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
Homeschool teachers rejoice! Fix It! Grammar requires no preparation. Each week, you’ll simply turn to the next lesson and follow this simple process. Lessons should only take about fifteen minutes or less 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. The vocabulary words in Fix It! Grammar were specifically chosen to expand your student’s writing and speaking vocabulary.
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. They also learn the correct editing marks for fixes.
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. Note that older students may prefer to self-check their work using the teacher’s manual.
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. The student may choose to write in the provided lines at the bottom of the workbook page. Alternatively, if writing in a separate notebook, the student will have a handwritten copy of the complete story when finished with the workbook.
Fix It! Grammar Is Affordable
Each level of Fix It! Grammar requires a teacher’s manual and a student workbook. These may be purchased separately or at a discount as a set. Families may make copies of the student workbook for additional students within the home, or they may buy additional student workbooks.
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 in the online samples of the teacher’s manuals and student workbooks. 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 also includes the Grammar Glossary.
To view these samples, click the appropriate link below. Then select the Samples tab and choose the teacher’s manual.
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, if your student already has some grammar knowledge, IEW recommends reviewing the Fix It! Grammar samples to find the best placement.
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 weeks of instruction. Each week is broken into four days of passages. Thus, doubling the pace cuts the program length to about fifteen weeks.
When Should Students Begin Fix It! Grammar?
The Fix It! Grammar books are not grade-level specific. You’ll find that IEW generally recommends the first two books for the 3rd-5th grade range, the third and fourth books for the 6th-8th grade range, and the fifth and sixth books for the high school level. This really provides great flexibility as you can begin when your child is ready, take gap years as needed, and still complete the entire program before high school graduation.
In our homeschool, we began Fix It! Grammar with our oldest child when he was in the third grade. Our second child began the program in the fourth grade. We’ve taken a year off from the program as needed to allow room for other subjects and come back to it with no issues. Because Fix It! Grammar intertwines so well with IEW’s Structure and Style for Students, our children are really mastering the concepts in both programs.
Changes to Fix It! Grammar: Fourth Edition (2022)
IEW completely revised the Fix It! Grammar series in 2022. Two stories were removed: Chanticleer and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Two new stories were added: Town Mouse and Country Mouse and Mowgli and Shere Khan. In addition, three of the remaining books changed levels.
While the new edition of Fix It! Grammar follows the same underlying format of the previous editions, it’s drastically different.
- The student workbooks and teacher manuals have been completely reformatted to make grammar instruction more clear. Previously, advanced concepts were often mentioned as they arose which tended to be more confusing than helpful. Now, no information is provided beyond the current point of need.
- All stories have been rewritten.
- The student workbooks now include space to rewrite each day’s corrected passage. Thus, a separate notebook is no longer required.
- Students now have a list that details exactly how many items they must mark and fix. This checklist is much more effective than the general list of potential markups and fixes in the previous edition.
- Each level of Fix It! Grammar includes thirty weeks of lessons rather than thirty-three.
- The teacher’s manual no longer comes with a PDF of the student workbook. Families may still make copies of the student workbook for household use if desired, but digital copies are no longer provided.
Because some books have moved levels, you may have a student who needs to repeat a Fix It! Grammar story. This is the case for our oldest son. He completed the first three books using the Third Edition. In the Fourth Edition, Frog Prince moved from book three to book five. Since the story has been completely rewritten and the grammar instruction has been vastly updated, IEW believes that students who have to repeat a story across editions will not have any issues.
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.
Though not a required resource, you may wish to purchase the Fix It! Grammar Cards. These provide a quick reference for the grammar concepts taught in all six levels of Fix It! Grammar.
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 used the Third Edition through the 2021-22 school year and look forward to using the greatly improved Fourth Edition in the years to come.