Fix It! Grammar: Frog Prince, or Just Deserts {Book 3} – TOS review

We reviewed Fix It! Grammar: Frog Prince, or Just Deserts [Book 3] (Teacher Manual) and Fix It! Grammar: Frog Prince, or Just Deserts [Book 3] (Student Book) by the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). Book three targets students in sixth through twelfth grades.


There are some companies that just make me swoon. Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) is one of them. They teach writing the way I believe writing should be taught.

Author Pamela White wants students to see how grammar works in real-life, by giving them the opportunity to edit a piece of work and finish with a well “written” piece of material.

Having worked as an editor, I understand the need to know how to not only edit ones work, but the work of others. I have learned if you write, then you need an editor. No one person writes well enough to do without an editor. That goes for professional editors as well. More than one set of eyes (maybe more than two sets) is always required.

As a writer and a person with a B.A. in English, I think you may be right when assuming I like writing, grammar and just about anything that pertains to language arts. That is one of the reasons I love IEW (and Andrew Pudewa).

iew_fixitFix It! Grammar is written by Pamela White. One thing I like about Pudewa, is that he does not try to do (write) it all. By relying on talented and skilled authors, IEW has been able to produce so much quality curriculum.

There is nothing really new with grammar with the exception of how White approaches the learning of grammar. Rather than have students correct endless amounts of sentences with no goal other than to complete their work, White gives students something to look forward to; the telling of a story. That is the genius of the curriculum.

The concept is easy in a ‘hey, why didn’t I think of that’ manner and then you have, Fix It! Grammar. In Book three, students (readers) work through the story Frog Prince, or Just Deserts. At the end of the story, the student has a hand-written copy of the story which they edited. From that experience, hopefully, they will gain a comfort with the skill of self-editing, so they can create their own well written material.

There are six levels of books in the curriculum, but it is not required your student should begin in Book 1 unless they are at that grammar stage level. You may give your student the placement test to help you better determine where your student should begin in the series.

I am glad I have a second grader, so there is a possibility I will be able to go back and start at the beginning with Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree Book 1. That is, of course, after I use some of the other titles I am dying to use before my children age/grade/knowledge out of the curriculum. Looking through the IEW website use to be confusing to me, but now it is a total joy.

There are 33 weeks of lessons. Some of the topics that are covered are parts of speech, sentences, clauses and phrases, and punctuation.Students complete a new set of lessons that are to be covered over a four-day period. The instructions for use is very easy. Everything is laid out for you and the student with a schedule covering each week for the next 33 weeks. The steps followed throughout the week each day by the student are Learn it–>Fix it–>Discuss it–>Copy it. Rather than make it more difficult than necessary, we followed that schedule. By following the schedule, we were able to complete the daily assignments in about 15 minutes a day, which is the suggested daily time of the curriculum.

River and Lily helped me work through this review. River absolutely loved the 15 minute lessons (see sample). Hmm.iew_fixit01 Lily is like me and loves to write. She is the type of student who would create her own lesson by writing improperly written sentences just so she could correct them. Although the lessons are short, there was a lot of learning going on. Since they already do their grammar lessons together, it was nice to be able to continue in that manner using use Fix It!, which is reproducible.

One the first day, I taught the material they were to cover that week and pretty much sent them on their way for the rest of the week. They followed the steps mentioned above and we came together at the end of the week to read the passages together.

Along with fixing the sentences each day, students are given a vocabulary word to look up in the dictionary and determine the best use of the word in the sentence in which it is used.

There are grammar cards that work as tools for the student to remind them of the grammar rules they are learning. Rules are introduced through week 27 and the student is able to review cards covered over the previous weeks.

The teacher’s manual is very helpful, because it has all of the answers. Even though I love grammar, when it comes to correcting the work my children do, I would rather not have to complete every assignment to ensure the work is right. It tells you the daily fixes and grammar notations for the assigned work. The manual also give more in-depth definition and examples of the covered rule and lessons.

If you like grammar to be simple, easy to learn and true-to-life, then Fix It! Grammar may be right for your school. If you prefer heavy diagramming and practice, practice, practice, you will not find that with this curriculum. I rather like both approaches, because I recently fell back into diagramming and actually enjoy it. I cannot remember doing it when I was in school and do think it is a good skill to learn, but not necessary in the real world. Seeing the amount of editing I do, Fix It! Grammar is more real-life.

Although I agree studying good writing is a way to learn how to write correctly, it just does not happen that way. With technology moving people towards communicating in as few words and characters as possible, grammar gets pushed to the side. That is reflected in writing today and it will be necessary for someone to know how to make the corrections to turn a grammatically challenged writing (or sentence) into something comprehensible and worthy of reading. Fix It! Grammar provides a good start.

Watch and listen to this webinar to learn more.

The Fix It! Grammar: Frog Prince, or Just Deserts [Student Book 3] is available for $15 and The Fix It! Grammar: Frog Prince, or Just Deserts [Teacher’s Manual Book 3] is available for $19.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.

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