Fix It! Grammar ~ Review

Over the years AJ and I have both grown to love the products from Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). Their writing program really opened my eyes on how to help AJ with her writing. It was the first program that didn’t end up with one of us in tears. Since then, we have tried a few different products from IEW, and we have always been pleased. I have wanted to try out their grammar program, but it just never worked out. Until now! We were given the chance to review a level of our choice from their Fix It! Grammar program.

Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW)
After taking the placement test, AJ was in between the second and third book. She was also able to answer some of the questions from the fourth book. I was a little bit unsure where I should place her. But I decided I would rather start her at a lower level and have her review a few things than start her at a higher level and have her miss out on something. We decided to go with Book 2: Robin Hood and I feel it was the right pick.

What is Fix It! Grammar?

Fix It! Grammar is a simple to use grammar program that teaches grammar through usage. In less than 15 minutes a day your student will be learning and practicing new skills. Each week your student will learn or review grammar topics. They do this by reading through a short page of information. For some topics there are cards in the back of the book that expand on the grammar topics.

Once they have learned a new topic, the student puts the knowledge to work. Each day the student corrects a sentence. Depending on the level they may correct capitalization errors, punctuation errors, label parts of speech, choose the correct homophone, or complete other fixes. They also look up an assigned vocabulary word each day. The student then checks their answers and fixes any mistakes. The final step is writing the corrected sentence. By the time they finish the book, the student will have written out an entire story.

Book 2 Robin Hood

Fix It! Grammar Book 2 Robin Hood ~ Review

The second book in the series is the story of Robin Hood. Each day the student corrects a sentence from the story. When they are done, they will have the entire story of Robin Hood written in their own writing. Book two starts off with a review of some of the topics covered from book one. In the first week they practice the following:

  • indentation
  • capitalization
  • articles
  • nouns
  • who-which clauses and
  • end marks

The first few weeks are fairly simple. The student is doing a lot of review while learning a few new skills. I was a little worried when I noticed how fast AJ was moving though the first four weeks or so. I thought that maybe I had picked a level that was too low. But the pace began to pick up. By week nine the student learns quite a few concepts, in less than 15 minutes a day. Here is what your student should learn by the ninth week.

  • indentation
  • subjects of clauses
  • verbs and helping verbs
  • coordinating conjunctions
  • adjectives
  • prepositions
  • main clauses
  • dependent clauses
  • who-which clauses
  • clause starters
  • end marks
  • commas
  • quotations
  • homophones ( then/than, two/ to/too, your/you’re, there/their/they’re) I may be missing a few

The concepts are practiced through usage. Every time the student comes to the word there/ their/ they’re in a sentence they have to decide the correct word. The students are given hints on what to look for in each sentence. One thing I really like is that the student checks their work and explanations are given in the teacher guide. The student isn’t penalized for missing something. They simply read or discuss what they missed, fix it and then write the sentence correctly.

By the end of the book the student will have a good grasp on basic grammar and will be ready for the third book in the series.

The Teacher Manual

Fix It! Grammar Book 2 Robin Hood ~ Review

If you are on a tight budget you can simply purchase the Teacher Manual. It comes with a downloadable version of the student book that you can print off. You can also purchase a pre-printed student book.

The teacher manual has a copy of the Learn It page that is found each week in the student book. Then each daily sentence is given its own page.

Fix It! Grammar Book 2 Robin Hood ~ Review

The sentence is corrected. Below the sentence each correction is explained. Often it will have an explanation on why a correction shouldn’t be made as well. For example they may say that the section doesn’t need to be indented and then give a reason. The vocabulary word of the day is defined and teacher notes are included when needed to explain a concept.

Some pages include a grammar lovers note. This section explains more in-depth grammar topics. I learned a lot from reading these notes!

The back of the teacher manual has a few different tools to make teaching and learning grammar a little easier. There is a scope and sequence that tells what concepts the student will be learning each week. It also lists all of the vocabulary words. Then there is a grammar glossary. The glossary has more information about different grammar topics. It also has additional rules and even stylistic techniques. This section was very interesting to read, and it helped when AJ questioned something that I wasn’t sure of.

The Student Book

The student book is a soft covered spiral bound book. It has the weekly Learn It page and then a page with all of the sentences for the week. At the end of the book there is a certificate of completion for the student. The student book also includes the grammar glossary.

Fix It! Grammar Book 2 Robin Hood ~ Review

I think the best part of having the printed student book is the grammar cards at the back of the book. Once the student reads the Learn It page they can cut out the cards for the week and use them as needed. The cards are printed on heavy card stalk so they are durable. It also nice not to have to print anything off. Everything is ready to open and go.

How We Used Fix It!

We decided to use the program a little bit differently. AJ began by reading the Learn It page. Then she would look up and write the definitions for all of the vocabulary words for the week.

Fix It! Grammar Book 2 Robin Hood ~ Review

Finally she would correct the first sentence. On the second day she would correct the three more sentences. On the third day she would  write the corrected sentences in her notebook.

Fix It! Grammar Book 2 Robin Hood ~ Review

She worked like this most weeks. She is older and will probably finish two books in a year. Once in a while she would come to a sentence that she was stuck on. When that happened I had her slow down and do one sentence a day for the rest of the week. Most days she was finished in about ten minutes. The day that she wrote all of the corrected sentences sometimes took a little bit longer.

What We Thought

AJ loves Fix It! Grammar. It is an easy part of our school day. I have noticed that the skills (like commas and indentations) are transferring into her writing. She thinks the program is fun, she said it is like a puzzle to find out what is wrong with the sentences. She is also enjoying the story of Robin Hood. It is exciting. She is learning a lot of new vocabulary, and is understanding it because she can see how it is used. Her favorite thing about the program is that there isn’t any diagramming. Diagramming frustrates her!

I like that there is an explanation for almost everything. I also like that it is a quick part of the day that AJ can do independently. One of the best things is that AJ is forced to practice her penmanship, but there is not too much writing. This is a great grammar program that is inexpensive. I would highly recommend it to everyone who is teaching grammar. Make sure to take the placement test, the student learns a lot in each book!

Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew reviewed different levels, click on the banner below to read their reviews!

Fix It! Grammar {Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) Reviews}
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