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High School Grammar Reinforcement: The Great British Authors Review by Debra Brinkman

R. Robin Finley and Erin M. Karl
Analytical Grammar
7615 Vista Del Rey Lane
Raleigh, NC 27613

Once your students hit high school, so many experts say that you no longer have to cover spelling or grammar. High school is the time for literature and poetry, essays and research papers. The mechanics no longer need to be taught. That’s not the way my homeschool works. I feel pretty strongly that even students who have done well in grammar up through the years need some reminders. If I were more confident myself, I could probably provide some systematic reinforcement through their writing, as I notice their grammatical errors and have them relearn the correct ways. I do some of that, but my students are like me. They just avoid complex sentences when writing.

For students who struggled with grammar, I think it is critically important to continue to review it throughout high school. High School Grammar Reinforcement makes this review easier to implement. If your student has mastered grammar with a program like Analytical Grammar, this program is a painless way to keep that information fresh.

This $19.95 workbook provides eighteen two-page worksheets for your student to cover over the course of a school year. That works out to one worksheet every two weeks. American Authors, British Authors, and Shakespeare’s Plays are the three titles available. We have been working with British Authors.

Each worksheet is set up the same, with text covering a different author. Exercise 5, on Sir Walter Scott, starts off with two complex sentences to parse and diagram. Both sentences describe Scott’s early life.

The next section, Grammar Analysis, includes three sentences about his later life. The second page for this week includes questions such as, “Write the participial phrase in this sentence,” and “What job is the gerund phrase in this sentence doing?”

The final section consists of a few paragraphs about Scott’s work, with quite a few errors (in this case 14 of them) in punctuation, capitalization, and usage. The student is to use editing marks to fix these paragraphs.

The answer key is in the last part of the workbook and is very easy to use. For this student, I can trust him to do the work and only reference the answer key once he is through, or when he is truly stuck. He will utilize the answers appropriately, learning from them. For other students, I might consider removing the answers portion of the book.

This product is impressive. Each biweekly lesson is fairly short, and in working through a number of these, it does provide comprehensive review of grammar. It also includes continuing work on editing, which I think is a critical skill to teach in high school. The best part is that along the way, you are learning about British authors such as Dickens, Austen, and Orwell, as each of the grammar pages is a mini-biography.

-Product review by Debra Brinkman, Crew Administrator, The Schoolhouse Review Crew, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, May, 2016