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. Once a student has completed all four workbooks in our program, they 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 will use the same Core Instructor Text, which has all of the lessons you will be teaching the student.
Each year, you will 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 after the color of the cover. The Purple Workbook, for instance, used to be titled Student Workbook Year 1. The Key to Purple Workbook used to be titled Key to Student Workbook 1.
We recently changed the names of our Workbooks and Keys because the original names implied that these Workbooks must be gone through sequentially. In reality, it does not matter what Workbook you start your instruction with, since 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.
You can begin this grammar program with any Workbook and corresponding Key because our program is based on the three essential things that have to happen in order for students’ minds to really 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!