Without the ability to communicate thoughtfully and clearly, all the education a child can absorb won't do them much good. The purpose of education is to interact with and understand others, and in order to do that effectively students must be taught the fundamentals of language and its uses.
There are plenty of grammar programs available with interdisciplinary content and elaborate systems of instruction, but when it comes down to it kids just need to master the core elements, and the Evan-Moor grammar books help accomplish that. There are no frills, no bells and whistles, and no confusing elements—just student- and teacher-friendly reproducible workbooks.
For grades 1-8, the Daily Language Review series offers one worktext for each grade with five daily half-page lessons to be completed over a 36-week school year; at the end of each week, students assess their own progress on a chart. Easy-to-follow instructions and intuitive exercises make these excellent books for independent study and practice.
Exercises revolve primarily around sentence structure, editing, critical thinking, punctuation, usage, and word study. Answer keys to all exercises are found in the back of each book, though beyond those and a scope and sequence there isn't really any teacher support. Fortunately, the content is simple enough you shouldn't need anything extra.
Designed to be used in conjunction with the Daily Language Review books, Evan-Moor's Language Fundamentals series provides more in-depth practice focused on assessment, mechanics and grammar practice, and paragraph-editing. Every book (one each for grades 1-6) includes 160 worksheets, good for daily practice and review over a 32-week period.
Lessons are one page, with full answer keys to each exercise in the back of the texts. Kids fill in the blank, select from multiple choice answers, and edit sentences in an effort to solidify their knowledge and skills. These books are particularly useful for ensuring students are up to state standards and ready for standardized testing.
Also covering grades 1-6 (with one text per grade level), the Grammar & Punctuation series is very straightforward: each book includes 25 grammar rules, with three one-page worksheets per rule. Answer keys appear in the back, while access to 25 free downloadable charts is provided in the beginning.
Finally, Daily Paragraph Editing covers grades 2-6 (with one book for each level), teaching students both the fundamentals of editing and the basics of compositional grammar. Kids fix spelling, capitalization, and punctuation problems using actual editing notation, preferably with a red pencil.
Each book includes daily assignments for a 36-week school year, with four half-page assignments to be completed Monday-Thursday, and an original paragraph to be written on Friday. Every week is built around a specific theme, so kids are prepared on the last day to complete the paragraph without too much difficulty.
The folks at Evan-Moor have established themselves as experts at developing curriculum supplements, and their grammar books are no exception. Grammar is one of those subjects you have to learn mostly by doing, and these practice texts are no more than simple instruction and lots of written assignments to help kids internalize what they need to know.
There's nothing goofy here. There is solid grammar practice, which is what kids need. In order to be good communicators students need to understand the language and its workings, and whether you use these as your principle grammar texts or as supplements, your kids will surely acquire from them an excellent understanding of an often difficult subject.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.
Did you find this review helpful?