webinar to learn more about how the Fix It! program works.
How We Used It
We used Fix It! Grammar as our primary language arts lessons 3-4 times per week. The lessons are short, taking only about 15 minutes. We often spent longer in discussion together because that’s the way we do everything around here. Lots of discussion! 🙂
The Teacher Manual has an overview of each lesson as well as an answer key and glossary. I found the answer guides in each lesson helpful just in case I missed anything. It also mentioned instances where a bit of punctuation or new paragraph might be debatable and either way would be correct.
There is a teacher intro for the lessons, which I could just read from the book and discuss with Big Sis (12, grade 7).
Big Sis kept a 4-subject divided spiral notebook for the lessons. She wrote the corrected passages in the notebook and kept the grammar cards in the pocket divider within the notebook. The grammar cards are printed on cardstock and included in the Student Book. They just need to be cut out before starting the lessons. They are a helpful reference tool to use with each lesson to remind students of the rules of punctuation, parts of speech, and other grammar concepts specific to that particular lesson.
What We Thought
Once Big Sis started on the lessons, she didn’t want to stop. This is the perfect type of resource for her because she loves reading and writing, but needs some sharpening on her mechanics and usage skills. She thought the story itself was funny so she wanted to keep reading and keep practicing those skills as she moved through the book.
The books are spiral bound, making it easy to lay them flat on a desk without the pages flipping or closing. My daughter liked this because she was able to use the book anywhere, not just at the table or desk. It made it more comfortable for reading and portable along with her notebook. She often likes to use a lap desk and sit in a comfy chair to do her work.
Big Sis is writing a novel on her own. I can see the skills she has learned from Fix It! Grammar translating into improved grammar skills in her own creative writing. Her punctuation has definitely improved.
This series is designed for mastery, which does include repetition. I mention it for those who might not do well with repetitive tasks like rewriting passages. I imagine that creative homeschoolers could find a way to tweak things if necessary. The lessons don’t become boring in spite of repetition because the story is told in increments to keep the attention of the students.
I was not familiar with this series before our review, but I am hooked now. We want to continue with the other books in the future.
The Fine Print
The Student Book is $15 and the Teacher Manual is $19.
Read more reviews of the Fix It! Grammar series here: