Fix It! Grammar creates confident students and teachers. Because the entire program is based on editing real stories, students are motivated to progress through their lessons to continue the plotline. With comprehensive grammar instruction, intriguing stories, and an open-and-go format, Fix It! Grammar is yet another masterful resource from the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW).
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Why Choose Fix It! Grammar?
Fix It! Grammar Is Not a Traditional Workbook, and That’s a Good Thing
Open any traditional grammar textbook or workbook and prepare to be bombarded with the same dull methods for grammar instruction. Read this passage. Answer these questions. Fill in these blanks. Even colorful graphics cannot compensate for the tediously rote repetition. Is it any wonder that many children loathe such teaching and cannot effectively use it to edit their own writing?
Fix It! Grammar is intended as a teaching tool that is both light and fun. Grading is not recommended.
Fix It! Grammar Engages Students with Intriguing Stories
Fix It! Grammar grabs the attention of students with fascinating stories filled with rich vocabulary words, memorable characters, and climactic plotlines. With gradually increasing complexity and embedded errors, these stories form the backbone of the Fix It! Grammar program. Students look forward to editing each new passage so that they can find out how the story progresses.
Fix It! Grammar Is Uniquely Effective
In addition to its compelling stories, Fix It! Grammar presents new concepts in easily understandable ways. Students then practice these concepts within the natural context of the story. Application of the new teaching isn’t forced into every passage for that week but appears in the passages that make sense. This logical placement of embedded errors is uniquely effective in training students to become their own editors.
Fix It! Grammar Is Open-and-Go
Other than reading the introduction in the teacher’s manual and printing out the student book and grammar cards, no other preparation is required. Each week, you’ll simply turn to the next lesson and follow this simple process. Lessons should only take about fifteen minutes from start to finish. Keep them light and fun.
Day 1 – Learn It
First read through the Learn It section with your student. This is a short, straightforward presentation of any new material along with examples. Some weeks this section will serve as a quick review with no new material presented. Then show your student how to apply the new concepts to the Day 1 passage.
All Days – Fix It
Begin by reading through the passage. When you first begin Fix It! Grammar with your student, you may need to provide more guidance than in later lessons. Thus, this step can either be done individually by the student or with your help.
Then define the bolded vocabulary word(s). This is a great opportunity for your student to practice dictionary skills. This exercise also teaches your student to consider the context of the word in the sentence when looking up the definition.
Next, fix any grammatical errors and mark the passage. As the Fix It! Grammar series progresses, the list of required markups changes. Early on, students learn to mark all nouns, articles, and other parts of speech. Eventually some of these notations are dropped while others such as clauses and sentence openers are added.
Then review your fixes and markups with your teacher. This is the main step that requires input from the teacher. Just open the teacher manual, check the “answer key” for that day’s passage, and help your student understand any missed markups or fixes.
The teacher’s manual does a great job of explaining everything in detail, but that explanation is not another lesson to be read aloud to your student. Instead, it is a quick guide that you can reference to point out anything that was missed or may have been confusing. Encourage your student that mistakes are an opportunity to learn. Fix It! Grammar revisits concepts thoroughly so that students eventually gain confidence and mastery.
Lastly, rewrite the passage making the identified corrections. The final step each day is for the student to write the corrected passage in a separate notebook. At the end of the book, the student will have a handwritten copy of the complete story.
Fix It! Grammar Is Affordable
As of this writing, each Fix It! Grammar teacher’s manual is less than twenty dollars. With a total of six Fix It! Grammar books in the series, that’s an entire grammar curriculum for just over one hundred dollars. Since the purchase of the teacher’s manual includes a downloadable PDF of the student manual, Fix It! Grammar is a great value. For families with multiple children, there is no need to purchase additional workbooks for each child.
IEW does sell a printed version of the student books for those who do not desire to print out the lesson pages and grammar cards.
To learn more about IEW including the 100% satisfaction guarantee and yearly promotions, read IEW: A Language Arts Asset for Homeschools (& Traditional Schools).
Fix It! Grammar Is Comprehensive
The scope and sequence of each Fix It! Grammar book is included near the end of the online samples of the teacher’s manuals. I highly recommend reviewing these samples to understand not only how Fix It! Grammar progresses through the books but also to learn exactly which topics and vocabulary words will be covered. Each teacher’s manual and student book also include the Fix It! Grammar Glossary.
To view these samples, click the appropriate link below. Then select the Samples tab and choose the teacher’s manual.
- The Nose Tree
- Robin Hood
- Frog Prince, or Just Deserts
- The Little Mermaid
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Which Fix It! Grammar Book Should You Start With?
The general recommendation for Fix It! Grammar is to begin with Book 1: The Nose Tree and progress through the series in order. Each book is foundational to the books that follow it. That being said, IEW does have a placement test to help you determine if you can skip any books in the series.
If you have an older student, consider beginning with Book 1: The Nose Tree but double the pace by completing two passages each day. Each book in the Fix It! Grammar series has thirty-three weeks of instruction. Each week is broken into four days of passages. Thus, doubling the pace cuts the program length to about seventeen weeks.
When Should Students Begin Fix It! Grammar?
In our homeschool, we began using Fix It! Grammar with our oldest child when he was in third grade. Then a consultant at a homeschool convention suggested waiting until sixth grade to begin Book Three: Frog Prince, or Just Deserts. Thus, we took a gap year from grammar so that the topics wouldn’t be too advanced for him. We plan to begin Fix It! Grammar with our younger children when they are in fourth grade.
Of course, you can always take the placement test to determine when your student may be ready to begin Fix It! Grammar.
Your student will need a dictionary to correctly define each vocabulary word. We purchased The American Heritage Desk Dictionary and Thesaurus when we began Fix It! Grammar, and thus far it has served us well for this purpose.
The Fix It! Grammar teacher’s manuals recommend using a three-prong folder for storing the printouts of the student manual. They also suggest a spiral bound notebook for rewriting the story and defining the vocabulary words. We used this method with Book 1: The Nose Tree and it worked well. Then I discovered Flex binders, and now we store all of our student materials for Fix It! Grammar in one of these.
A few years ago, we received a free copy of Portable Walls: Grammar on the Go during IEW’s Twelve Days of Christmas Giving. We refer to this convenient resource on a regular basis.
The Fix It! Grammar series ties in well with IEW’s Structure and Style for Students, a writing program that I wish I had had during my youth.
Fix It! Grammar has been an amazing resource for our homeschool. I don’t dread teaching grammar because this method actually makes it enjoyable. We’ll finish Book 3: Frog Prince, or Just Deserts this year. I look forward to beginning Book 4: The Little Mermaid next year with my seventh grader and revisiting Book 1: The Nose Tree with my fourth grader.