- Reviewed on Tuesday, July 1, 2014
- Grades Used: 5th, 9th
- Dates used: 2013=14
I love the concept behind AG. I used JAG for my 5th grader and AG for my 9th. I found this curriculum not easy to use and it did not provide enough detail for the teacher. I had to email the authors and, although they were very prompt, it was a hassle to have to take time to do this. There was also a lot of errata. My 9th grader is a self learner but she could not use this book in that way. I have gone back to Rod and Staff and highly recommend it. It is teacher and student friendly. Every concept is explained, the pace is do-able, and I love that it spirals and keeps the older concepts refreshed.
- Reviewed on Sunday, February 2, 2014
- Grades Used: Middle school
- Dates used: 2013-2014
My eighth grader has been working through Analytical Grammar this year. We have tried several grammar programs over the years, but none of them actually seemed to teach only grammar. The list is long so I won't bore you with all of them, but I will say that I'm happy we decided to use Analytical Grammar (AG). It teaches strictly grammar and the students truly become masters of grammar. Gone are the days where students work on a chapter about nouns every. single. year. After they learn about nouns (again) they complete hundreds of sentences about nouns. every. single. year. All of that repetition gets monotonous (not to mention BORING!)
AG is not by any means a walk in the park. It does require brain work. However the difference with AG is that the student learns one concept in unit 1 and then reviews it in unit 2. Each unit builds on the previous units. Once a student has passed all of the units in each season they have mastered the material. They don't need to keep doing a grammar worksheet every day for the rest of their school career about the already learned topics. Instead they do a review and reinforcement sheet once every 2 weeks to keep their skills fresh.
The AG student book is HUGE! Don't let that scare you. When my daughter saw the size of the student workbook, she was a little nervous. Then I told her she didn't have to compete the entire book in just 1 year. There are 3 seasons to AG. You can choose to work through 1 season each year, which is the recommended pace for middle school. Or you can choose to work through 2 seasons the first year and then the 3rd season the next year. If you have a high school student you can choose to work through all 3 seasons in 1 school year. For my daughter it was HUGE motivation to complete season 1 this year and then the next 2 seasons in the next 2 school years. She is now on unit 10 of season 1. She is very motivated to finish this season because after this season is complete she will move onto the Review and Reinforcement book which means completing one exercise every 2 weeks. Each review exercise is 2 pages long. I told her she can choose to do 1 page one week and the next page the next week, or she can do both pages in the same day. So she will just do review to keep those skills fresh. If you don't practice your knowledge periodically, you will forget.
I have been so impressed with how well this program is written. It is extremely thorough. It seems like every grammar topic is taught. Students learn how to parse sentences (label all nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, conjuctions, etc.) They also learn how to diagram the sentences. Each unit ends with a test. The tests are easy to grade and there are very specific helpful hints for grading and scoring the tests. The best part about this grammar program is that students are allowed to use their notes for the tests.
The absolutely most impressive part about this grammar program is the notebook that the students have at the end of the program. All of the worksheet and test pages can be discarded after they are completed leaving the students with an extremely comprehensive grammar reference book. These notes are very clear and well-written and include several helpful hints. I don't think they leave a single stone unturned about the grammar of the English language!
So far my daughter has been able to complete most of the work independently. Sometimes I sit by her just to be sure that she is understanding, but she usually completes the lesson without any additional help. The notes to the student are so thorough and make sense. Hints and processes are explained. The author of Analytical Grammar also has DVDs available for purchase if you are unsure of teaching the material on your own. So far I have felt that the student book and teacher manual have been help enough for us and we haven't used the DVDs.
- Reviewed on Wednesday, March 23, 2011
- Grades Used: 6th & 10th
- Dates used: 2010-2011
This is the 1st year I have tried this. My 6th grader did struggle in the early part of Season 1. I slowed down with him only going through 5 sentences a day for about 3 weeks & he got it. He has completed the Season 1 & is now using the Reinforcement & Review now to finish with the Season 1. He will start Season 2 this fall for 7th grade. I thought about giving up in Oct when he was struggling, but I'm glad I stayed with it. I can say I'm sure it's not for everyone, but I wanted to make sure I give it my best shot. I'm not good at grammar myself but have learned (but still need that teachers book for my backup). He is labeling & diagramming with no problem. It just took awhile for it to click with him.
My daughter (10th) just started this also. I didn't totally use their suggestion on how to "rush" her through it. I decided for her to go thru the notes 1 day & then Excercise 1, 2, & 3 each day but only doing Sentences 1-4 on each Excercise each day. So now she is finishing up with the last Season 3. I didn't want to rush through it with her because she's not great at grammar, but this pace worked well with her. I will say that 2nd Season was really tough in areas & I just didn't grade her on some of it, we would go over the things she missed. It does seem to have things that you may never use (just my opinion....not that I'm right). We made it through that season & now she finishing up that last Season 3. We will start her High School Reinforcement in British Literature next year since she has completed the workbook.
I do like this program. I never understood the parts of grammar & labeling them when I was in 4th grade. I was even held back for a 2nd year to better understand English. I can't say being held back helped me, but I can follow along with this book. I do have the Teachers Book, so of course I always use that. When I look at the correct way, it does make sense most of the time.
I can say it's good & affordable IF you are able to stick with it. That was also partly why I didn't give up. I had made the decision to use it & was determined to do my best to make it work. Also, the Customer Service for this program is AWESOME!!!! They have been so helpful to me when I have had a question. I haven't called but maybe 4-5 times, but they are so friendly & willing to help me.
Again, as I have mentioned, I am not great at grammar as you can tell in my post. All I can say is that my kids have enjoyed this "as much as a kid can enjoy grammar"!!!!!!!
- Reviewed on Wednesday, April 7, 2010
- Grades Used: 6th
- Dates used: 2010
I was all excited to start JAG (Junior AG) with my daughter.
Sadly, after lots of trying, and after having completed more than half the program, we had to stop. It simply was not working. I really wanted it to work and then to move on to AG. I had my plans!
We really took our time, me sitting with her, and trying to get her, as well as myself, to understand. Grammar is not my area by any means. We gave it many chances.
My daughter did well in it for the most part, but there were parts of it that she absolutely despised and, may I add, she was VERY vocal about hating it. She kept begging me for a different program, as well as asking me to go online and write some reviews, which I am now doing.
If you want specifics, the things she couldn’t stand about JAG:
* The lack of page numbering and organization – hard to find what she was looking for – no Table of Contents or Index – this is easily remedied, I know. Nonetheless, it drove her nuts. Like me, she likes structure and organization. They encourage the student to go back and look through their notes, to have an open test-taking process, yet, they have an unorganized manual.
* I think she would have liked a bit of color or visual appeal.
* It simply got too detailed and difficult for her – we completed more than 2/3 of the program, but I would say that she only probably enjoyed and understood the first third.
Initially, I loved the idea behind JAG and AG - the organization, the fact that it was for only 11 weeks a year, and so much more - but sadly, it really is not for my daughter and definitely won't be for my son. I think this sort of program appeals more to Competent Carls - and neither of my children are Competent Carls - if you know what I mean (Cathy Duffy learning styles).
I can only imagine this program working if:
the child is a Competent Carl type of learner
wishes to major in English at college
the parent is very good with grammar and diagramming
the child doesn't mind grammar overkill and learning every. single. grammatical. detail. !
the child doesn't mind dry - as in really dry - materials