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Proper writing and English grammar skills are important for kids to learn. My eight-year-old daughter loves writing, but wasn’t quite up to speed on grammatical rules appropriate for her age. So when give the chance to review Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 from Hake Publishing, I thought it’d be a great fit.
What Is Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3
I was familiar with Saxon math because of my work with a local parent partnership program. But, I’d never had the chance to dig into the Hake/Saxon grammar program. As I used this with my daughter, I noticed some key similarities between Saxon math and Hake/Saxon grammar:
- The instruction focuses on mastery
- Students are provided frequent review so they don’t learn and forget important skills
- The topics get more complex as the student masters the basics
The three components of this program work together to provide a solid foundation for students in grammar and writing. Those components are:
The Consumable Textbook
The textbook is what the students work through. Since it’s consumable, there’s room for students to write their answers right in it.
This book contains 111 lessons. Each lesson begins with a box indicating the topic of the grammar meeting (see more on this in my description on the Teacher Guide below), and a note about vocabulary.
Then it jumps into the instruction. This is written in a kid-friendly tone, and has plenty of examples to help them understand. When needed to aid the explanation, simple black and white images are included. However, the pictures in this book are few and far between.
Here’s a picture of one lesson, so you can see what it looks like:
At the end of each lesson, students reach a review set. These ask questions about the previous lessons, helping ensure retention.
The Writing Workbook
Another consumable text for the student, the Writing Workbook offers writing instruction and practice for students. This is designed to be used on test days, which means there are 21 lessons.
Students learn about creating sentences and paragraphs. They also study different forms of writing (Persuasive, Expository, Narrative, and Descriptive). Like the Consumable Textbook, the Writing Workbook offers instruction written directly to the student, and examples for them. Then students are given space to do their own writing.
Some lessons focus on evaluation of writing, which is an important component.
Teacher Guide Answer Keys and Tests
The final book in this set is the Teacher Guide. It walks the instructor through the process of teaching Grammar and Writing 3. Parts of it are scripted, meaning they’re written out word-for-word what you’re supposed to say to your student.
Each lesson begins with a Grammar Meeting. This was the only part that didn’t fit well into a homechool setting as written. The goal of this portion is to encourage speaking and listening skills. Students are supposed to listen to each other and then recall what specific students said.
Since I have a large family, with a couple of kids near the same grade level, I just did this part collectively with them. However, if you only have one student, it would be more difficult. You would have to participate and encourage active listening.
Then the guide examines the vocabulary words. Students read the word and are given the opportunity to create their own sentences based on the word.
The student then moves into the lesson portion, and the review set. The Teacher Guide provides some additional information.
This book also contains all answers, and the tests (and those answers). There are directions as to when to give the tests.
How We Used Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3
Since we’re enjoying summer break, my daughter worked through this book a little slower than she will in the fall. She completed an average of three lessons a week.
Each lesson took about thirty minutes. The Grammar Meeting took the longest, because we often branched out on a tangent conversation. It was a good way to practice speaking and listening though.
Then I had my daughter read the instruction and complete the questions and review set. I occasionally let her do just every other problem to save a little time.
What We Thought of this Program
My daughter didn’t like how many questions there were, she often saw the work and shut down a bit. But, once she got in the groove of them and put her mind to it, they didn’t take too long. And I’ve noticed she’s been using her new skills in her own free writing, which was the goal I had originally!
She does like the workbook style, so she doesn’t have to try and keep track on a separate sheet of paper.
I thought the instruction was thorough, and I would recommend it for an advanced second grader or a typical third grader.
My favorite portion was the Writing Workbook, and I wish that would play a bigger role in the program. As we continue working through it this fall, I’ll likely incorporate more similar writing assignments of my own, because that’s the part my daughter enjoys the most too.
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