Wednesday, August 14, 2013


This is one of my favorite subjects for what might seem like an embarrassing (or strange) reason.  I'm not very good at it. 

Yes, I teach my kids.  Nope, I'm not exceptionally talented (or even averagely talented) at every subject.

To me, this is one of the great blessings of teaching my children, I get to learn too.  And you know what?  It's so much fun!  Plus, I figure, by the time I get through with my fourth child, I might be exceptionally talented at grammar.  Maybe.

So far we've used two different curriculum: First Language Lessons and Rod and Staff.

I really like them both.

I've gone through First Language Lessons levels 1 and 2 with Ben and he'll be moving onto level 3 this year while James starts with level 1.  I really like how detailed (and scripted) it is.  I don't usually read it word for word, but it's got my back with extra help when I need it.  I also love the poems it has you memorize.  I was shocked at how much Ben's memory improved as we progressed through the first year (and how well he still knows them!)

Last year was my first year using Rod and Staff and we started with level 6, Progressing With Courage for Makenna's 6th grade year.  It was pretty darn great. 

Yes, there's a lot of work.  No, I didn't always have her do all of the exercises, but it covered everything so very well.  We even learned how to diagram sentences together.  I hadn't ever done it before.  Never.  Have you?  I know more about sentence structure and now than I ever have. 

On the negative side (the very small negative side in my book), there are some strange lessons, like how to appropriately make phone calls, but you can always skip past those if you'd like (and there aren't very many of them). 

Overall I've really liked them and we're continuing on with both this year.  How do you teach grammar? 


You can check out more of our curriculum choices in our 2013-14 outline.


  1. I use First Language Lessons, as well! I love the curriculum. We are currently on Level 2. From what I understand, Level 3 is when diagramming is taught. What made you decide to use Rod and Staff next? I'm not sure how far to go with teaching grammar (my oldest is only 9 almost-10), actually. I just assumed you stop after diagramming. :) :) Anyway, I'm loving reading your reviews.

  2. Lynette- I have read that diagramming starts in Level 3 also. I think it's kind of fun (I know, strange) and I'm excited to get into it with Ben. We did Rod and Staff because it was recommended in The Well Traind Mind and I'm really glad we did because last year (6th grade) was my daughters first year being home and neither of us had seen (or heard of) digramming sentences (or a lot of other stuff). I'm not sure how long we'll use grammar...I explore up one grade at a time as we go (although that'll change if Makenna does hight school at home). Thanks for the kind words and good luck with your planning!

  3. Oh, okay. :) I like The Well-Trained Mind a lot! I need to check it out (again) and do the same -- look one grade ahead -- because I made the assumption that after Level 3 with First Language Lessons, that was it and we were done! :) I'm very nervous about teaching junior high and high school, so I'll be watching you. ;) haha


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