Before I became Mommy, I was an English teacher to middle school students who were sadly lacking in basic grammatical understanding. I tried to teach what I could, but I was fresh out of college and struggled to know how to bring them up to an acceptable middle school level. Grammar is viewed as very tedious to learn and teach, but it doesn't have to be! My daughters are growing up learning the parts of speech, how to diagram sentences, and how to speak and write in an intelligent way and it has been rather painless. Giving them a good foundation for sentence building has been my goal and I look for fun ways to do so. I was highly intrigued by the English Grammar Teaching Method
from English on a Roll.
from English on a Roll.
When I opened our box my girls were intrigued as well and wanted to know when we were going to play the new grammar game! It does look like a game for certain with the many worded cubes and fun lesson book. Everything you need comes neatly packaged with incredibly clear instructions in the first few pages. The great part about this is that even though it looks like a game, it is really all about hands-on-learning through manipulatives, a technique proven highly useful for mathematics and now ingeniously applied to grammar instruction!
These little cubes will work in just about any learning situation you can imagine. They are intended for students who are at the mental maturity to be understand how to structure a sentence, about 5 years old. Some examples given by the company are teaching homeless children to sight read and spell, giving students on a higher level of academics a base for writing complex sentences, using them in English as a second language classes, special needs classes, or adult literacy classes. Our homeschool is just traditional, no special needs or non-native speakers, so I was really excited to see how this would work for us.
The teacher guide includes reproducible pages to give as handouts for each student. This was the first really cool part about English on a Roll. While my girls all learn grammar, they have just begun 2nd, 5th, and 7th grades. This does not typically lend itself to group grammar lessons! It was great to have something we could do all together.
The beginning lessons were fairly easy for them because they do already have a grammar base. What I noted is that this would feel easy even for students who do not have a solid grammar background, which is exactly why it is so great! Grace has the least experience with structured grammar and really enjoyed the fill in the blank lessons. Beth enjoys anything hands on and is a thinker, so greatly enjoyed the dice. Rose, who has a very strong understanding of sentence structure and word usage, did a great job helping her sisters understand with the cubes. It was really neat to see her take over as teacher without even realizing it because the word cubes lend itself to very easy instruction. This was great to see because I know it means they would be easy for everyone to use, not just English teachers like me!
Set-up and prep were just a matter of copying a few student pages and setting the cubes out for use. Each lesson shows you at the very top exactly which cubes you need and a handy cube guide along with color coded word dice make this super easy and efficient. I was able to read through a lesson once and feel ready to move forward with the teaching. I do also really like that there are a variety of options for games, conversations, and activities to teach the same concepts. This may be the most open-and-go grammar curriculum I've had a chance to use.
This is hands down my new favorite addition to our homeschool. I love that I can teach the girls all together and that they had a great time using it!