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Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind: New Titles, Same Great Curriculum

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Well-Trained Mind Press Staff

Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind is a four-year grammar program designed for students fifth grade and above. New students may take more than one year to get through their first Workbook. A student who completes all four workbooks in our program will have all of the grammar knowledge that they need to go on to the study of rhetoric, the application of grammar to written and spoken words.

How Does it Work?

Each year, you use the same Core Instructor Text, which contains all of the lessons you will be teaching the student. Each year, you use a different Workbook (containing student exercises) and Key (containing answers and explanations). There will be four Workbooks, along with their corresponding Keys, each named for the color of the cover: Purple, Red, Blue, and Yellow. (The Purple Workbook used to be called Student Workbook Year 1. The Key to Purple Workbook was initially titled Key to Student Workbook 1. If you have the “Year 1” set, you don’t need to repurchase “Purple”.)

 It does not matter what Color Workbook/Answer Key set you start with–each workbook covers the exact same rules and examples. The exercises change in each workbook – but only in content, not in intensity. The Student Workbooks do not build on each other. Each one can be used independently, at any time during the course of your study. The curriculum does not build knowledge through increasing levels of difficulty, but builds mastery through cycles of instruction and practice.

Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind is based on the three essential processes that have to happen in order for students’ minds to comprehend grammar: repetition, memorization, and practice.

Why Do it This Way?

We use the same Core Instructor Text every year so you can use the same words to explain the grammar concepts to the student each year. The same rules, the same examples, every single year. That repetition will help build the information and solidify it in the student’s mind. So the first thing is just memorizing the rules.

Second, whenever you memorize a grammar rule, because grammar is something that governs the way real language works, you need an actual example. So every year the student repeats the same examples that illustrate the rules. That way they always have a concrete example of how the rule works to link to the actual memorized rule in their brain.

The third thing the student needs after this repetition of rules and examples is practice. So although each Workbook has the same rules and the same examples for every year, each one also has a full new set of exercises for the student to practice on. Again, because these exercises only differ in content, not in intensity, you and your student can start the program with any Workbook and corresponding Key combination.

We hope this explanation helps you and your student as you explore Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind.

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18 thoughts on “Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind: New Titles, Same Great Curriculum”

  1. Is there any way to see samples of this curriculum? I loved first language lessons but at 5th grade I had to choose something else so we started using Rod & Staff. I’m really happy with it although by DD does not like doing it. I’m curious if I will keep her in R&S and if I will transition my younger kids the same way. I’d love to compare to these Grammar workbooks.

  2. I’m looking forward to starting this with my year 5 daughter though we have not yet finished FLL 4. Should we finish this before starting or is it okay to just start on GFTWTM? (We are in AU so her year 5 year has already started).

  3. Just want to say a big THANK YOU for making these all available in PDF form. For those of us that live overseas, that is truly appreciated! 🙂

  4. I am starting homeschool with my 5th grade daughter for the first time. She has been in public school until now – do you recommend starting with this workbook, or the FLL 4 perhaps?

    • Check out FLL4 first. If that’s too simple or too much review for her, then move up to “Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind.”

  5. My son will be starting 8th grade in the fall. He has been using a different curriculum since 5th grade, but he has been struggling. I am excited to see that you are expanding into higher levels. Would this be appropriate for him?

  6. I’m going to begin FLL with my 4th grader and 2nd grader in the fall. At this level I think FLL will be well rounded enough with our usual read aloud times. I’m just curious what the recommendation for reading may be for the 5th year or whatever year we start GFTWTM. I’m not super new to homeschooling, but I am super new to this great method of teaching and learning. I appreciate any guidance you may be able to provide.

    • Hi Danielle,
      I’m not sure I understand the question. Are you looking for a Reading curriculum for 5th grade, or a Grammar curriculum for 5th grade?

  7. Good morning!

    My son started using this curriculum this year, in eighth grade, and he loved it. We would like to continue with it next year, moving on to the next workbook. Do you recommend this curriculum for high school students?
    Many thanks!

    • We’re so glad that your son loved it! Yes, it would work well for a high-school student. The next workbook (“Red Workbook”) is scheduled to be released this fall, along with an Answer Key.

  8. I am confused as to how to use Grammar for the Well Trained Mind and First Language Lessons? Are both curriculums needed or could I just choose one or the other? I have varying ages to teach. A kindergartener, 2nd grade, 3rd grade and a 5th grade that I think would benefit from this teaching approach although he has already been exposed to other grammar programs. I’m just trying to figure out how to keep it simple for all involved. I am also teaching 7th and 9th grade as well as managing 3 children ages 3 and under. I’d also like to incorporate one of your writing curriculums. Obviously, I don’t want to get too overwhelmed with too many lessons and books rather effectively teach my children of varying ages.

    • First Language Lessons is for lower-elementary grades (say, grades 1 to 5). Grammar For the Well-Trained Mind would start in 6th or 7th grade, and go through middle & high school.
      Your kindergartner doesn’t need a formal grammar program yet. Your 2nd and 3rd graders could both start with FLL Level 3, and your 5th grader could start with FLL Level 4.


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