Institute for Excellence in Writing – Fix It! Grammer: The Nose Tree Book 1 ~ Schoolhouse Review

Grammar is a subject I have always loved; my son? Not so much. In the past I have heard many wonderful things about the Institute For Excellence in Writing (IEW) and so I felt so very blessed to have the opportunity to review Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree (Teacher’s Manual Book 1) and Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree (Student Book 1) from Institute for Excellence in Writing. As I said before, there are many I am sure, in the homeschool community who are aware of their excellent writing programs; for any unaware of their grammar programs, this one is for you! 🙂

Fix It! Grammar Review

They offer a whole series of Fix It! Grammar books for any and all levels of grammar study from the third grade on up.  Currently they have 5 levels to choose from.

With the Fix-It! Grammar series students read just one line of text each day; they then mark it for specific parts of speech which are covered one at a time in the weekly lessons.  Each sentence features a word or phrase for the student to define within the context, and add correct punctuation, then copying the text into a notebook.  As each day’s work is completed, the student adds to an ongoing story which is the theme of the book itself.

It is recommended that you complete their free placement test to determine the correct starting placement for your child.  You can also view the webinar to see more details showing how the product works.

We used The Nose Tree (Book 1), for grades 3-12.  If you like you can view some samples of the material here:

Both of these books are quite sturdy, spiral-bound, softcover.  The teacher’s manual can be purchased for $19, and the student book is available for $15.

The Nose Tree consists of 33 weeks of lessons and assignments 4 days per week.  This fits in well with our “schedule” since we are more relaxed homeschoolers this year.  I love how constant and consistent each week is so my son and I always know just what is on the schedule for each day.  Tyler just turned 9, and I know he likes to be as independent as possible; I like to encourage that in him as I can too. This program makes that a real possibility for us too.

The Fix-It Grammar books are so very easy to use and even has a path to follow in it. This program is to be used daily, but the lessons only take about fifteen minutes each day (we had some that were longer; a concept that just didn’t stick or discussion on a why or how). Along with the student workbook, they do need a notebook for word definitions and copywork. We had an old three ring binder; my son likes being able to organize his own. So with a divider, he managed and maintained sections for both copywork and definitions himself.  I loved that there were tons of tips in the teachers guide; I also liked how simply laid out each day’s activities were. We would begin reading, sometimes together, sometimes he would start without me. Then my son would cut out the cards corresponding to the days lesson from the back of the book, flashcards, helpful reminders. After this he would go through the sentence for the day making necessary corrections and then we would review it together making any additions or corrections needed. In each sentence is a letter in bold; this is the definition for the student to write out (his own dictionary as it relates to this course).  Lastly, he copies the sentence into his notebook. Each day there is a new sentence to write, and in the end he has copied the whole story- The Nose Tree into his own notebook.

Now don’t get nervous if grammar isn’t your thing, because the teacher’s manual shows all the corrections needed and also has notes to share with the children. The student manual has grammar cards at the back of the book and a glossary that summarizes all of the grammar rules covered within the course itself.

Fix-It Grammar has been an excellent fit for my oldest son. The lessons are short, so he is able to manage and focus, on his work each day. He also has really enjoyed learning something that he can actively use at the same time.  Having to review and correct his own writing, I think, gives him more of an interest in the fine details of grammar and writing. This is great for helping him want to pay more attention to details in all of his work too. I do believe he is learning to pay attention to so many things, since we began this one.

There are six Fix-It Grammar books in all and each one can be used over the course of a school year or more quickly depending on the student’s abilities. I know we will be soon working through the next one ourselves. This one is going to be a keeper in our home school for sure!


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