Over the past few weeks, Tristan has been trying out Easy Grammar Plus by Easy Grammar Systems. He does have a regular grammar course so he was using this as a supplement. Read on to find out how he’s been doing.
We received a PDF download of Easy Grammar Plus, but it is also available in a paper version as well. It’s 720 pages in length and is the teacher’s version so that it contains the student work pages as well as the answer key.
The document starts with an introduction that states you can teach this system even if you do not like grammar, but not if you absolutely hate it. I’m not a fan of grammar, but I know it is extremely important for the business world, particularly in the current age where so much is made public online. Indeed, poor grammar usage is one of my pet peeves.
The rest of the document runs in cycles of a very short lesson of a sentence or two, then about three examples. Flip the page over and on the left is the answer key for the worksheet on the right. Because we have the PDF version, I was able to cleanly print the worksheets, but if we’d had the print copy, I’d be wary about the answer key showing through the copies on the student’s pages. You could get around that by purchasing a separate student’s book.
Having both the answer key and the worksheets next to each other made printing the worksheets a little cumbersome as I needed to go through every page to determine which pages to print because with the lesson pages, it wasn’t as easy as simply setting the print job to print only odd pages, for example.
Who is Easy Grammar Plus For?
Easy Grammar Plus is for students beyond grade 6. It isn’t set for a specific level, but is most often used for grade 7, and can be used up through high school as well. This makes it very versatile to use as a starting place for grammar, or to improve at any stage.
Tristan is in grade 6 and so far is finding this course very easy…so after the unit on prepositions, I’m going to challenge him by moving onto the units which gave him more trouble on the assessment.
How We Used Easy Grammar Plus
Tristan completed a worksheet most days throughout August and to date. He started with the assessment, which will be compared to the test at the end so he can see his improvement. This book aims for mastery of the materials, and has children memorizing 50 of the most common prepositions to begin with. The main part of the system is to identify prepositional clauses and work from there. After you do the unit on prepositions, you can teach the units in any order.
The remaining units are:
- Types of Sentences
- Sentences, Fragments, and Run-ons
- Phrases and Clauses
I started off sitting with Tristan each day and going over the ‘teaching’ page which gives a short 1-2 sentences about the lesson, and then usually about 3 practice sentences that show the answers. Then he would do the corresponding worksheet. After a couple of days, Tristan didn’t want me to sit with him at all and because he wanted the freedom to read the lesson on his own and answer the questions. This way he didn’t have to wait for me, he could just get on with it. Because he’s doing so well on his own at the moment, this is what we’ve been doing, which probably causes less confusion than having my explanations thrown in. The worksheet only takes about 10 minutes or so to complete. He first crosses out the prepositional phrase in each sentence, and then finds the subject and verbs/verb phrases as he continues through.
What Could Be Improved
It would be much easier for the user experience to have the lesson pages and answer key in one document and the student’s lesson pages and worksheets in another document for ease of printing. It might even be possible for a student, with the right laptop or tablet to complete the assignments on-screen to save on printing costs.
I wouldn’t use this as a stand-alone grammar text, but it works well as a supplement. Starting with propositional phrases is different from any systems I’ve seen before, and as not all people learn the same way, this could work well for some students. I felt a little lost as the teacher as there wasn’t much to ‘teach’ or by way of explanation. However, there were clear examples that showed what was expected to get the answers correct. This program can work if you have a child that doesn’t ask a lot of ‘why’ questions, and is satisfied to follow by example. If your children want a deeper understanding of ‘why’ and you’re not proficient in English grammar, you may have to do some additional research together.
My original plans were to give Easy Grammar Plus a trial, then put it aside until Tristan’s in grade 7 next year, but because he’s finding it so easy and he’ll shortly be completing his main Grammar course and moving to a different one, I may have him continue and work on the areas that the assessment showed he didn’t have enough knowledge of. He’s now familiar with this style and feeling confident, which is a great way to begin a course.
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