1.10.14

IEW Grammar: Fix-It

The following product was provided by Institute for Excellence in Writing for the purpose of this TOS Schoolhouse Crew review.




There are currently six books in the Fix-It Grammar series by Institute for Excellence in Writing. We received their recently updated Fix It! Grammar: Frog Prince, or Just Deserts [Book 3] (Teacher Manual $19) and Fix It! Grammar: Frog Prince, or Just Deserts [Book 3] (Student Book $15). They arrived mid-August which gave the girls time to get started with the complete grammar program before taking the ACT for the first time in September.

How we used Fix-It! Grammar: 
My oldest daughter is the one I initially thought would benefit the most from this. With plans made for her to take the ACT in September, I thought it would provide a different approach in preparation for the grammar portion of that test. Both girls ended up registering for the ACT, and both used Fix-It! Grammar with me. We received one spiral bound student book and teacher guide but also were given access to download additional student guides for our family's use. Heather used the spiral bound one, Emily used the printed sheets, and there wasn't much difference except for the nice presentation of the cardstock grammar cards already printed with the bound copy. Instead of printing an additional set, both girls shared those. The simplicity of the lessons surprised me initially, but after using it for just a few days I was convinced of its value. In using it I've been reminded how all of the "bells and whistles" aren't necessarily what is needed for a successful lesson.


The girls are both learning. Fix It! Grammar has been the most accepted language arts lessons ever by my girls. They are learning proper grammar techniques using editing skills in short passages each day. Some days they have even voluntarily completed 2-4 lessons instead of just one. Their writing apart from these lessons is continuing to improve. 

My ninth grader shared that the story format is much more interesting than just random sentences. Even though most of the mistakes are clearly evident, attention to detail is required to fully complete each lesson. Doing a small passage each day is easy and is not overwhelming. Vocabulary words are incorporated into each passage; many are new/ seldom previously used words to my daughters. One vocabulary word is introduced in each lesson. At the beginning of each week, the lesson specifies which new editing techniques will be covered. Grammar cards are included on card stock at the end of the spiral bound book or available to print with the PDF version. My ninth grader refers to the cards (divided by week) as she corrects each passage. 

All of us have incorporated the editing marks taught in the Fix-It lessons into our writing. After correcting each passage, the girls review them with me, then rewriting it correctly provides reinforcement of the proper grammar corrections as well as an opportunity for handwriting practice. Because the new skills are learned in context, they continue to be applied to their work more easily than just bare facts. 

My 11th grader was just a little less enthusiastic than her sister. Her view: "The normal corrections such as capitalization and punctuation are easy, but I don't like doing the parts where you have to label the types of words and clauses. I like to write, but I don't really feel that knowing what type of clause that I am writing helps me. The story was very entertaining. The grammar glossary and review cards are helpful, and provide clear, easy to understand instructions." 

Fix It! Grammar books are available for grades 3-12. I already plan to start using this with my son and hope the format will be as quickly accepted by my self professed grammar hating child as it is by his big sisters. 

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Jennifer 



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