Written by contributor Kris of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers
One of the biggest struggles that my family has had, curriculum-wise, is putting together a language arts program that works well for us. It’s also the area that contains the one piece of curriculum that we’ve used the longest.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked what I use for language arts, nor how many times I’ve answered that we’ve never found one all-encompassing language arts program that we enjoy. This is definitely the most eclectic area of our homeschool.
The most enduring piece of language arts curriculum in our home is the Easy Grammar/Daily Grams duo. We’ve used this grammar program since my oldest was in 3rd grade. When she completed the last Easy Grammar book two years ago, she was actually sad to be finished.
Easy Grammar teaches grammar in a cyclical style with one of the key components being identification of prepositional phrases. Classical-style homeschoolers will love that each level of Easy Grammar focuses on memorizing increasingly longer lists of prepositions, making it easy for students to find and cross out the phrases so that the subjects and verbs are more easily identifiable.
All Easy Grammar books, from 3rd grade through Easy Grammar Plus (middle/high school), teach essentially the same concepts, but in increasing complexity. This approach cements the concepts in students’ minds, while also allowing new students to jump in at almost any level.
Daily Grams are an optional, but worthwhile, component of the Easy Grammar program. These short, daily lessons take only 5 to 10 minutes and serve to reinforce grammar concepts being taught in the Easy Grammar book.
Each Daily Grams lesson covers five concepts. Capitalization and punctuation are always covered, followed by topics such as:
- subject/verb agreement
- homonyms, synonyms, and antonyms
- parts of speech
- reference tools
The final skill practice is always sentence combining, in which students learn to combine information from two or more sentences into one more complex sentence. At first this may be as simple as:
Tom threw the ball.
Jack caught the ball.
Combined: Tom threw the ball and Jack caught it.
Later it could be something like:
The vase is blue.
The vase contains flowers.
The vase belongs to Grandma.
Combined: Grandma’s blue vase contains flowers.
I don’t know exactly what it is about Easy Grammar and Daily Grams, but all three of my kids have loved it. They will even admit this fact! To me, there isn’t a much higher endorsement for a grammar program than that.
Have you ever tried Easy Grammar? Do you have that one piece of homeschool curriculum that all your kids love?