Wordsmiths' workbooks, written by Christian teacher Frode Jensen, are designed to work in either homeschool or regular school settings. They are entirely self-contained. They can be used as consumable workbooks, or students can write answers in notebooks to preserve the books for other students.
The author has designed the Grammar Land books to be used for grades 5 through 7, although any older student lacking a foundation in grammar should probably begin with this series. The books are well designed for independent study. "These books are in allegory format and tell the story of how Tank, a young fellow with grammar and writing problems, travels through Grammar Land meeting all sorts of folks and learning about the language in the process." The first half of each book is the story (with illustrations); the second half is the exercises, referred to as scrolls within the story. As students read through the story, they are actually receiving grammatical instruction. Every so often, the character is assigned to work on a particular scroll (exercise), which is a signal to the student to do that exercise. Helpful notes, definitions, and examples are scattered through the exercise section. Examinations are included.
Part 1 covers subjects, predicates, nouns, rules for noun plurals, inflectional and derivational suffixes, pronouns (person, case, gender, and number), antecedents, possessive nouns and pronouns, reflexive and indefinite pronouns, and punctuation. Part 2 reviews and expands upon the previously covered topics, with an emphasis on verbs (complete predicates, action verbs, linking verbs, verb tenses, etc.). Part 3 deals with adjectives and adverbs. Part 4 covers prepositions, prepositional phrases, conjunctions, compound sentences, and punctuation relating to all of these topics. Part 5 covers simple sentence patterns and clauses in complex sentences.
Concepts are reviewed periodically to ensure retention of knowledge. Separate answer keys also include tests for Parts 1 through 4. The answer key is at the back of Part 5. Students should be able to complete one or more books a year, depending upon what type of schedule is established.
Since Grammar Land can be used independently by students, no teacher preparation time for the lessons is necessary, but it is helpful if parents take a few minutes to read the page found in the middle of each book (a strange location) which explains how to use the book.
The Grammar Land books should appeal to students who respond better to the story format and the unusual presentation, as well as those who prefer to work independently. Some students will find the pace too slow because of the interjection of the story.