Friday, July 3, 2009

Curriculum 2009: Grammar

It's Grammar Day.

Sam is moving into a new grammar program this year, while Mika is getting the year off from formal study.

Sam has been begging me to do Mika's grammar program. With him entering 3rd grade, and his progress with language arts, I think he'll be ready for it this coming year. He'll be using Michael Clay Thompson's Grammar Island, Sentence Island, and Practice Island starting in the Fall. I really like this program. It's comprehensive, non-repetitive, and challenging without being dull.

For the grammar component of Michael Clay Thompson's language arts, you begin with Grammar Island. This paperback text presents the parts of speech in simple, uncluttered pages. It only takes a couple of weeks to cover. Once this text is done, you move onto Sentence Island, which covers the parts of a sentence in story form. In this text, you read about a fish named Mud who wants to learn about sentences. He meets a variety of marine animals who lead him through understanding subject, predicate, direct objects, indirect objects, prepositional phrases, clauses, and types of sentences. Like Grammar Island, it only takes a few weeks to cover. Once you've read both of these texts, you are ready for Practice Island.

Practice Island is where you find the meat of the program. This workbook contains 101 sentences for analysis using a 4 part process. Below each sentence, there are four lines. On the first line, the student names the parts of speech for each word in the sentence. On the second line, the student names the parts of a sentence. The third line is where the student identifies the prepositional phrases, if any. The fourth line is for identifying the number of clauses and type of sentence. By the time, the student is done with these 101 sentences, they'll be pretty good at identifying everything that they've learned.

Now, before you think there is a lot missing. The next level, and each subsequent level, briefly reviews already learned material and adds additional material. For example, Grammar Town (the second level of the series) adds in several verbal phrases, such as gerunds, appositive phrases, and infinitive phrases. Paragraph Town, the book after Sentence Island, leaves grammar and goes into the writing of paragraphs.

One good thing about this program is that as a homeschooler, you only need to purchase the teacher's manuals for the first three levels. They include the complete student manual with a few comments for the teacher and exercises in the back. This saves quite a bit of money. The also offer homeschool packages that include all 5 componets of the language arts for a discount.

I'll discuss the vocabulary and poetry components of Michael Clay Thompon next.

Like I explained yesterday, Mika will not be doing formal language arts study. Any grammar will be taught in context of her other work.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Heidi said...

I just found your blog today and I really like the way you are reviewing your curriculum for next year. I have been working on a similar post and it is getting so long I might have to consider breaking it into subjects like this!