Author: Frode Jensen
Review last updated: 2009
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Jensen's Grammar offers straightforward grammar instruction that moves at a fairly quick pace. It presents a great deal of grammatical vocabulary within each lesson. This means students must work harder to learn definitions, but it also helps them better understand what they are learning. Students who have been studying in challenging grammar programs like those from A Beka or Rod and Staff should have no trouble working with these books. However, those with weak grammar backgrounds might be overwhelmed with the amount of material covered if too much of it seems new to them. While some students will be able to use these books independently for learning each lesson, in most cases it will be best for the parent/teacher to go over the lessons and examples with the student.
Each lesson consists of one page of instruction and one page of exercises. A separate answer key comes with the book for easy checking by the parent/teacher, but many exercises include at least a few items where student answers will vary and must be evaluated by the teacher.
Concepts are reviewed throughout each book and tests are included in the answer key book. Tests are cumulative to ensure that students retain what they have learned.
The book is divided into three parts. Part 1 covers parts of speech and word functions (with a handy reference chart), punctuation, and sentence structure. However, it concentrates heavily upon nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositions. All of these topics are covered in detail such as you might find at college level. Students complete many exercises where they construct sentences to "formulas," which requires that they develop a comfortable familiarity with definitions and functions.
Part 2 continues to build on the lessons in Part 1, although there is more emphasis on sentence patterns and formula writing than previously. More complicated structures and usage are covered along with topics such as appositives and internal sentence punctuation. The format is similar to that of Part 1. Part 3 completes the series with verbals, parallelism, and other challenging topics.
These books are recommended for high school level, although some junior high students will be able to use them. It should take about one year to complete the book. This is a much more efficient way to study grammar than traditional textbooks which repeat the same material year after year. It should not be necessary to study grammar again after completing Jensen's Grammar although review might be helpful.
See also the review of Wordsmith's Jensen's Punctuation which helps to complete that aspect of grammar instruction.
- Learning Styles: Perfect Paula and Competent Carl
Suitable for: mostly independent work
Audience: high school (but might be used for advanced junior high)
Need for parent/teacher instruction: minimal to moderate
Prep time needed: 0
Need for teacher manual: answer key included
Religious perspective: secular but "Christian friendly"
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