Here's a hip book on grammar for middle school and high school
students. Complete with a skit featuring "Grammar Girl and Genius
Boy fighting evil 'Anti-Grammarians' who seek to destroy proper
grammar as we know it," the book also comes with plenty of color
After a 20-question diagnostic pretest, the book is divided into
seven parts. Part 1 covers capital letters, subjects and verbs,
and adjectives and adverbs (with a nice graphic illustrating which
types of words each modifies). Part 2 talks about sentences/fragments,
run-on sentences/comma splices, and coordinating conjunctions (including
a great mnemonic for remembering them). Part 3 teaches how to punctuate
transitional and introductory expressions, more comma rules, and
parallel structure. Part 4 discusses quotation marks, tense shifts,
indirect quotes, agreement in person and number, and a review.
Part 5 covers the use of pronouns. Part 6 includes misspellings
of common homonyms and more about style. Part 7 talks about question
marks, exclamation points, apostrophes, more about commas, and
Each part contains chapters in a skit which takes place in Grammar
City. Interspersed between each chapter are grammar units with
text and exercises. The cleverly written skit has some name-calling,
zombies, and magic powers, and it also assumes that students think
grammar is boring. The main gist of the book, which comes though
loud and clear, is that grammar is important and everyone needs
to learn it.
The short introduction gives no indication, but I'm assuming you
work through one of the 30 units per week. If my assumption is
correct, this is not very much material to be covering in a year.
I think parents will want to supplement this textbook with additional
writing and grammar exercises to ensure proficiency in the subject.
The grammar lessons are very clearly explained without being verbose.
In addition to the written exercises, there is a Grammar Journal
assignment at the end of each unit, where students are directed
to do some creative writing and edit their work according to the
current lesson. For example, one assignment tells the student to
write a compare/contrast paragraph, circle all the pronouns, and
make sure they are clear and correct.
If you have tried standard English curriculums without success,
have a spotty background in grammar, or have a student who hates
grammar The Adventures of Genius Boy and Grammar Girl may
be just the book for your homeschool.