I have been using Growing With Grammar with my daughter and youngest son for the past three years. This review will focus on the Growing With Grammar curriculum generally, as we have used several levels of the program.
Growing With Grammar provides a thorough education in grammar, including sentence diagramming. Sentence diagramming is included starting in level 3 of the curriculum. The complete Scope and Sequence for the series is included on their website. Growing With Grammar is a secular program published by JacRis Publishing. While I tend to use curriculum from Christian publishers in our homeschool, over the past three years and three levels of the curriculum, I have never found anything even remotely offensive to our family values in the grammar program.
Growing With Grammar curriculum is sold as a package with the Student Manual, Student Workbook, and Teacher’s Grading Key for $29.99. All of my orders have shipped quite promptly and I have enjoyed nothing but excellent customer service from JacRis Publishing. All of the elements of the grammar program are also sold separately, which is a benefit if other siblings will be using the program at a later date. So, when using the grammar program for a second time, only the Student Workbook would need to be purchased.
The presentation of the Student Workbooks offers two unique benefits. First is that the spiral binding is at the top. This is an advantage for those who have left-handed children. Second is that the “Grade 7” label on the front of the Student Workbook has been changed to read “Level 7.” All of the levels in the program are presented in the same way. As somebody who has always had one of her children a year below his grade level in grammar, I appreciate when Student Workbooks are not marked with grade levels. Currently, there are 8 levels in the program.
In my daughter’s experience, she has been able to complete the vast majority of the lessons independently. One of my sons often needed some help completing his lessons, but grammar has always been a struggle for him. So, depending on your child, the program can be almost entirely student-led.
To complete a lesson, the student first reads the lesson in the Student Manual. The lessons are very clearly presented with many, many examples. The lesson for levels 1 and 2 are included right on the work/text page, so those two levels do not have a separate Student Manual. All other levels have a separate Student Manual.
Looking specifically at the pages within the Student Manual, they are quite plain with no color and infrequent small, black and white graphics. I find that the lack of visual stimulation helps my children to focus on the lesson. After reading the pages in the Student Manual (usually between 2 and 4 double-spaced pages), the child completes the front and back of the Student Workbook page to reinforce the current lesson.
Each lesson in the Student Workbook also has a review portion included. I particularly like that the review portion includes the lesson number that is being reviewed. This makes it easy for the student to go back in his or her Student Manual and look up the previous lesson if needed.
The curriculum is designed so that it can be completed over a 36 week school year by doing 3 lessons per week.
My single criticism of the Growing With Grammar program is that there are no tests available for purchase. To compensate for this, I have used the end-of-chapter reviews as tests but my preference would be to have both a review and a test for each chapter. Other than that, I have been completely satisfied with the Growing With Grammar program. We have been using this curriculum for three years now and will continue to use it in the fall.
If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment. As well, the Growing With Grammar website has much more information about all levels of this curriculum and their new spelling and vocabulary program.
-Samantha writes about homeschooling and family life at To Be Busy At Home.
Carla Brown says
I’ve used both Growing With Grammar and Soaring With Spelling for the past 2 years with my son. I echo the comments on the lack of tests. I have questioned whether I’m seeing enough repetition in a few areas and thought of switching to Rod and Staff for Grammar next year. Would love your views.
Kristen Halsey says
I too was not happy with the lack of a test booklet when I used this curriculum last year, but I noticed that this year they are offering one. I love it and so do my boys. I am considering using it with my 3rd grader as well. We are also looking into the Soaring with Spelling also. I showed them and they seem happy with the looks of it. My oldest has always struggled with language and spelling so I have always kept him down a grade. I too am happy they do not print the grade on each book but the level. Thank you for your review.