05 December 2008

Curriculum Review: Bob Jones English and Grammar Grade 2.

We finished Bob Jones English Grade 2 last month. It comes as a kit-in-a-box with tests, teachers' manuals and everything you need. I'm going to say that it gets an A-plus for a well-structured, well-designed curriculum that teaches grammar step by step.

According to the tests, my children are doing quite well. Mechanics such as subject, verb, and predicate are taught. Units also cover how to write a friendly letter and a report on an animal. A short poetry unit is included as well.

I'm not sure if the samples in the teachers' manual set the bar too high, or if my children are naturally not as gifted as they might be in the language arts. Perhaps it's the autism in the family that prompts my children to think that "rundidid" is a verb. We're beginning to get away from that idiosyncracy, however, to the ... well... at least less incorrect "runned." When we get to using "ran" consistently, I'll let you know.

This verb strangeness is reflected in the childrens' writing. And did we miss a unit somewhere in first grade about the proper use of the comma and quotation mark? As in:

John said, "I think Susan's writing is terrible."

My children forget the comma and quotation marks, and their writing will look like this:

John said I think Susan's writing is terrabul . Pette said backe that Ithink id's not so bade. Baikinman appeard and they foght.

YOINKS! Yes, I about pull my hair out by the roots daily. WHY did Baikinman suddenly appear? Everything involves fight scenes, treasure, adventure, and sudden resolution of conflict. Even short writing exercises are very difficult for the boys. But they've passed the fill-in-the-circle tests. They know which part of the letter is the heading, body, greeting, closing... They could tell you about verbs and predicates...

Well, the third grade curriculum is very similar to the second. There is less emphasis on alphabetizing as that is assumed to have been mostly learned in the second grade. The writing assignments seem to require a bit more thought and are more difficult.


  1. My third grader still writes like that and she reads like that too. She runs everything together like there isn't a period to be found in the book.

    I liked Bob Jones English when I was still homeschooled. Just hated those stupid diagramming sentence things!

  2. So do I blame his dyslexia on the child who used to follow me round uttering random sounds & then asking me what *that word* meant? What word? He's a qualified landscaper & achieved that despite spectacularly failing reading comprehension, scoring a big fat zero! How do you do that? Breath. It all pans out in the wash.

  3. We switched over to Bob Jones several years ago and it stands head and shoulders over anything else we have looked at or tried, not just educationally but the photographs and art work are better than most curriculums around with stick drawings in black and white-how boring for a kid to look at that every day. I have one going in to 6th and one going into 7th this year. It gets better and they do go over more that they add in each year. It is repetative but building on what they have already learned and adding in more that they need to comprehend.


Non-troll comments always welcome! :)