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Grammar has always been one of the subjects I struggle with teaching so I was excited about the opportunity to review Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 by Hake Publishing. I remember one of my college linguistics professors teaching that children naturally learn grammar simply through speaking with fluent adults, but that has not been my experience. My children need direct grammar instruction. This curriculum has made me realize that my children also need plenty of review opportunities in order for the material to ‘stick’.
The homeschool edition of the Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 curriculum is made up of three soft cover books:
- Teacher guide
- Consumable textbook (textbook and workbook in one)
- Writing workbook
Grammar and Writing 3 Teacher Guide
I love a well planned out teacher guide. This teacher guide includes a pacing guide, lesson instructions, an answer key for the daily practice, an answer key for the writing lessons, tests, and additional practice.
The daily lesson instructions contain a script, but the script seems to be geared towards a classroom environment with multiple students. I followed the script the first few days, but gave it up after I had the rhythm of the lessons down. I read through the instructions while waiting for my son to come to the table, but didn’t need to refer to the teacher guide again until the next lesson. Even though the teacher guide wasn’t necessary for every single lesson it is still quite helpful. The tests, which occur after an average of 5 lessons, are included in the back of the teacher guide. The pages are perforated, making them easy to remove and hand to your student.
One of the best things about the teacher guide is the additional review pages included in the very back of the book. There are not additional pages for every single lesson, but there are quite a few. They are easy to rip out and assign if you find your child is struggling with a certain grammatical concept.
Grammar and Writing 3 with Daily Review
This consumable textbook contains 111 grammar lessons. Each lesson is broken into a few steps:
- Grammar meeting
- Examples and solutions
- Review set
The grammar meeting and vocabulary are very quick. I only have one child per grade level, so it isn’t really much of a meeting, but that is okay. We still discussed the questions and new vocabulary words. The vocabulary words are taught by discussing the Latin roots. I really like this format because it helps kids apply the knowledge to other words not explicitly included in the lesson.
The teaching concisely explains the grammar rules being taught in simple terms. The lessons are fairly short so you can really focus on teaching one bite size piece of information at a time. The examples and solutions help to further understanding of the grammar rule and clearly show what is expected during independent work.
The practice section covers just the skill taught in that lesson. It is just a few questions to make sure the student really understands the lesson.
I think the best part of each lesson is the review set. The review set includes questions from the past lessons. Kids get the practice needed to truly master the concepts. The repeated review helps cement the material and get it to ‘stick’.
Grammar and Writing 3 Writing Workbook
The writing workbook compliments the teaching in the textbook. Through 21 lessons children move through writing great sentences to different types of paragraphs. This is the smallest book in the set, but it is definitely important and should not be skipped. The writing exercises help reinforce everything learned and practiced in the textbook.
How We Used Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3
I really appreciated how easily the teacher guide lays out the lesson plans. I did not need to do anything more than read through the lesson to prep for teaching each day. The pacing guide told me exactly what lesson, test, or writing assignment to assign each day.
Each day my son and I worked through the lesson, side by side. We talked about the grammar meeting question, taking turns answering in complete sentences. Then we discussed the vocabulary Latin root. The words were all words that he was familiar with so we brainstormed additional words with the same root.
I read through the daily teaching and then asked my son to try to solve the examples. We walked through these together, one at a time. After we had finished with the examples, my son completed the practice problems. I quickly checked his work and then he moved on to the review portion of the lesson. I love that he had daily review. He struggled a little remembering the proper names of the types of sentences (exclamatory, interrogative, declarative, and imperative) at first, but the daily review really helped.
Test days were also writing lesson days. The tests were no big deal for my son. All of the review made him feel confident in his knowledge, so he had no test anxiety at all. I liked that tests and writing assignments are paired up because both are ways to demonstrate newly learned skills.
Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing was a great fit for my son. He really benefited from the clear, concise, direct instruction and repeated review. I am planning to use the appropriate grade levels of Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing for both Hannah and Ben next year.