Growing With Grammar is one of the newest grammar curricula written specifically for the homeschool community. The author, Tamela Davis, has this to say about her product, "I am a homeschooling mother of two. For several years I have been aware that homeschoolers around the world are in need of a thorough grammar program that can be used by all regardless of their background or beliefs. My husband and I began Growing With Grammar to fill that need in the homeschool community." As of December 2005, only material for 3rd grade is available, but Grade 4 is looking at a mid-2006 publication date with Grade 5 nearing completion by late 2006.
There are three parts to the set which retails for $29.99 - a 237-page Student Manual, a Student Workbook and an Answer Key. There are 105 total lessons - there is a corresponding Workbook lesson for every lesson in the Manual. The workbook's spiral binding is on the TOP so that it is user-friendly for right OR left-handed children! I have a left-handed child so I was very pleased to see the thoughtfulness of this design! The Manual is also spiral bound so that it will lay flat and is also smaller for small hands!
There are 5 main Sections in the Manual covering the following topics - Sentences, Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives & Adverbs and Words & Punctuations. Within each section, multiple topics are covered including writing paragraphs, using the dictionary, diagramming, writing letters and addressing envelopes and the use of contractions and commas. Numerous examples are given of each new concept being taught to the child. At the end of each of the sections, there is a review portion that gives vocabulary and reviews the concepts that the child has been studying. Each of the reviews covers four pages in the workbook. I'd probably cover the review over one week by having the child complete one page per day.
Several things stand out for me when looking through the Workbook. In each exercise, there are notations pointing back to the lesson in the Manual so that the parent and/or child can review the material in the Manual if they are having problems with the lesson. In addition, there is plenty of space for the child to write his answer. The exercises are not crammed together so that the child has to write the answers on another piece of paper (unless the parent wants to re-use the curriculum with another child, of course). Finally, each Workbook exercise contains review of previous concepts that have been covered. Growing With Grammar does not contain a complete writing program, so you may want to buy something else to teach writing.
This is a very thorough program! There are a limited amount of black and white pictures scattered throughout the lessons in the Manual. As the parent of a child with ADHD, this is a good thing! My son is easily distracted if there is too much on the page and we have had to avoid colorful, "exciting" books so that he can focus on the lesson at hand. If you child thrives on colorful, lively illustrated workbooks, then this is not a program he would enjoy.
If my kids were young enough to be using this program, I would be using it! It is very similar to Rod & Staff's curriculum, but is free of the religious overview. Although I am a Christian, I do not like every single bit of my curriculum to have a religious tone to it. In addition, I think the price is more than reasonable and the product is composed of good quality materials. This is definitely a new product worth checking out!