We had the opportunity to review Grammar Planet which offers an online grammar program for children (or adults!) We received a one year subscription in exchange for our honest review. This program teaches grammar, punctuation, and usage to your kiddos who are about ten-years-old and up.
As a former English teacher myself, I have always struggled teaching grammar. It isn't fun. It's hard. It can be monotonous. And is there really a point? All of these have plagued me or my students at one time or another. I was therefore really excited to find a program that might be able to do that for us. We used this program with FIVE different kiddos in our home since we are homeschooling two families together this year. Gabe (7th grade), Ana (6th), Kari (4th), Isaac (4th), and Sidge (4th) were the participants. Here's a few things about the program I'd like to note:
This can be used for adults.
This can be used individually or in groups.
There are currently 13 units available but new ones are being added weekly. (Check out the chart below).
A breakdown of the units presently and coming with the program.
Each unit begins with a short teaching video. There is also a PDF available with a set of notes for the student to reference during the unit. Here's a screen shot of one of our participants:
Fourth grader Kari working through the program.
While the content is definitely there with the program, unfortunately, the way it is presented did not work for any of the kiddos in our group. Here are the reasons we had trouble with this program:
The way the program works, as you work through a sentence, if you get nearly everything right but just one thing wrong, the whole thing is wrong. Take a look at this screen below to see what I mean:
A typical screen with right answers in green and wrong ones in red. To the left is how the student did on the entire unit's questions. As you can see, the student got three things right but two wrong. This means the whole problem is wrong.
Anytime a student "fails" a unit they are locked out of it. I, as the parent, must then go into that and unlock them so that they can try it again. This was frustrating for us.
The students were frustrated that they had so many "wrong" when they got so much right. I really think the sentences need to give you positive feedback for all the right things you get.
As the website says: "The order of the units can't be changed because of the special process they use to teach on the website. While the computer program is designed to move students who do well more quickly toward the test
While there were many things that did not work for us, I want to summarize by saying I think this program WILL eventually have what it takes to work for parents and teachers alike. I also think that if I did this with my students as a group and I "lead" them through the pages, I think we will have a lot more success with the program. To summarize, we plan to continue using the program, but I am going to choose to edit the way they do it. I am not going to have my kiddos do this by themselves due to the frustration they experienced. Instead, I am going to have them work through it with me. The content is all there, I just need to edit delivery slightly to assure success.