Wednesday, July 30, 2014

review - Junior Analytical Grammar

Analytical Grammar Review
I have heard about Analytical Grammar in the past and had been curious about it for a few years. When the opportunity came up to review their Junior Analytical Grammar curriculum, I jumped at doing it this summer with Princess P (and Terrific T "helping" too because you can learn just as much, or more, from "helping"). I was fortunate enough to also receive their Junior Analytical Grammar Companion DVD.
Junior Analytical Grammar (JAG) is designed for 4th and 5th graders and is intended to be completed in 11 weeks. Now that we have done 5 weeks of it, I wish we had started it earlier in the summer. It would make a fantastic summer grammar program for us! 
You do not need any extra supplies for this, which was perfect since it's summer and I'm lucky I haven't lost the kids yet. If I had to keep up with flashcards or anything of that sort right now, we would be in trouble! LOL. We popped in the DVD and enjoyed learning our lessons from the creator of Analytical Grammar, Robin Finley and her daughter Erin Karl. This set teaches the parts of speech as well as sentence patterns and diagramming. The DVD is very simple - these ladies basically reading the teacher's guide to us, but they also work through some of the problems for you too. After that, they ask you to do a couple of sentences yourself and pause it, then go back and they go over the correct answers.
 The lessons are in both the teacher's guide and the student book so we all followed along with the DVD. I had T sitting in and helping P with the lessons so he heard them to. Sneaky, I know, but we can all use a refresher in grammar, right? I really liked how they taught one part of speech, and then the next week a new part of speech but by learning the next one, you have to review the first one. It all just keep adding on. Each unit has three exercises (front and back of a worksheet) and then a playing with words page. This page was fun and you didn't grade the kids' papers, they graded themselves with a simple point system (see pages below for a sample). 

Seeing how easy it was to get higher points, made P try harder in the next units and I didn't even have to correct her. :) Then there is a test at the end of each unit. I had P take it and T grade it so he was checking her work, which meant he was doing the work too. This book even gets into diagramming, which is awesome. We aren't to unit 8 yet, but I looked ahead at the lessons and like how they talk about "undecorating sentences" to find the pattern so you can diagram them easier. I'm looking forward to getting to that lesson with P in the next few weeks.
I highly recommend doing this during the summer before your 4th, 5th, or 6th grade years!  We spent about 30 -45 minutes, three times a week doing this and I feel like she is getting a good grasp on the parts of speech and how they work in sentences. If you did this everyday (like I would during the school year), you could get through one unit a week but it was taking us a week and a half for each unit so we didn't get as far into it yet. If you were doing this during the school year, you could complete the book easier in a semester.
The set that includes the teacher's guide and student workbook is $39.95. You can also snag an extra workbook for just $19.95. The Companion DVD is also $19.95.
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