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Great foundation for grammar.
Jun 10, 2002 (Updated Jun 15, 2002)
Review by justicea
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Lays a good, thorough foundation in grammar.
Cons:Some students need more practice therefore more worksheets should be included.
The Bottom Line: Excellent grammar program for students who are homeschooled or as a supplement to public school. Great refresher course for those who like to write.
Winston Grammar Program by Paul R. Erwin published by Educators Publishing Service, Inc. I use this program as part of my homeschooling curriculum. You may want to read my review on Miquon Math for a quality math program. The Winston Basic Grammar Program includes:
Recommend this product?
Teacher's manual with answer keys.
Color-coded clue cards.
Tests and quizzes (pre-test, post-test, and four quizzes).
The Winston Grammar Program teaches a student the structure of the English language and traditional grammar. The basic level teaches parts of speech (article, adjectives, adverbs, nouns, verbs, personal pronouns, noun functions, modification and prepositional phrases.) Winston Grammar provides students with color-coded clue cards and does away with rote memorization. The student uses the clue cards over and over which allows the student to learn with minimal or no memorization.
The student workbooks should have double the amount of worksheets. There is not enough practice between new concepts. A teacher may have to provide supplementary work but he/she must be careful and keep within the guidelines of the new concept being taught. There are many exceptions in the English language, and in the basic level it is stressed that you not include them in additional work. Students can become easily confused.
Some children may not be ready for this program until they are eleven or twelve. Jairus, my 13 year-old, was twelve before he was ready to do this program. I tried working with my two oldest boys (Nathan and Ben)when they were 8 and 10 years-old. It was an exercise in frustration and futility. Because I persisted to long, both boys had acquired a negative attitude which made teaching the program that much harder. I learned my lesson. When Jairus began struggling with this program, I put it aside and waited until he was more mature. When he was ready, we actually had fun doing it together. He can talk circles around his brother's friends who are in high school. I also found that doing the program in a block of time without major breaks is the best way of doing it. For example, I wouldn't start in June, break for the summer, then complete the program in the Fall. Continuity is essential.
This program uses incremental steps. Each new concept is reviewed in subsequent lessons. For instance, lesson 1-3 teaches nouns and articles. Every lesson following requires that the student continue to recognize nouns and articles.
Worksheets 1-3 teaches nouns and articles.
Worksheets 4 & 5 introduces pronouns.
Worksheets 6-8 adds verbs.
Worksheet 9 brings in contractions.
Worksheet 10 teaches interrogative sentences.
Worksheet 11 adds adjectives.
Worksheets 12 & 13 introduces adverbs.
Worksheet 14, a student learns what words adjectives and
Worksheets 15-22 brings in prepositions and prepositional
Worksheets 24-30 adds noun functions (direct objects,
indirect objects, subject, predicative
nominative, noun of direct address and
Pre-test and Post-test helps assess the students abilities before the program and then after the program. Once again, I must stress that there is not enough practice between new concepts. The teacher will probably have to supply supplementary worksheets. This program tries hard to avoid irregularities and exceptions in grammar therefore a teacher should be careful to abide by this rule.
The teacher's manual instructs the teacher how to teach the program. You don't have to be a genius to teach Winston Grammar. In fact, you don't even have to be good in English. The layout of the curriculum is fluent, consistent and simple enough to be self-taught.
Some programs are plagued with errors. I was so impressed with Winston Grammar Basic level that I bought Winston Grammar Advanced only to be very disappointed. I will be writing a review on Winston Grammar Advanced in the near future. Students who complete both the basic and advanced programs are then ready for high school grammar.
Winston Basic Grammar is a very good product. Students come away with a firm grasp of the basics in grammar. You can use it for homeschooling or as a supplement for children who attend public school. If you are a writer and you feel that you need a refresher course, this program would be ideal. I was surprised at how much I had forgotten over the years.
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