Disclaimer: We received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it. All opinions expressed are my personal, honest opinions. You can read my full disclosure policy for more details. Grammar is admittedly not everyone's favorite subject to teach. ...

Grammar for Writers from Compass Classroom (Review)



Disclaimer: We received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it. All opinions expressed are my personal, honest opinions. You can read my full disclosure policy for more details.

Grammar is admittedly not everyone’s favorite subject to teach. I will say that I DO enjoy it. It’s the English major in me rearing its diagramming-loving head.

That said, for those who do NOT enjoy teaching it, finding resources to help high school students in this area, especially ones that are engaging, can be difficult. Fortunately, Compass Classroom recently released a new program, Grammar for Writers, that may be the answer for some homeschool families.

Grammar for Writers is a video-based, self-paced course designed to help students and writers analyze their own writing, diagnose problems, and write better sentences.

The course builds on a native speaker and reader’s instinctive understanding of language in order to demystify English grammar and sentence structure. The course provides very concrete tools to analyze, diagnose, and repair writing problems.

How We Are Using Grammar for Writers

The lessons each begin with a video component and then are often followed up with a worksheet/quiz for review. Students can read along in the book and highlight if they desire.

Typically Zachary watches the video lesson and completes the quiz the same day, sometimes the next day depending on our timeframe. Not every lesson has a quiz to go along, so there are weeks we work through an additional lesson. Our overall goal is to complete at least three lessons in a week.

Several lessons can easily be worked on each week so the course can be completed in a semester. We had some catching up to do in a different subject area and were down to one or two lessons weekly for a stretch of time, so we won’t quite finish it before Christmas although we are steadily working.

If you’d like to relax the pace a bit, you can easily complete one or two lessons each week and extend the program over the course of the year. Personally I wouldn’t recommend this (just so the content stays “fresh”), but it would allow for the program to be combined with another 1/2 credit class for the year (we are using it in conjunction with Grammar of Poetry during the 9th grade year).

Ultimately, the scheduling part is really flexible for families. Since the class is either DVD or streaming based, you choose when to watch the lessons and complete the program.

A Quick Peek

Here’s a sample lesson from the first unit that will give you an idea on the teaching style of the lessons and what to expect.

 
  • 41 lessons video lessons (6.75 hours total)
  • Lecture Notes (transcriptions of the videos) in a PDF
  • Quizzes for almost every chapter in PDF form or in the printed book
  • A teacher key for the quizzes

Our Thoughts (and for You to Know)

Over the years we have used various grammar programs and, thanks to my love of grammar, our kids have worked consistently on their grammar skills, because I personally believe it is one of the most important areas to focus on in learning – i.e. so much that we do in other subject areas relies on our knowledge of grammar.

No matter what field our children end up working in, we want to ensure they have a solid foundation in writing and grammar.

We have some children that love (and excel) in the area of grammar and some that could take it or leave it (honest truth). Pretty sure that’s true for most of us in life. You either love the nitty-gritty stuff or you just want to be done with it.

Grammar for Writers offers a program that is more engaging than your typical workbook format. Through the video portion, the instructor, Jonathan Rogers, is very straight forward but keeps viewers interested. Each of the lessons is written out in the workbook as well, providing a way for students to follow along in the book as they watch the lesson.

Getting started with this writing and grammar program is very user-friendly. With the lessons on DVD or streaming, you can quickly pop in the first lesson and get going. We recommend ordering the spiral-bound book (we also have a PDF copy and print the quizzes off so the book isn’t written in).

Although the lesson is written out in the go-along workbook, I highly recommend watching the lessons, as tempting as it may be to only use the book, because there are times that hearing the context is important to fully understanding.

Periodically there are quizzes that follow the lessons (there is an answer key at the back of the book if you need some help). Most quizzes are relatively short and take under ten minutes to complete.

I honestly wasn’t sure that Zachary would like this program as much as he does. When we sat down to review how he feels it is going so far and get his input, he mentioned how much he enjoys the lectures and felt the instructor explains things very well (this is coming from the teen who wasn’t as strong in the grammar department earlier).

A few more thoughts:

  • Although they are labeled quizzes, most of the quizzes are really more of a wrap-up to the lesson to gauge where the student is – so more of a worksheet, if you will.
  • Jumping in to start the program is super easy – pretty much open and go!
  • Lessons are fairly short overall – an average of 7 or 8 minutes, but they vary in length.
  • There are a few lessons that can be subjective, for lack of a better word, when students are asked to re-write sentences to make them more concise or clear. On those lessons, Zachary and I talked through the quiz/worksheet together.
  • Some terminology for parts of speech may differ from what a child has learned, but s/he will quickly adapt (subject/verb vs. subject/predicate or “main line”).
  • Kids with a base in Classical Conversations or a similar homeschool teaching style will LOVE this program.
  • Moms who would like a little bit of a break and enjoy a solid teaching program will enjoy this program immensely. :)
  • If your child does not have a strong grammar background, this may not be the program for you. It is more from the approach that your child will have some understanding going into the program.
  • Personally I would love to see this fleshed out even more, whether through additional writing assignments/rubrics to create a full credit program, but for now we will settle with combining it with Grammar of Poetry during the 9th grade year for a full high school credit.

Our overall impression from using the program this year – this is a SOLID program for high school students. With an engaging instructor, in-depth lessons, it would be an asset to a homeschool family and a great half-credit option for high school.

Learn More about Grammar for Writers

Visit Compass Classroom to learn more about Grammar for Writers and other curriculum options offered. We recommend pairing this class with Grammar for Poetry (1/2 credit) in the 9th grade to round out a full high school credit.

  • Recommended ages: high school or upper middle school
  • Credit: 1/2 high school credit
  • Formats offered: DVD, Digital (Streaming), or DVD & Digital with a PDF materials or Printed (spiral-bound) materials

Don’t forget to download the sample of Grammar for Writers here for full information on what is covered in the program.

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There are TONS of great deals for both your homeschool and just plain ol’ fun this weekend. Shopping online and staying away from the crowds is one of my favorite things to do (I honestly hate shopping in general, so these online deals make me happy!).

And if the weather is cold in your parts, like it is here, shopping from the comfort of your home is definitely a way to win all around! 

Here are a few discounts and codes to save up to 60% from companies our family has purchased from, used, and loved. If you know of any, feel free to leave a comment and let us know!

For Your Classroom

  • Crafty Classroom  is offering 25% off your entire shopping cart. (CODE: BLACK25)and will add our Editable Sight Word Bingo Pack ($5) value to the order for free (sale ends 12/2/19). The Crafty Classroom specializes in top-quality, low-prep, hands-on teaching resources for K-5 students.
  • You ARE An Artist is offering  20% off All courses, bundles and ebooks! We truly love their chalk pastel tutorial (so forgiving!!) and this is the perfect time to grab their holiday art lessons (Nutcracker and Christmas art anyone). Only a few items needed to get started: Chalk pastels, construction paper, and a video art lesson!
  • Save $5 off a $20 book purchase via Amazon – use code NOVBOOK18 during checkout.

Compass Classroom Black Friday 2019

  • Compass Classroom – Up to 40% off and FREE SHIPPING!! – no code needed. Our family has been using several of their programs this year, including the brand new Grammar for Writers program along with Word Up Vocabulary and Visual Latin. If you are interested in video-based programs, be sure to check this sale out (last one of the year!).
  • Masterpiece Society art classes are available at a 30% savings with code MASTERPIECE30 – art classes for Kindergarten through high school. And of course, mixed media workshops for EVERYONE in between!

  • FREE Snowman pack from All About Learning Press. This pack isn’t available to the general public – you all get a sneak chance at downloading it for free!! 

 

Fun Delivered to Your Mailbox

  • Ivy Kids Kits – New Ivy Kids can subscribe and save 30% Black Friday through Monday with code IVYBLACK30. After Friday, take advantage of their reduced prices on all gift subscriptions and 10% off on all past kits w/code PASTKITS10 through 12/4.

  • KiwiCo – 60% OFF your first month of a KiwiCo subscription starting Tuesday, November 12th, 2019 and running through January 1st, 2020!

For the Entire Family

  • Our family has L.O.V.E.D. the CordaRoy’s beanbags that have joined our home and made great use of them these last few weeks with family visiting. During the day they are comfy bean bags, and at night they convert to beds for guests to sleep on (we have a full and a queen). Take 20% off sitewide with code BLACK20! 

 

Feel free to leave a comment below if you know of any other deals happening! 

 

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Thanksgiving Grateful Verse

This year is a bit different for our family with one of our girls far away across the ocean and in Africa! Our typical Thanksgiving day feels a bit off, but I have a feeling we are on the cusp of an entirely *new* season. Different yes. And a good thing too.

Meanwhile we have rolls fresh out of the oven, a turkey creating an amazing aroma, and we are waiting for friends and family to come hang out and enjoy a bit of a feast. 

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

I’ll be back this Friday to share some GREAT Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals with you all (who says homeschoolers can’t take part in all the sales and specials?), so be sure to subscribe by email and get all the coupon codes delivered to your inbox.

Until then – ENJOY your time with your family. Cuddle up with those kids. Take a nap or two.

Relish in the many blessings that we have – and give thanks for it all!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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This past week, Home Science Tools has been so incredibly gracious in sharing several giveaways with my readers as well as a FREE ebook: 21 Winter Science Experiments (be sure to download it!). Today we’re wrapping up the giveaways with one HUGE bundle of goodness! 

Science and fun experiments are definitely something we love in our home. More recently we have been ordering our lab supplies from Home Science Tools, but their company offers so much more than just lab materials!

These giveaways will hopefully put some science-related tools in your hands with the goal of making science even more enjoyable! Our family has been using Home Science Tools as our go-to for lab supplies, but there are many other fun science kits and materials kids will love!

Today’s giveaway features EIGHT products and all are briefly described a bit below, but I’d encourage you to visit the Home Science Tools website and check out their science gift guide as you begin your second semester planning and holiday shopping.

 

Inside the Home Science Tools Bundle

Here’s a peek at what you’ll find inside this amazing giveaway from Home Science Tools. A link to each item is included if you’d like to click over and learn more. All together this bundle giveaway contains over $250 in fun projects and kits.

  • The Master Detective Toolkit (ages 8+) provides all the tools needed to start solving crimes right out of the box, including barrier tape, fingerprint dust, and evidence specimen canisters.The full-color manual explains how to analyze the gathered evidence along with some fun facts.

  • Learn about the science of soaps and body scrubs – and have fun while doing it while using the Spa Science Kit!Children can make their own face masks, fizzing bath balm, salt and sugar rubs, and more using the included lavender oil, peppermint oil, glycerin soap, sea salt, and other ingredients.

  • Grow dazzling crystals and conduct 15 experiments with the crystal growing science kit ($39.95). Discover the various properties of four different types of chemical crystals: potassium alum, sodium sulfate, sodium acetate, and plaster made from gypsum crystals.

  • How fun would it be to make your own gummies? With the MakeYour Own Gummies Kit, kids can learn about chemistry and thermal reversibility.
  • Learn about chemiluminescence and the quantum leap with the Cool Blue Light Kit  as you make a cool blue light appear in the dark and complete 6 other illuminating chemistry experiments. (Ages 9+)

  • Working on a human body unit? Be sure to check out the SomeBody Game ($28.95). Children will enjoy learning the major organs, muscles, and bones of their bodies and how these parts fit and work together as they play this game. Ages 6-10, 2-4 players. 

  • Have fun learning about the properties of magnetism with the Magic Penny Magnet Kit ($24.95). Perform 32 amazing magnetic experiments with the two powerful bar magnets and 24 British pennies in this kit. 
 

Download the 21 Winter Science Experiments Ebook

Home Science Tools is offering my readers a FREE ebook: 21 Winter Science Experiments, which includes some great projects to work on in the upcoming months, including DIY Hand Warmers, Poinsettia PH Paper, and so many others! Download it HERE

 

Enter the Giveaway!

Ready to enter? All you need to do is follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway is open to those with a US mailing address only. Giveaway ends on Monday, November 25, 2019 at 11:59pm.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Don’t Miss These Too!

There are a few additional giveaways you don’t want to miss! Click on the graphics below to enter the other daily giveaways from Home Science Tools!

 

Day 4 Giveaway – ends 11/21/19

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Day four of the science giveaways from Home Science Tools  is here! We still have one more BIG giveaway coming, so stay tuned and check back Monday for that one. 

If you are just joining us, be sure to check out the end of the post for links to the past giveaways and take a moment to enter before they end. Over the next several days, I will be sharing some MORE giveaways from Home Science Tools to both get your family thinking of science-related gifts for Christmas and to put some tools in your hands that will make science even more enjoyable!

Today’s giveaway features TWO products and both are described a bit below, but I’d encourage you to visit the Home Science Tools website and check out their science gift guide as you begin your second semester planning and holiday shopping.

Magic Penny Magnet Kit

Have fun learning about the properties of magnetism with the Magic Penny Magnet Kit ($24.95). Perform 32 amazing magnetic experiments with the two powerful bar magnets and 24 British pennies in this kit. Create arches, “airplane wings,” bridges, balancing shapes, and even a levitating pyramid of pennies!

The Magic Penny Magnet Kit comes with:

  • 2 extra-strong magnets encased in stainless steel
  • 24 newly-minted British pennies
  • 1 US penny
  • activity guide

——–> Learn more about the Magic Penny Magnet Kit <———-

 

SomeBody Game

Working on a human body unit? Be sure to check out the SomeBody Game ($28.95). Children will enjoy learning the major organs, muscles, and bones of their bodies and how these parts fit and work together as they play this game, collecting colorful body part stickers and attaching them in the right places on their game boards. Includes reusable stickers, game boards, cards, and more. Ages 6-10, 2-4 players. 

——–> Learn more about the SomeBody Game <———-

 

Download the 21 Winter Science Experiments Ebook

Home Science Tools is offering my readers a FREE ebook: 21 Winter Science Experiments, which includes some great projects to work on in the upcoming months, including DIY Hand Warmers, Poinsettia PH Paper, and so many others! Download it HERE

 

Enter the Giveaway!

Ready to enter? All you need to do is follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway is open to those with a US mailing address only. Giveaway ends on Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 11:59pm.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

 
 
 

Access the subscriber only page at any time HERE. Password to open the page is freecards.



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