We have used a number of different grammar resources including Rod and Staff, Seton and most recently Easy Grammar. All do an excellent job of teaching grammar, but my children still do very poorly on end of year assessments. In looking at what all these programs had in common, I discovered that all of them presented one topic in depth and taught it very well but when the topic was completed, they moved on to another topic and there was little review.
I stumbled upon Daily Grammar Practice at a homeschool conference last May. It is not a complete grammar program. It was developed I believe originally to be used in a school setting where the teacher planned to instruct on grammar topics. If you are not strong on grammar or diagramming, you will definitely need another resource. I have found that Warriner’s English 3rd course to have enough information to explain the topics in depth.
So, what does DGP do differently? It uses one sentence a week. On the first day, you identify how each word is used in a sentence – noun, verb, adjective, preposition, adverb, conjuction, etc. If your child does not know what a preposition is, then you as a parent need to teach the concept (using another resource). On Tuesdays, they identify the function of the word – subject, object of a preposition, intransitive verb past tense. On Wednesday’s, you identify clauses and sentence types (declarative, exclamatory, and if te sentence is simple, compound or complex). For older grades, not only do you identify a dependent clause, but how it is used – adverbial or adjectival. On Thursday’s you punctuate the sentence. Finally on Friday’s you diagram the sentence. Again, I have found the Warriner’s English to be a good reference for all of these more advanced topics.
As I stated, you still need to teach grammar, but all the topics are reviewed every week going deeper as you progress. I have found my children need this approach and I am pleased to have found a grammar resource that uses that method. I believe Analytical Grammar uses somewhat the same approach.
Look for an update to this review at the end of the year when we go through year end assessments. But, I can already see progress.