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Step-by-Step Grammar 1: Basic Grammar with answer key Review by Melissa Bontadelli

Angela M. Ankers, M.Ed.
Summerbook Company
Hartsville, SC 29550

Step-by-Step Grammar 1: Basic Grammar with Answer Key is a workbook by Summerbook Company. Simply structured, this workbook goes through the eight parts of speech in-depth with an emphasis on sentence diagramming. It was originally written for the fifth and sixth grades but could be used by any student who needs support with parts of speech. While the workbook is a full examination of parts of speech with a heavy emphasis on sentence diagramming, it is not a full curriculum but instead a supplement. The workbook comes with an answer key and is available for twelve dollars on the Summerbook Company website.

There are two ways to use the Step-by-Step Grammar workbook. As a supplement or review, the authors suggest that the student takes each quiz until they hit a quiz on which they score less than ninety percent. The student would then go back to the beginning of that section and start working through the section. Alternatively, if you use the book to teach grammar then start at the beginning and work toward proficiency.

In our environment, we used it to teach grammar. We worked through one to two pages per day, whatever formed a section of work. If my student was scoring above ninety percent, we moved to the next section. Quizzes appear around every ten pages. This workbook could be used as a summer supplement for students if they are homeschooled or not. You could also use it, as we did in our environment, as a supplement to our language arts.

The way that Step-by-Step Grammar introduces each part of speech works very well. The sentences start quite simple, but as each new concept or part of speech is introduced the sentences expand. It allows the student to grasp a topic without a jumble of extra words getting in the way. It made both teaching and learning much easier. Also, on the positive side, there was a lot of sentence diagramming. I have a very methodical student who very much enjoys sentence diagramming. This workbook worked perfectly with how he likes to learn. Sentence diagramming is a wonderful way to learn sentence structure. Finally, the workbook is spiral bound. Spiral binding is something I have come to appreciate in any curriculum. It makes it so much easier to work with and use daily.

Although the authors say in the beginning that you do not need to do every exercise in the book, there are a lot of exercises per section. Some of us, students included, feel the need to complete everything which could make this feel cumbersome. If you have a very visual student, the workbook is a bit lacking in anything eye-catching. It is basic.

I would recommend Step-by-Step Grammar. The price is very affordable for what you get. It develops an understanding of sentence diagramming and parts of speech better than most full curriculums available. Any struggling students who need a refresher would benefit from using this workbook. Any younger student getting introduced to the topics would gain a lot of experience with diagramming.

Product review by Melissa Bontadelli, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2020