Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Curriculum Review: Grammar Punk

Tell me...who gets excited about Grammar?  Not too many, I think.  But I'm excited about a program I found quite by accident that has intrigued me enough to plan on using it next year in our own homeschooling and to commit to teaching a class at our co-op using it AND I purchased two levels so I will be able to use it through high school!

It was not until after I received my order that I learned that the CEO was homeschooled for part of his education.  He's now a high school English teacher.

The name of the program is Grammar PunkClick here for their website

I've only heard of one other person using it and others were asking about it, so I thought I'd write up a bit of a review.

I ordered the Grade 4-9 and the Grades 9-12 homeschool sets, as well as the StoryCards. 

I should say here that the two main differences between the "homeschool" set and the regular set that is advertised on the website are:  1)  Cost and 2)  the homeschool set does not included printed materials.  Everything that's printed in the regular set is contained on the CDs for the homeschooling family to print out.  Oh, a third difference.....the homeschool set does not include the StoryCards but they can be ordered separately, which I did.

So, let's get on with the review. 

I'll begin with WHAT'S IN THE BOX.  

Inside the box was an acrylic storage case (which I didn't know I was going to get) to hold the curriculum set.  

Inside the case were the 6 specialized dice that are at the heart of this unique program.  5 of the dice are a bit larger than your average playing dice.  The last one, the 20 sided one, is average.

Also in the box was a multi-disc CD holder, which houses the Homeschool Family Pack, 4-9 and 9-12.  I received 4 discs.  There is one tutorial disc and one curriculum disc for each level.  My 4-9 discs were actually labelled K-9.  However, upon checking the disks, the files are labeled as 4-9.  When I first looked through the CDs, I thought I was missing the bonus CD that they are featuring for free at the moment, the Homework disc, however it was included as a file on the curriculum CD.

On the one 4-9 disc are files for:  the 4-9 Primer (a 15 page booklet for the student that lists grammar rules), the 4-9 Curriculum (164 pages), and the Homework (11 pages).  The second disk is the PowerPoint slides Tutorial.

On the one 9-12 disc are files for:  the 9-12 Primer (a 10 page booklet for the student that lists grammar rules), the 9-12 Curriculum (175 pages), and the Homework (11 pages).  The second disk is the PowerPoint slides Tutorial.

Also in the box were the StoryCards that I ordered, which homeschoolers can purchase separate from the Grammar Punk curriculum.

4 cards for Naming Names
5 cards for Character-Istics
5 cards for Occupations
11 cards for Themes
16 cards for Settings
5 cards for Sentences
9 cards for Scenes
10 cards for Stories

Included but not in the acrylic storage box (too large) is the instruction booklet (~25 pages) for the StoryCards.  The StoryCards are a basic introduction to creative story writing, helping the student to develop their character and create sentences and scenes that become stories.   (Now that I've seen the basic story writing, I'm interested in their writing program, GP Creative!  )

Also included but not in the acrylic storage box (too large) were 10 pencils, a set of 5 for each of the two levels I purchased.  They say:
Grammar Punk 9-12 (or Grammar Punk K-9)
I am a Grammar Punk

Now, on to what the girls thought about playing it

Well, learning that involves "play" just can't help but be fun, right?  Right! 

So far, my girls have enjoyed it.  On the second day, when I brought out the Grammar Punk manual and dice, they were like "Yay!  Grammar Punk!!" 

I read over the manual's lesson plans first and I viewed the Power Point presentation.  The PP slides gives you specific instruction on the first several days of using the program, but is more intended to be viewed and implemented by a public classroom.  However, it tells you to go through the Primer (the student's 15 page booklet of the rules of grammar) first.  

The lesson plans in the manual start out with basic concepts such as capitalization, articles, etc.

We have been alternating...manual lessons one day, work on completing the Primer the next. 

The girls love to toss the dice and take turns doing so.  As they brainstorm for their dice words (a list of words they create based on the parameters of the tossed dice), I encourage them to look around, to glance through a book, etc. if they need help coming up with words.

My youngest (almost 9) is not up to grade with her writing skills, so she has the hardest time.  I don't require as much writing from her as I do my older.

I think the girls enjoy learning from their own sentences.  Not quite as boring as always reading someone else's sentences!

So, so far, so good and I'm happy with my purchase.  I think it will be even more fun in a group setting, such as our Grammar Punk co-op class this fall! 

This is definitely a program that can be used over many years and can be used by itself or used to supplement any LA program. 
The program automatically grows with your child....the dice words will change according to the student's vocabulary.  The repeated practice helps cement the punctuation and grammar rules.   The addition of the special dice keeps it from becoming stale. 

Yep, I'm happy!

PS.....if you want to get a real idea about how the program works, visit the Grammar  Punk channel at YouTube.    (Try:  What is Grammar Punk, The Six GP Dice, GP's BUOF, and Writing a GP Sentence)



  1. This is a very detailed review! Thanks! I've not heard of this either. The name "punk" sort of surprised me. But it sounds wonderful from what you share.

  2. Thank you so much for the detailed info. I'm planning on using Grammar Punk this year for my two boys with Asperger's Syndrome. I'm hoping it will get us through high school. I love the whole concept of how it works.

  3. I am a new teacher for the Middle Grades and am looking for interesting ways to teach Grammar. Thank you so much for your review!


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