484 pgs, pb.
The Key to the Blue Workbook, along with the accompanying Blue Workbook and the Core Instructor Text, make up Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind: a complete course that takes students from basic definitions (“A noun is the name of a person, place, thing, or idea”) through advanced sentence structure and analysis—all the grammar skills needed to write and speak with eloquence and confidence.
This innovative program combines the three essential elements of language learning: understanding and memorizing rules (prescriptive teaching), repeated exposure to examples of how those rules are used (descriptive instruction), and practice using those rules in exercises and in writing (practical experience).
- Scripted lessons make it possible for any parent or teacher to use the program effectively.
- Step-by-step instruction takes students from the most basic concepts through advanced grammatical concepts such as modal and hortative verbs and multiple functions of noun clauses.
- Extensive diagramming exercises reinforce the rules and help technical and visual learners to understand and use the English language effectively. All diagrams are thoroughly explained to the instructor/parent.
- Text for examples and exercises are drawn from great works of literature, as well as from well-written nonfiction texts in science, mathematics, and the social sciences.
- Regular review built into each year of work.
- The program is easily customizable to each student’s strengths and weaknesses.
Susan Wise Bauer’s sequel to First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, this definitive English grammar covers and builds mastery in all aspects of the English language for those willing to devote the necessary time and energy. Using the classical methodology, this course follows a pattern of teaching rules and definitions (Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics), identifying, diagramming, and practicing all levels of grammar. Sentences are real-world model sentences from published authors that are simultaneously accessible and also exemplify good writing.
There are four non-sequential courses: Red, Purple, Blue, Yellow (coming in 2022). Courses can be used in any order, although Ms Bauer generally suggests starting with red. No matter the color, the courses follow a progression: Lessons 1-40 cover basic grammar; Lessons 41-81 (Intermediate); and Lessons 81 to the end are Advanced. Therefore, you could use the program by following the color progression or by following the grammar level. The progression to mastery will depend on your student’s age, ability, etc. It’s assumed that at first concepts will be imperfectly grasped, but through repeating exercises, understanding, and applying the skills, concepts will be mastered. Reviews occur every 4 weeks. Instruction is done through teacher-student dialogues—meaning teacher investment (probably 15-20 minutes per lesson). The teacher material, however, is scripted with little to no prep needed. Lesson expectation is approximately 4 days/week for 36 weeks; many students will need to slow down the pace, particularly in the book’s second half. Mastery is based on four years of progression—although the pace will vary as the student improves in skill.
Each year requires the Grammar Guidebook, Core Instructor Text, consumable Student Workbook, and Answer Key. The Core Instructor Text and the Grammar Guidebook are used all four years. The Core Instructor Text provides question/ answer dialogues for 130 lessons. The Guidebook (a condensed handbook with grammar rules explained with literature rules) can also be used as an independent reference book. The Student Workbooks provide all student exercises, with all rules, definitions, information, and sample sentences. Exercises vary: some underlining, labeling, diagramming, and some construction of new sentences. Answers to these exercises are provided in the Student Workbook Answer Key which contains exercises with answers as well as detailed notes that explain/clarify answers. Students are encouraged to check their own work and discuss any discrepancies. You may find The Diagramming Dictionary a helpful addition. This book illustrates diagramming rules, from simple to complex. These diagrams are easy to understand and color-coded. Illustrated sentences are drawn from Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind books.
The Grammar Guidebook 95 pgs, hc. Core Instructor Text 387 pgs, pb. Workbook 579+ pgs, pb. Answer Key 417+ pgs, pb. ~ Ruth
These materials offer a complete and comprehensive coverage of all three elements - grammar (i.e. parts of speech, complete sentences), usage (i.e. homophones, figures of speech, proper word choice to convey meaning), and mechanics (i.e. punctuation, capitalization).