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Grammar & Diagramming Sentences Review by Katie SheasbyGianni DeVincentis-Hayes, Ph.D
899 South College Mall Road, Suite 381
Bloomington, IN 47401
Grammar and Diagramming Sentences is a 112 page soft covered workbook. Lessons and directions are written directly to the student, with an answer key and glossary found at the end of the book. It begins with a twenty-five question diagnostic exam to test the student's knowledge of diagramming. Following the exam and introduction, the workbook is divided into eight chapters.
Chapter one covers the basics; including parts of speech, subjects and predicates, sentence classification, and the basic framework of sentence diagramming. Chapter two builds on the skills learned in chapter one. It teaches the seven basic sentence patterns, and how to diagram each one.
Chapter three teaches about nouns and pronouns in a very detailed way. It covers; plural nouns, abstract nouns verses concrete nouns, collective nouns, possessive nouns, when to use pronouns, the function of pronouns (as a subject, an object, or a modifier in a sentence), relative pronouns, demonstrative pronouns, indefinite pronouns, plural pronouns, possessive pronouns, contractions, and how to diagram each different type.
Chapters four and five teach all about verbs. Topics covered include; verb types and characteristics, verb conjugation, transitive verbs, intransitive verbs, direct objects, active verbs, passive verbs, infinitives, participles, gerunds, and how to diagram the different types of verbs. Chapter six is all about modifiers and how to diagram them. It covers; the different types of adjectives, double comparatives, superlatives, pronouns, articles, adverbs, phrases, and clauses.
Chapter seven covers; prepositions, prepositional phrases, conjunctions, interjections, expletives, appositives, and how to diagram each one.Chapter eight has a review of verbals, complex sentences, compound-complex sentences, and advanced diagramming of sentences. This workbook covers what you need to know to be able to successfully diagram sentences. It sells for $13.95.
There are not any directions for how to use the workbook. It is an open and go style where everything you need is right at your fingertips. Each chapter is set up in a similar style. The topics are explained in detail, with examples, then there are about forty to fifty practice problems. The practice problems are broken up by type into smaller sections of about ten to fifteen questions each. After every two chapters there is a review test.
The workbook is not marketed towards a certain grade level. It can be used by kids or adults of any age, but in my opinion it would work the best with middle school children and older. It is very detailed, and I think a younger child may find it too challenging. While it was not made specifically for homeschoolers, it would be easy to use in the homeschool setting.
This workbook is full of examples and would be great for independent students who are visual learners. It would be a good fit for classical homeschoolers or those who want a very solid education in grammar.
My eleven year old and I worked through this workbook together. Grammar has not been a big priority up to this point, so she found the information a little difficult to understand. We decided to take it slow and ensure she had a good grasp on each section before we moved on. We worked on the workbook three days a week. The first week we spent reading and going over all of the examples in the chapter. The second week she would work through one activity section a day. It took about twenty minutes a day for her to complete the work.
As she progressed through the book her pace slowed even more since there was so much to cover. I think that the length of the lesson and even the workbook will really vary by student and how much prior grammar they have had.
Even though my child found the workbook to be difficult, I liked it. She has learned quite a bit and understands the basics of diagramming. The workbook is full of detailed information, has great explanations, and really shows how to diagram each type of sentence. I like that the practice problems are broken up into small sections so that the student doesn't feel overwhelmed. I found the glossary in the back to be very helpful in explaining some unknown words. I feel the price is really good for the product, you are receiving a very solid education in grammar and diagramming sentences that could easily last an entire school year, for less than fifteen dollars.
The main complaint we had was the lack of writing space in the book. The first chapter wasn't too bad because most of the work included labeling and underlining things. When we got to the second chapter though, my eleven year old had to do almost all of the work on a separate piece of paper. She dislikes writing and found copying everything down difficult and time consuming. I think it slowed down our progress. I also felt there were too many topics covered in some chapters. While the book is quite detailed, sometimes my eleven year old was overwhelmed by all of the information that was presented.
I would recommend this book to those with older children who have a basic grasp of grammar, but are looking for a more detailed understanding. We will continue to work through this book at a slow pace. Overall it is a solid grammar study.
—Product Review by Katie Sheasby, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2015