Subtitled The Curious Child’s Guide to Grammar, this full-bodied series teaches grammar by capitalizing on students’ inquisitiveness. Teacher and student actively work together in this semester-based, classical-approach program which emphasizes the ordering and analyzing of words and their functions in sentences. Believing that understanding language should bring joy and delight, the series analyzes excerpts from great literature and poetry using comprehension and grammar-related questions. In addition, each chapter employs a continuing story using the characters on the front cover. Lessons follow a recommended 30-40 minutes/day (your choice of 3, 4 or 5-day per week schedules). Start each week with singing/chanting to learn key terms or concepts. During the week, work through Lessons A-C, with modeling, practicing, diagramming, and reinforcement. At the week’s end, work through optional fables/tales and take a quiz. Components are sold individually, as semester sets (A or B for each level), or as Full Program sets to complete in one year.
The scripted Teacher’s Editions (240+ pgs) provide lesson planning suggestions, activities, all student book and practice sheet answers, notes and tips, and extensive explanation and helps for using the analytical approach. Duplicated from the student book is a glossary, song lyrics, and author bios. The publisher’s web site also provides teacher help such as suggested schedule options and video support (for some levels). An accelerated 5-day per week option (From the Sideline) is available if you wish to finish both A and B in one semester.
The consumable Student (250+ pgs) contains a glossary of terms (defined and includes the book level and chapter used), song lyrics, a few pages for notes, and short bios with photos of all authors referenced. Each weekly lesson follows a repeated format of review, learn, practice, learn, and analyze. Students analyze sentences and learn grammar in choral form (with movements and gestures) and make written notations. A To the Source section brings out Greek and Latin roots.
Level 1 (grades 3-4) will teach students to understand, analyze, and mark sentences using songs. Diagramming at this level uses a specially created WOL pre-diagramming notation system which involves the student in learning and labeling word functions, identifying each word’s role and why it functions the way it does and how it relates to others.
The following levels use classic diagramming. The publisher recommends always starting with Level 1, but if students are extremely comfortable with the eight parts of speech and their functions, they could begin with Level 2A.
Level 2 (grades 4-5) continues with sentence marking and analysis, using increasingly more complicated sentences. Though not specifically designed to be used together, the fables in Levels 1 and 2 of this series are also found in levels 1-3 of Writing and Rhetoric (also from Classical Academic Press), so students could use the levels of these two curricula in combination.
Level 3 (grades 5-6; available in 2018) and Level 4 (grades 6-7) continue using tools and diagramming to analyze more advanced grammatical concepts in even more complicated sentences. If your students have mastered the 8 parts of speech; prepositional phrases; compound subjects; objects; possessive, interrogative and relative pronouns; compound sentences; and relative clauses, your students are ready for level 3A.
With each book, Songs/Chants on CDs are available (or for larger groups, as a digital download with licensing from the publisher). Good for additional review or for group use, the Extra Practice & Assessments 160+ pgs PDFs on CD provide practice sheets for lessons A, B, and C (also in the student/teacher books); additional practice sheets; fable sentences for analysis; an additional Lesson to Enjoy; and a quiz.