Monday, September 29, 2014

Institute for Excellence in Writing - Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree

Writing is something that I just do not feel I am good at.  I understand I am not perfect, but this also worries me when I am teaching the children.  I knew I needed a good stepping stone to work with Lydia on her writing skills.  After all, this is a subject that she loves.  So I was very excited to get the opportunity to get to review Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree from Institute for Excellence in Writing.  
Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree is written for beginning level Grammar instruction.  So it worked out perfect for Lydia who has been learning the various aspects of Grammar, but had not yet started digging deeper into structure.

Grammar though is not a subject that you love to sit down to for a long time.  And with Lydia's short attention span we needed something that was short and to the point.  Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree is just that.  It's straight to the point and requires usually under 15 minutes daily.  In fact the lessons are sometimes so short, that I have been known to combine two days and she doesn't realize it.  Especially if we are on a roll.  One week she was doing so well with a topic that we whipped through the entire section and she caught onto the topic in no time at all.  

We were given the opportunity to review theFix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree Teachers Manual ($19.00) and Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree Student Workbook ($15.00).  The Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree Teachers Manual was super easy use.  It starts out with a simple explanation as to how to use the program effectively.  Then each week is broken down into themes.  Each week is broken down into daily tasks and lessons to present on the topic.  The Teachers Manual contains the same pages as the student workbook, but you have the answers and explanations to give the kids.  There are also suggestions if a student is catching onto a topic really well, how to give them more of a challenge.  This I liked, especially the week we were able to cover the material so quickly.  I was given ideas how to keep her advancing in this area, without feeling overwhelmed.

This was something I LOVED about Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree curriculum.  It did not contain a too much wording on each page.  It was simple and not distracting.   Lydia did not feel overwhelmed when she sat down to work on grammar.  She was not exhausted at a huge lesson.  When we were done, she still had the ability to get on her laptop and put into action the things we were learning in her story writing.  This means a lot.  Some products takes so much mental energy from her that she just doesn't function well enough to do what she loves, which is writing.  

I really liked that vocabulary is included with each weekly lesson.  I was even challenged on a few of these words.  It was a great addition and I was able to get another task done.  

The handwriting was really limited, and did not take a lot of effort.  The part that was writing, I was easily able to adapt to Lydia for typing work when her hands were too shaky for handwriting.  

Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree from Institute for Excellence in Writing has been a true blessing to our homeschool.  I am able to easily plan Lydia's grammar.  The prep work for me is about 2 minutes worth of reading.  I like that it is so easy to use.  And not only easy to use and even with the simpler style, very thorough for learning grammar usage.  I also can easily adapt it to Lydia's unique needs at that time.  If she is struggling with a concept, we simply spend a few more days on it and then move one when she is ready.  

She is excited that she is "editing" a story just like an author would be and she can't wait until we are done and the story is all written out (she is typing it into a file on her computer to practice her typing skills).

Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree is written for roughly Grade 3 through Grade 5 depending on your student's level.  I normally am not a fan of purchasing Teacher manuals when buying curriculum because of the added cost.  But I found the Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree Teachers Manual really worth the cost.  The entire program for both the Teachers Manual and the Student textbook is priced reasonably.

It is working so well for Lydia, that we will continue using it and I am looking to purchase the next level so that we have it when she has finished this one.  

If you are not sure how and where to place your student.  Institute for Excellence in Writing has a placement test available for your student to try out.  There is also a Webinar available for you to check out and see how to use the Fix It! Grammar program.

Several members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew were able to review the Fix It! Grammar program.  Read how it worked for their families by visiting the crew blog:

Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

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