Fix It! Grammar ~ Product Review

by Dawn Oaks on October 1, 2014

We recently began using the Fix It! Grammar program from the Institute for Excellence in Writing with our oldest daughter who is preparing diligently for her college entrance exams. Because Fix It! Grammar is a complete Grammar program, we thought it would be a wonderful way to review for the English section of the ACT in a very time efficient manner.

Fix It Grammer

What We Received:

Our family received both the Teacher’s Manual as well as the Student Book. These resources were both spiral bound with durable laminated cardstock covers. The spiral binding allowed these books to sit flat on the desk when writing in them.

In the back of each text is a separate Grammar Glossary that is a wonderful resource in all things Grammar. Both my daughter and I loved the fact that the section had its own laminated cardstock divider as it made it easy to find as you quickly thumbed through the pages.

Grammar Resource

We chose to use Book 5 with our daughter. This decision was in part to select something a bit more challenging to review for her college entrance exams. Additionally, we used the placement tool provided by IEW for this express purpose of figuring out the best place to start in the program. The company suggests that all students start in Book 1 for a thorough review of grammar concepts. Given our circumstances, we chose to use Book 5 for this review.

The Fix It! Grammar program has 6 books in all. Book 1 is ideal for students in Grade 3 and above. The primary text for this course is the Teacher’s Manual. This resource is available for $19.00. Included in this purchase are a free download of the student book in e-book form as well as two audio files that are wonderful supplements for the program. To avoid copy costs or to hit the ground running, a copy of the spiral bound student book can be purchased for $15.00.

For an overview of this program separate from our review, please visit this webinar published by IEW.

How We Used it:

The book has 33 weeks of lessons with 5 daily lessons per week to analyze and discuss for all forms of grammar concepts and techniques. The lesson is in essence one sentence per day that requires students to look up two words to expand their vocabulary as well as proofread the sentence for any grammatical errors in spelling, punctuation, or word usage. In addition, the students are asked to identify main and dependent clauses as well as various phrases and parts of speech. In addition to the grammar glossary, there are also grammar cards that can be detached from the student book and used as reference during the daily lesson. Our experience was that the entire process could be completed in 15 minutes or less once we got used to the program.

Sample from Student Book

Sample from Student Book

Sample of the same lesson from the Teacher's Manual

Sample of the same lesson from the Teacher’s Manual

This program can be a warm up to your school day and checked by the parent later in the day. However, we found that much more learning was accomplished when we verbally reviewed the sentence together after the student made her first attempt.  We transitioned to using a white board where I would begin the day by writing the sample sentence on the board. All of the words in the sentence would be in one color with the bold vocabulary words being written in a contrasting color. Our daughter would then use a third color to make her notations. When she was done we would review her work together.

An example of our utilization of a whiteboard with this program.

An example of our utilization of a whiteboard with this program.

As is the case with so much that we do in homeschooling multiple children, some of my other children would sometimes jump into the discussion or provide thoughts on how they would complete it. This got me to thinking that it would be a great resource to use as a family or even in having an older child go through this same process in an easier book with a younger sibling. Teaching after all sometimes teaches us more than when we are the student!

Our Thoughts:

When we first received this program, I was reluctant in believing that it could be used as a complete Grammar program. After using it for several weeks it is apparent that if the glossary, grammar cards, and discussion in reviewing the daily assignment are all used that it can in fact constitute a full grammar curriculum.

I really like that it is not time consuming, unless our discussion leads in that direction. So you in essence can make it what you want as far as the thoroughness of the lessons. The placement tool was also smack dab on as I felt that the concepts reviewed in Book 5 matched exactly where our daughter was at.

Proofreading as done in this program is a different skill set than incorporating good grammar technique in writing. Being able to identify mistakes and better sentence organization can be critical both in proofreading the student’s own work, but also in any standardized testing format.

 As a credentialed standardized test administrator as well as a parent of students preparing for the ACT or SAT, I can say that the skills being mastered in Fix It! Grammar will prepare them well for these test formats.

Our daughter has improved her score on the English section of the ACT by at least 4-6 points doing practice exams. Her only source of instruction and preparation has been Fix It! Grammar. As the old saying goes, “The proof is in the pudding.”

The only recommendation that I would make to the publisher for future updates to the program would be to provide a quick reference guide to the editing notations. This was the biggest learning curve we experienced in using the program and not having started in Book 1.

As always, you don’t have to take our word for it.  Check out the reviews from our other Crew Members by clicking on the box below.  You can also check out more about IEW at their Facebook page or at Google+.

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Parenting Resources and Give Away

by Dawn Oaks on September 29, 2014

Some of you may recall that we shared with you about the Christian Parenting Handbook about a year ago.  Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller have now come out with a new parenting resource specifically for families with teens and preteens.  As part of the team of bloggers that are helping to launch The Family Toolbox, which is described in further detail below, our family has been viewing the DVD segments and having some great family discussions on how we could all do things a bit differently to bring greater harmony and communication between our teens and ourselves.  Please stay tuned in the coming days for a full review of this new resource and the impact it has had on our family.

The Family Toolbox is a DVD/video-driven program that brings parents and teens together for constructive dialogue around significant issues of discipleship. Conversation is sparked by engaging video clips. Sixteen Life Success Principles are communicated through eight lessons that give parents and teens biblically-based, practical topics for discussion. The format grabs teens and gets them interacting.

The Family Toolbox has 8 lessons. Each one has a 1-2 minute scene of a family living life and experiencing common challenges in their relationships. A discussion guide prompts dialogue between parents and teens and a 10-minute teaching session for parents featuring Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN gives practical tools to use right away.
Family Toolbox Giveaway

I am excited to be joining with the National Center for Biblical Parenting (NCBP) to bring you a wonderful giveaway to celebrate the release of the Family Toolbox.

The giveaway includes a $50 Amazon Gift Card + a bundle of biblical parenting resources from NCBP, including:

The Christian Parenting Handbook and Companion Guide

The Christian Parenting Handbook contains nuggets of parenting wisdom condensed into 50 short chapters, each one biblical, practical, and relevant for parents of children ages 2-18. Learn appropriate ways to correct, instruct, and set limits. Glean wisdom for dealing with emotions, conflict, and developing closeness in your family… and much more. These 50 strategies provide you with hands-on tools for parenting children of any age.

The Companion Guide is a workbook of 50 lessons along with 50 audio tips to take you through The Christian Parenting Handbook step by step.

Cultivating Responsibility: Parenting Wisdom for Ages 9-12 Years

The later elementary age years are among the greatest times to build responsibility in children. Heart transformation takes place when parents use other tools than behavior modification. Sometimes though, bad attitudes, disrespect, and a lack of cooperation can muddy the waters. You’ll want to learn from the experts how best to navigate these years. Your children are making significant developmental leaps in their cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual growth. Understanding how best to help children through these years is essential.

Family Heart Moments

The Family Heart Moments book is a treasure. Over 70 inspirational true stories from parents who are eager to connect with their children’s hearts. The heart is a special place in the life of a child. You don’t want to miss it. This book will give you practical ideas for touching your kids in the deepest place.

Family Time Activity for Teens

Teenagers are in an exciting time of life. They’re learning a lot about themselves and the world, and they need lots of spiritual guidance. The activities and applications in this book are designed specifically for teens. The object lessons and games are captivating and the biblical lessons are timeless. Walking Billboards, Fear Factor, and Gender Differences, are just a few of the titles. Nineteen lessons are included, all unique and powerful. Make Family Time a regular part of your family’s spiritual growth.

Learning About Sex: Love, Sex, and God

In a natural, conversational style, this book answers tough questions that help teens separate sex and love facts from myths. Straight facts on dating, marriage, sex, and sexually transmitted diseases are presented here.

Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining and Bad Attitudes, in You and Your Kids

It affects the way people think, the way they act, and the way they treat others around them. Honor motivates parents to treat children differently. It gives children more constructive ways to interact with their parents. It helps siblings develop tolerance and patience. Honor builds incredibly strong bonds that, in turn, benefit all members of the family. This book shows you in practical ways and shows how honor can transform your family.

To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway is open internationally to those age 18 and older.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Also, please join us for The Family Toolbox Facebook Party on Thursday, October 16, 8-10PM ET where there will be even more great prizes, an opportunity to ask your parenting questions, and lots of fun and fellowship! The winner of this giveaway will be announced at the Facebook party!

RSVP for the Party here:

Family Toolbox Facebook Party

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Transforming Your Day in Just 7 Minutes

September 17, 2014

There are some products that I review that writing the review feels is challenging. That is not the case with the 7 Minute Life Daily Planner published by the 7 Minute Life organization. I am really excited to share how life changing this resource can be whether you are a business executive, blogger, or stay at […]

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A Christian Response to the 9/11 Anniversary

September 11, 2014

Like many of you, I can close my eyes and see the images of aircraft being flown directly into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and hearing about American Airlines Flight 93 going down near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  My mind went to so many of my high school classmates whose family members where part of the […]

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Adding Audio Drama into Your Schoolday

September 10, 2014

Classic “living” literature gets a big thumbs up from our family. When you add in the sound effects and tonal inflections that are possible through audio drama, it takes something great and catapults it into the sphere of fabulous. This was exactly our experience as we had the opportunity to review Under Drake’s Flag produced by Heirloom […]

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When Life Just Gets in the Way

August 25, 2014

Life just sometimes gets in the way.  You all know what I mean, but when you step back and really think about that statement it almost seems ridiculous.  But we have all been there. We can spend hours planning and strategizing about how life is supposed to be.  As soon as circumstances outside of our […]

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Wizzy Gizmo Audio Drama ~ Product Review

August 21, 2014

Our family loves storytelling and the more vivid the story the better. The kids were amazed and inquisitive when they first saw the Walton family gathered around the family radio to listen to special programs that included comedies as well as radio drama. They experienced audio drama at an early age themselves through our Christian […]

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Homeschooling High School – Day 1

August 11, 2014

This week we will be joining the Schoolhouse Review Crew in its Back to Homeschool Blog Hop.  Over fifty fellow bloggers will be posting on all different topics related to kicking our school year off right.  Our theme here at the Double O Farms is all about homeschooling high school. Every new year of homeschooling can […]

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Visual Latin ~ Product Review

August 6, 2014

Depending on the student, the study of foreign language can be one of the most dreaded high school requirements.  I know my girls have wavered on what language to study?  We really didn’t want to just spend time for the sake of checking off a requirement.  The opportunity to review Visual Latin 1 from Roman […]

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Mathletics ~ Math Olympics for Your Brain

August 6, 2014

Aside from the flexibility and more relaxed schedule it affords, a main argument for schooling year round is keeping up math skills. Will our students’ brains go to mush over the summer months? A possible solution to this would be finding a fun math supplement that the kids could use during the summer to keep […]

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