P.O. Box 25970
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Review by Jennifer Nairne
Easy Grammar Systems has developed a series of texts for students that finally make the English language approachable for everyone. Struggling students, English Language Learners, accelerated students — all children can benefit from using this innovative approach to grammar instruction.
In one study, conducted of 282 students using these texts, 85% increased their test scores between 20% and 61%. The results were amazing! This is most likely due to the strong emphasis on content mastery found throughout the Easy Grammar Systems series. The key feature of the Easy Grammar texts is author Wanda C. Phillips’s use of the “prepositional approach” and encouraging students to engage with grammar “hands on.” While she is not the original developer of the prepositional approach, Dr. Phillips immediately understood how to translate it into a classroom environment. By combining this innovative approach with various ideas and strategies that she found effective in her years as a teacher, Dr. Phillips developed a series of texts that ensure that every student will master the concepts and will succeed in grammar.
Students in elementary school are introduced to the basics of grammar and guided step-by-step in building upon knowledge. Second graders begin with 180 daily lessons that present content in a fun and friendly format. Lessons are limited to 10-15 minutes and include review of previous material, ensuring that young children are not overwhelmed by new content and long lessons. Students in Grades 3-6 can find an Easy Grammar text to correspond with their grade level or learning level. Each text introduces new prepositions for students to learn and then leads them through the process of deleting those phrases to simplify their language. It is through this process of simplification that even struggling students just seem to “get it” by using the Easy Grammar texts. Because each text includes reviews and assessments— both unit and cumulative—parents will be amazed at the resulting increase in mastery that produces an increase in test scores. Those students who need extra help may want to begin by using the text for the grade level below their “actual” grade. Recent studies suggest that bullies and bullying may be the result of frustration and inferiority feelings due to poor language arts skills, including reading and spelling. Do preventing bullying and reading skill go hand in hand?
Parents may visit www.easygrammar.com and click on “Placement Tests” to help determine a suggested starting level. Otherwise, Dr. Phillips recommends starting children at grade level. Easy Grammar Plus is a non-grade level text, but it is often used for 7th graders. This is also a great text for older students who continue struggling with the basics, or who never learned the foundational building blocks for the English language. Maybe your high schooler has never fully grasped proper capitalization, or learned English as a second language—even older homeschoolers (and many parents) will benefit greatly from the content.
If you are unsure of where your older child should begin, this is a great text with which to start. In addition to these texts that deliver grammar content in units, there are corresponding Easy Grammar Daily GRAMS by grade level. The Daily GRAMS provide content for student review and are designed as daily lessons, unlike the Easy Grammar texts, which are organized in larger unit. There are 180 daily, 10- minute lessons reviewing capitalization, punctuation, parts of speech, correct grammar usage, sentence types, synonyms, analogies, root words, spelling, combining sentences for improved writing, and more. For grades 8-12, students can continue with the Easy Grammar Ultimate Series by grade level. Each grade includes 180, 10-minute teaching lessons, combining grammar with history, music, nutrition, and more.
The concepts are presented cyclically and expanded/reviewed repeatedly throughout the year to enhance mastery learning of every concept. At each grade level in the series, students work on capitalization, punctuation, proper use of grammar and vocabulary, as well as improving student writing through higher level sentence structures. Parents already using another teaching series can supplement the curriculum with a revised Daily GRAMS: Junior High/Senior High.
Dr. Phillips helps students to develop higher-level sentence structures and sentence variety using an easy, step-by-step format in Easy Writing. Two levels in this text guide both upper-elementary and high-school students in improving their quality of writing. More than just a review of writing formats, students learn the skills needed to be successful writers. Dr. Phillips’s latest book, Easy Grammar’s Guide for Parents: Improve Your Grammar in Minutes, helps adults determine—in 2 five-minute assessments—if they make grammar errors. This is not a do-every-page workbook; she guides adults only to a page that explains their particular concept. For more information (on any of) regarding any of the Easy Grammar Systems products, including free pages, a product catalog, a “Scope and Sequence” for concepts covered, etc., please visit the website at www.easygrammar.com. ♦