I posted a question asking for pros and cons for Shurley Grammar. I’m not sure I want to continue it. What have you used for grammar for grades 1-2? Any books you have loved, that were age appropriate, that you would recommend? Thanks!!!
I have used bju english with my second grader. We have really enjoyed it. They switch from grammar to writing. So chapter 1 teaches grammar and chapter 2 will teach writing. It has worked out great. My daughter has learned a lot. The teachers manual is very user friendly and tells you what to say. You can find the curriculum used on ebay for great prices.
@Luvmyboys We use G.U.M. Drops and love it! We started it in 2nd grade using the Grades 1-2 book and it has worked well for us. We also use First Language Lessons (Well Trained Mind) by Peace Hill Press. I bought the older version of Levels 1 and 2 combined at a used curriculum sale for like $8 and we are working through it one to two lessons a day and while it is very basic and not flashy by any means, my daughter is learning wonderfully with it! It requires minimal prep on my part and she is really grasping the grammatical rules! So we are going to continue with Level 3 next year in 3rd grade and I went ahead and purchased it from the company this time just in case I didn’t find it at a resale. Those would be my suggestions although I hear lots of great things about Growing with Grammar too, but we have never tried that ourselves. I hope this helps!
We’ve been using Exercises in English workbooks, but they are pretty confusing - I’ve started using the Spectrum Language Arts series very recently - but so far I like what I see! I purchased the workbooks on Amazon, and bonus - the answers are included - so you don’t need to get a teacher’s manual! They have sample pages to look at on Amazon as well - so it might help you see if it is your style - if you like it or not.
The workbooks seem simple, but I think it is just because they actually do a good job making grammar seem simple and explain it and present it in a way that makes it more simple. The worksheets are still bright and colorful for older grades. They seem to move at a proper pace - not too much information at once, but not so little that your child would get bored.
I would absolutely without a doubt suggest Voyages in English. There have been a few other posts on here where I or a small number of people have recommended it. Those few of us that use it have had nothing bad to say about it. It’s little known in the homeschool world - I came across it as a teacher, and it’s a gem of a program. It’s a writing and grammar program. Each month is broken into a different topic and different writing project. It’s extremely step by step, so by the end of the month, your child has created a wonderful piece of work. The grammar topic of the month matches the writing project of the month. For example, one month emphasizes adjectives. The matching writing project is sensory writing. *** Please note - it has been mentioned many times that if you look at the sample teacher book it looks exactly like the student book. This is NOT the case. The first 6-10 pages of each unit in the teacher manual has book suggestions, daily story prompts, daily editing prompts, etc. What’s more important is the BACK of the book. The back of the book has a section for EVERY single page in the kids book - it has lesson suggestions for every single page/day - games, activities, etc. I don’t know what the preview online doesn’t show this, and I don’t know what they put that crucial information in the BACK of the book - it’s the only flaw I can find. I just put a page marker on the page we left on and another marker on the directions in the back of the book. My point is the teacher book has a LOT more than the student book. If you only buy the student book then you are getting little more than work pages. To get the full use of the program, buy the teacher guide.
Anyway - I know you didn’t ask for all of that detail, but it’s a wonderful program. It begins with Grade 1 and goes through grade 6 (or is it 8?) Anyway, let me know if you have any questions. Good luck finding a program that works for you
@triton I have seen the few posts on here about Voyages in English and I have looked at the site a few times because of the reviews here. I really like what I see and especially am drawn to the writing aspect. I am happy with what we are using so far for grammar rules/usage, but my daughter loves to write, so I am thinking for the future we may move toward this for upper elementary/middle school. I am concerned about the price though. I wondered if you typically find this at resales or on Homeschool Classifieds? I see a few listings there for it now but not many. I also looked at the samples and it appears to be written for a school type setting (with activities for getting together in groups of several students and working on an activity together for an example, which wouldn’t be possible in a homeschool setting in our house since we only have our two older children schooling right now). We tried a curriculum in the past that was written along these lines (written for public school and supposedly geared for homeschool as well) and it turned out to be frustrating and not feasible, and we actually had to abandon it mid-year because of this and we lost the money we put into it. So I am hesitant to try something like that again. I wondered what your take is on that since you’ve been using this. Has that been an issue or is that something easily worked around? Again, I love the aspect of teaching children to become writers who think about their writing and make a conscious effort in what they are writing. Thanks for posting such a positive review about this and for any feedback you can give
I’m not going to lie - I rarely see it for resale in the homeschool world. I just think it’s unknown to most. I snagged my current copy from Amazon for a fairly low price.
To answer your other question about being made for public school. Yes, this seems to be the case. It was not made for homeschool use, but we are more than half way through the year and I can’t recall one time that I couldn’t adapt something to suit our needs (I only have one student… two if you include my four year old, but his involvement is limited to playing with Legos next to us). I won’t deny that sometimes I search Pinterest and TPT for other grammar games. This isn’t because I feel Voyages is lacking in any way, but just because I think reinforcement is good whenever possible, and my daughter likes games.
I taught the grade two version in private school - I can’t say for sure if one would/wouldn’t run into a problem with the activities being used for homeschool - when I was teaching, homeschool wasn’t on my horizon, so I didn’t ever consider it’s use in the homeschool setting. I’ll find out next year when we get Grade 2!
I’m sure there are numerous writing programs that walk through the writing process in a creative, step by step way like Voyages, and probably for cheaper, but despite that I’ll continue to use this program because I like how it ties things together, is step by step and offers lots of reinforcement with the activities and daily edits and daily story starters. We use page protectors on the student pages (so my son can use it when he’s of age). I make copies of the writing rubrics and assessment pages so she can do those in pencil and I can keep them in her records with her written projects.
The only pitfall is like you said, you don’t see it for resale often. Perhaps now that there is this forum, people could sell or trade there grade level of it at the end of each year. .
@triton17 Thank you so much! I am going to keep an eye out for it at two resales I go to each spring/early summer. We are already set for next year (3rd grade) for our daughter, but I am going to be looking for the 4th grade level for her and for 2nd and up for my son Do you purchase just the Teacher Guide and the Student Book and Practice Book, or do you also purchase the Assessment Book and Assessment Key? It looks like there are a total of 5 products per grade level. And do you see a big difference between the 2006 version and 2011 version. Sorry for so many questions! It does look like quality curriculum. Your feedback has been very helpful! I have never taught in a public or private school setting–my background has been in Children’s Ministry and in Christian curriculum editing, but I love curriculum (probably too much–it’s an illness lol!) so when I see something that works together well, I get excited Thanks again!
@triton17 thank you so much for your recommendation!!! I have just spent an hour looking into the program, it looks wonderful! It appears to be simple, straight forward, and my teaching style:) it appears grades 3 and up have a new 2011 edition, grades 1-2 are still 2007. My son works between a 1-2 grade level. Problem is, I can’t find where to order those grades on their website!!! I actually plan on calling customer service and talking to them. How long have you used it? Do you feel your children really grasp grammar as it builds every year? May I also ask for your what other books you used for 2nd grade? I’m using AAR, AAS, Apologia astronomy, MOH, BJU math…I’m always curious when I get an awesome recommendation of a book what else the family uses😉 many many thanks!
@triton17 I also wanted to,say I’m ipressed with how much FREE support materials are online! They have free lessons plans (grades 3 and up), student games, teacher handbooks and other support charts, etc…I’m very excited to speak to the company!
When I used and bought this year’s curriculum (again, we are just using grade 1 at the moment) my only options were the teacher book and the student book - just 2 items. You do need both student book AND teacher book to get the most from it. I have never used the other 3 items you listed as they didn’t exist when I started using this. I have also only used the 2006 versions so far as when I taught and when I bought this grade level, grade 1 and 2 had not yet been updated. I will say that despite it being “old” and not updated like the older grades, I see NOTHING wrong or old about it. It’s bright, it refers to the internet, etc. I can’t imagine what they could do to update it, but I’m sure they will. Now while I have no problem with it being 2006, I always want the most recent, so whenever I get to a grade that has been updated (last I knew it was 3rd grade and higher that had been updated…) I’ll get the most up to date version - again, not that there has been anything wrong with this version. I’m not sure I’d buy the assessment book and practice book. As far as my current edition goes, it has assessments and rubrics built into it. As I mentioned earlier we sometimes play games to reinforce the activities and work pages in the student book, but if the practice book is just more work pages, I’m not sure I’d bother with it. Feel free to keep asking questions - I LOVE curriculum also!
It took a lot of clicking, but here’s the link to purchase - http://www.loyolapress.com/voyages-in-english-2011-order-now.htm . I hope that helps. I have not used a new and improved version of the Voyages yet - so far I’ve used Grade 1 and Grade 2. Despite it being “old” I can’t see anything old about it. It’s bright, current, refers to the internet from time to time (in fact just today we started writing a research report and the directions referred to the internet 3-4 times). I’d love to see what the updated versions are like, but thus far I haven’t gotten there. I used to be a teacher in a public and private school setting. I hate to admit it, but teaching writing was one of my least favorite things to do. I also am embarrassed to mention that I didn’t know when using Voyages as a school teacher that all of the detailed lesson plans are in the BACK of the book!!! (STILL not sure why they do this… maybe that’s a change in the updated versions?) So I was just teaching by going through the book page by page… didn’t get even 1/2 as much out of is as we could have if I followed the lessons in the back of the book. My daughter is a great reader, but struggles with writing. I am BEYOND impressed with what she has written with this program. The step by step directions break it down into short daily writing assignments so by the end of the month she has a beautiful piece of written work. It also offers creative ideas for how to present it. For example she has dressed up as a character from her writing and presented it to the family.
To answer your other question about what else we use for curriculum. We use Saxon (it’s spiraling curriculum just works for us). We use AAS, although despite everyone raving about it we find it quite boring. We’ll continue to use it because it’s teaching useful things, but I reinforce with games based on the words we’re learning that particular week. I create my own very intense science and history curriculum based on the topic suggestions from Core Knowledge (NOT to be confused with Common Core) - if you want to know more about Core Knowledge I’d be happy to send loads of info your way. I don’t like most of their products, but the curriculum topics spiral. So for example, say on of the suggestions for Kinder science is senses… then 1-2 years later you reteach senses and add systems of the body - then 1-2 years later it has you add more to that knowledge - so they review what they learned and add to it. We just did Geography of the Americas where we learned about Aztec, Inca and Maya - such a fun unit - in a few years we will review those civilizations and add more to them at a higher grade level. It’s about 10 science units per year and about 10 history units per year. I could buy curriculums to teach all of the units, but I love creating them. Each unit lasts about a month - so I teach 1 history unit and 1 science unit each month - about 2-3 days for each subject each week. All hands on projects, experiments, cooking, etc.
I’m still searching for a geography curriculum I like. I also create my own literature units. Did I forget anything?? Probably But feel free to ask if you have any other questions. I hope that link works for you to purchase Voyages
I used First Language Lessons by Peace Hill Press. It was wonderful. It goes up to level 4 but 4 is super meaty so we split it over two school years. After that we moved to Rod and Staff but I am considering switching to BJU to check it out. Rod and Staff is wonderful and through, but a bit bland. Although, if BJU isn’t a good fit we’ll go right back to Rod and Staff and just push through
@MarleneGriffith I actually have FLL 2, I love curriculum😜 I felt like it was to soft…I’m not sure how to explain it. It was just so,different from the grammar I grew up learning I suppose. How do your kids do in grammar after using it for a few years? Do you feel they have a good grip on parts of speech and other aspects of grammar?
I found something that works really well for us. It is called Climbing to Good English by Schoolaid Language Series. It is simple, black and white, and just really good. My oldest is working on 3rd grade level, as it goes from 1st-8th. I have read many good reviews and it has really fit well with us. I love the mind-opening way it teaches grammar, dictionary respellings and more. It helps to widen their language comprehension. On a separate note, but very valid and good to know about, I speak two languages fluently from infancy and I can say that this language series is very, very good! Not that you’re teaching them a second language, but someday they might learn one. And the way the mind works when learning to respell makes it easy to learn other languages also. Even if they don’t, they can always have the added benefit of understanding their own language better. … how the words are broken up by sounds, and so forth. It works this way in our mind, but you might not be able to tell so just by looking at the lessons, because they are truly simple hope this helps someone.
@GC123 thank you! I’m teaching a second language, but I can certainly see how a good grammar program would be beneficial:)
If anyone is interested…I’m selling Voyages in English Grammar and Writing Curriculum 3rd grade (Loyola Press) - includes student textbook, teacher edition, practice book, assessment book, and answer key. Student text and teacher book are in EXCELLENT condition! Practice book is only missing chapter 1 worksheets, but there are plenty of practice exercises in the textbook. The assessment book has never been used and has all chapter tests. I actually have 2 student sets (text, practice book and assessment book) if you should need both. I am also selling Voyages in English 6th grade set including student textbook, teacher edition, practice book, assessment book and answer key. Practice book and assessment book missing chapter 1 only. Student text and teacher edition in EXCELLENT condition. If you are interested in 3rd grade set and/or 6th grade set, you can email me at email@example.com.