We’ve been working on homeschool grammar program available from Hake Publishing. We received their brand-new Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 to review as part of the Homeschool Review Crew. All opinions are our own.
I’ve mentioned in the past that I feared my youngest son was falling behind in the world of language arts. But, through recent review opportunities, I found that he really is on target. That had me jumping for joy as he is poised to work at the third-grade level. And, that is exactly what this particular review product needed.
About Homeschool Grammar Program from Hake Publishing
The Hake Grammar and Writing series has been around for a number of years. However, they have just launched a third-grade program. They also offer a homeschool edition which is laid out for use in the home by a parent.
The homeschool edition includes:
a softcover Student Textbook, which is consumable
a Teacher Guide, containing answer keys and tests
a Writing Workbook
This program takes what many call a spiral approach to learning. This is where a new concept is introduced, yet past topics are reinforced through review as part of the lesson. This incremental learning with continual review has been shown to help students with retention of the concepts.
Because it is done in this manner, you cannot skip around the lessons. You need to do them in order!
The basic concepts of grammar are covered in the program. This includes eight parts of speech, sentence structure, sentence diagramming, capitalization, punctuation, and correct word usage.
Each daily lesson has a set routine to follow with everything laid out in the Teacher’s Guide as a script.
Daily Lesson Components are:
Grammar Meeting (which includes a time for speaking & listening)
Vocabulary (two words introduced with the Latin root mentioned)
Grammar Lesson (read from the student textbook with example & practice questions)
Review Set (covers concepts from previous lessons)
Beginning after Lesson 10, there is a test found in the Teacher Guide after every 5 lessons. Along with the test, you incorporate a written lesson (from the Writing Workbook.)
Finally, for students who need a bit more practice, there are some pratice masters for particular lessons in the program. These are also found in the Teacher’s Guide.
Our Thoughts on the Homeschool Grammar Program from Hake Publishing
Now, like his brothers, J is not always super enthusiastic to do school work. Honestly, I think it is in part a boy thing to avoid writing at all costs!
With summer approaching, I knew that doing something new could be a tough sell. However, J is really enjoying the short daily lessons so far. And, he was tickled to share with his dad and brothers that he was starting a third-grade textbook. This was a proud moment for him as a few of the family members thought he might be behind in language arts.
Things I Like from the Program
Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 with Daily Review is super easy to use. Life has been going full throttle for some time now and I do not have the time to piece things together. Being able to pick up the teacher guide and just get started is such a blessing.
Along with being easy to use, the program does not take a long time to work through the material. Each daily lesson is quite manageable. I can easily see some extremely motivated kids moving through the program in less time than would be required in a classroom setting. The teacher guide budgets for a typical class schedule (about 40 to 45 minutes.) J usually finishes with the entire lesson in about 15 to 20 minutes.
I like having the incorporation of diagramming as part of the lessons. Call me a grammar geek, but I love to diagram sentences. I think for some people seeing it in this manner helps to better form proper sentence formation. From day one, they are gently introduced to the idea through the use of a vertical line to separate subject and predicate. Eventually, it gets more ‘complicated’ yet through the incremental approach I do not anticipate J balking at it later.
One Small Thing That Could Have Been Done Better
I truly love when a strong program that works is made available to the homeschool community. However, the one drawback for Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 is that the teacher guide is still written as if you are teaching to a class. This mostly comes into play during the Speaking & Listening section of the lesson. When you only have one student, asking them to remember what someone said seems pointless.
So, the one improvement I could see is to have the teacher script fit for use with a single child. If they need to work on listening skills, maybe the parent has to share first and then ask their child what they shared after the child has shared. Or, you could ask family members to join in the discussion to provide for a group experience.
Final Takeaway for the Homeschool Grammar Program from Hake Publishing
Overall, this is a great option for a parent who wants things laid out just so for them. Everything is done to standards which can be helpful in some locations where you have to report to a school district. And, it really IS easy to use in the home.
What do you do for a homeschool grammar program?
Do you find an incremental approach such as found in this homeschool grammar program to work with your family?
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit Hake Publishing post on the Homeschool Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this resource.