Self-Guided Grammar Curriculum for Elementary Grades


A reader on the Five J's Facebook page recently asked this question:

"My 4th grade daughter is very much lacking in the grammar dept. Do you know of a curriculum for her? It has to be well explained since I have no idea about that stuff and she prefers to work on her own. Thanks!"

I wasn't quite sure how to answer the question, so I asked the other readers on Facebook for their suggestions, and they offered a nice variety of great curriculum recommendations.

I'm reposting those suggestions here in case they might be helpful to you as well.

  • Marlene suggests the Switched on Schoolhouse computer-based curriculum.
  • Katherine, Debra, Janelle, Michelle, Krista, and Sharon all suggest Easy Grammar or Easy Grammar Plus (make sure you get the answer key too!). Suzanne, Monica, and Sharon also suggest using Daily Grams, which Suzanne describes as "small simple lessons a day at a time over a period of time." Cynthia also raves about Easy Grammar and says "Easy Grammar by far is the BEST curriculum for independent work there is! It explains each topic, has short, concise lessons and covers every part of grammar there is! My kids used it for years…on their own!…LOVE IT!!!"
  • Eva suggests Simply Grammar.
  • Eva and Amy also both recommend Rod & Staff English. (My own family has used Rod & Staff for several years and really love it!)
  • Jenny recommends Queen Homeschool language lessons. The first grade series she uses with her own daughter is self-guided, but she's not certain if the older Elementary grades are similar or not.
  • Joy suggests Googling "free grammar games" for ways to practice grammar concepts without using a curriculum.
  • Tonya uses language arts workbooks from Carson-Dellosa with her fourth grader.
  • Maggie and Stephanie both suggest Time 4 Learning (which is also a FiveJs.com sponsor!). Time4Learning offers a full online language arts curriculum. You can try a demo of the Time4Learning curriculum here.
  • Sasha suggests Hake Grammar, from the publishers of Saxon Math.
  • Shirley recommends The Grammar Ace curriculum from Sonlight. She says, "It has extensive notes for the parent for a short lesson and then the pages the kiddos do themselves. Of course, that's how we used it; your kiddo could read the teacher's notes themselves if they are that much of an independent learner." She also suggests Evan-Moor Daily Language Review or Daily Paragraph Editing pages for daily practice and daily evaluation.
  • Mandi and Paula both suggest Growing with Grammar.
  • Although not necessarily a grammar curriculum, Stephanie suggest Noah Webster's The American Spelling Book.
  • Terri and Sharon recommend Winston Grammar or A.C.E.'s grammar curriculum. (I have to add here that I homeschooled and attended an A.C.E. school for 2.5 years, and while I really don't like much of their curriculum, their English curriculum did have a huge influence on me. Although I've only had experience with their high school English courses, and as a result I don't necessarily recommend A.C.E. curriculum in general, their language arts curriculum might be worth looking into.)
  • Vicki suggests Primary Language Lessons (grades 2-3) and Intermediate Language Lessons (grades 4-6).
  • Julie recommends Character Quality Language Arts which includes "spelling, vocab and grammar."

Do you have any curriculum recommendations you could add to this list?

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Comments

  1. says

    I've worked with Shurley grammar, Rod and Staff, and some of the Carson-Dellosa workbooks. None significantly helped and we were all frustrated. Then I discovered Analytical Grammar. The program works off the premise that grammar is a limited body of knowledge and can be taught in three "seasons." Plus, the writer believes that grammar doesn't have to be taught until about 5th grade, although she has now included a junior program to begin introducing concepts to 4th graders. Her main program was so popular many people clamored for a younger version. My boys love AG! There is no complaining about it and they work at it fairly independently. Even for people with no grammar skills at all, the teaching helps are easily understandable. And now they offer some video tutorials as well. My 8th graders are on their last season. My 5th grader did the AG, Jr. program last year and will start regular AG next year.

    [Reply]

    Joy Reply:

    @Elle, My 14yo is actually doing Analytical Grammar in his English 3 class at Potter's School. He's using the DVD lessons that AG created, and so far he's doing very well with it.

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  2. says

    I have been homeschooling for 16 years and have seen lots of different grammar programs. We used Switched on Schoolhouse for one child for a couple of years but I would have to say that First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind would have to be my all time favorite. I am using it with my 4th grade son right now. It is easy to use and doesn't take much time each day. Yes, we have to do it together, but it's so easy to follow their guide and I love the way they teach all the concepts. Here are a couple reviews – one that I wrote and one written by one of my readers http://www.homeschool-how-to.com/writing-with-ease.html and http://www.homeschool-how-to.com/first-language-lessons.html. I hope that helps.

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    Staci Reply:

    @Heidi Johnson, I agree with Heidi and Nicole. Well Trained Mind grammer books are great. I work late so in the morning I am not to with it. I choose to do grammer first in the day because with these books it is so easy to teach. But substance is not sacrificed. I can not belive how much grammer my 8 and 9 year old already now, way more then I knew at their age. Itis fun, I have no complaints from them on this subject. Also, I have learned a lot. :)

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  3. says

    At this point in time, I use Shurley English (homeschool edition) for my two girls (1st and 2nd grades). The entire lessons are scripted, so as a teacher you read everything out of the teacher manual. There is absolutely no coming up with definitions of terms, etc. on your own. All work/exercises are given and correspond with the student book or by using regular notebook paper. The program teaches the parts of speech, labeling/diagramming sentences with ease, songs to remember the parts of speech, and my second grader is already learning about topic sentences and how to build a great paragraph. I like that the program eases into each concept before expecting the student to reproduce. For example, the student learns how to find a topic sentence and what sentences would not fit into a paragraph before they are ever required to write one on their own. Also, at this point my daughter has already learned the nuts and bolts of building good sentences and what it includes before moving on into more complex exercises like paragraphs.

    The bulk of the cost is the teacher manual. You must also buy a student book. Once you have the teacher manual, you can just buy the student book each year for other students/children at about 10 dollars. A reasonable yearly price.

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  4. Nicole says

    I'd like to suggest First Language Lessons by Jessie Wise….they have levels 1 – 4…I have used them all and they are great…we move onto Rod & Staff after that and it is great also! Hope that helps someone :o )

    [Reply]

  5. Kathy says

    We've used FLL in the past but my Aspie guy does better with drill and kill, for that reason we switched to Saxon Math and with it, R&S grammar. I have been very impressed by his retention in R&S. I know it's dry, but for someone who needs drill and kill, it works!!!

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  6. Lila says

    I highly reccommend Schoolzone.com where you can purchase workbooks that come with an interactive CD – a combo that my 2 girls actually beg for every day! They do the workbook pages first & then get op "play the games" for reinforcement of concepts.

    Also readingeggs.com (has an inexpensive annual fee) that they go thru at their own pace, includes phonics, spelling and sentence structure, testing and rewards. It is easy to use and makes everyone happy :) )) The youngest one actually gets on it to "play" on weekends.

    [Reply]

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