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Junior Analytical Grammar Review by Lori HootenErin Karl and Robin Finley
Analytical Grammar, Inc.
7615 Del Rey Lane
Raleigh, NC 27613
Grammar, while I thoroughly enjoy it, is not something I was ever taught systematically. So I am enjoying learning some of the details of it alongside my children. That is part of the appeal of the Junior Analytical Grammar: a systematic approach to language mastery.
This program is an 11-week course designed for 4th or 5th graders. This makes is more of a “season” rather than a full year-long course. The idea is to present these concepts and practice them in the short-term. After the learning season, these ideas sit in the student's brain and “marinate” until they are ready to do the Analytical Grammar course in 6th grade.
When you purchase the Junior Analytical Grammar program, you receive the Teacher's Edition and a Student Workbook which is intended for the use of a single student. You may also choose to purchase the companion DVD for Junior Analytical Grammar.
At first glance, I decided I was truly happy with this product. The explanations and instructions are simple and clear. The workbook pages are clean and easy to navigate. There are no extraneous images or instructions to clutter it up. It is easy for the student to use this workbook. Each unit begins with explanations about the topic and its usage, as well as how to mark it for diagramming. Then there are thee exercises, an exercise titled “Playing With Words”, and a unit test.
This grammar program covers 11 parts of speech:
- Articles and Adjectives
- Prepositions and Prepositional Phrases
- Subject and Verb
- Patterns 1 and 2
- Patterns 3
- Linking Verbs and Patterns 4 and 5
- Helping Verbs
- Conjunctions and Compound Situations
While most of the topics in this list were familiar to me, I had no idea what it meant by patterns until we jumped into the book. Turns out, patterns are common ways that subjects and verbs go together and there are five of them in the English language. These patterns are included in this grammar season.
The Teacher's Guide is chock full of helpful tips and information. From the educational philosophy of the authors of these books to a general suggestion of how to map out Junior Analytical Grammar to notes on each of the units and how to grade them, the Teacher's Guide sets you up for success guiding your student (and yourself) to a better understanding of grammar.
If you are somewhat apprehensive about teaching diagramming sentences and subject/verb agreement, or any other unit of Junior Analytical Grammar, the companion DVDs may be just right for you. These DVDs are instructional and the authors of the program teach directly to the student. You can use the DVDs to teach the student or you could watch them yourself to become familiar with the material and then use that new knowledge to teach your own student. Either way would work well with these DVDs.
If you are looking for a simple, yet classical, approach to grammar, Junior Analytical Grammar and the companion DVD set is one to look at. As the first book in a series of studies that will take your student well up into their high school years, this is a good comprehensive program. And Junior Analytical Grammar is the first step.
—Product review by Lori Hooten, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May, 2016