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.