When beginning a homeschooling grammar program, you probably wonder what curriculum would be best for you. Let us help you figure out where to begin, if you’re using one of our great options: First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind and Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind.
First Language Lessons is an easy-to-use four-year grammar curriculum for the early elementary years. With it, you can give your child a strong foundation in clear communication and skills necessary for good writing. Topics covered include: punctuation, parts of speech, capitalization, contractions, dictionary usage, letter-writing, and sentence diagramming.
Generally, first and second graders should begin with First Language Lessons Level One. (Levels one and two used to be combined in the same book. We broke them up for consistency and ease of use with our other materials. So, Level two assumes the student has already gone through Level one.) Following Level Two, Level Three assumes the student has had no previous grammar instruction and thoroughly reviews everything found in levels One and Two (at a third grade pace) before introducing sentence diagramming. A fourth grader should begin with Level Four.
First Language Lessons provides students with the perfect introduction to language to begin Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind.
Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind takes middle-grade students (roughly 5th-8th grade, though some students start in 6th or 7th) from basic definitions through advanced sentence structure and analysis—all the grammar skills needed to write and speak with eloquence and confidence and be prepared for high school and college work. The curriculum is best suited for students who have a grasp of diagramming and a strong foundation in grammar and the English language. Because Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind is aimed towards older students, the curriculum moves faster and uses more complex sentences as examples. For a guide to make Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind work for your student, check out our Teaching Tips.
The primary difference between Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind and First Language Lessons, aside from their age level difference, is that First Language Lessons is sequential while Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind is cyclical. Remember that when using Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind, there are no “years” or “levels” as such. Any level of Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind is a good place to start with any student 5th grade and up.
The most important rule when using either grammar curriculum is patience. The goal is proficiency, not a rapid progress through workbooks. Build your students’ understanding and mastery of grammar rules; a lifetime of clear communication awaits.