Bob Jones Grammar Book
I have always been a fan of Bob Jones material for my 7th grade and 8th grade English classes, but I was especially impressed when I decided to try the Writing and Grammar program. Ordering grammar materials is never easy as it is nearly impossible to find good, Christian-based grammar work that will translate into better student writing.
I hoped that the baseball theme would appeal to the 22 boys in my class, and I hoped that I would find the right balance between the large, arduous books I originally taught, and the slight wisps of nothingness I later purchased in retaliation. I can honestly say that this is the first grammar program that both the students and I can appreciate.
Strengths In Grammar Books
The first thing that impressed me with Bob Jones’ Writing and Grammar was the Teaching Christianly segments which reflect the idea that all teaching at a Christian school should be for the purpose of revealing the character of God.
During one of the first lessons, the story of Adam and Eve is used to teach the four different types of sentences. It is pointed out that God uses an interrogative, “Where are you?”, Not because he doesn’t know the answer, but because He always gives us the chance to repent and come to Him on our accord. During the lesson, I noticed a student softly weeping in the back of the class. The grammar lesson had convicted her of her relationship with God and she rededicated her life to Christ as a result!
Secondly, I was impressed with the way each unit begins with a piece of literature and a guide for class discussion. This makes grammar more than a series of pointless exercises in a book but instead shows the students how powerful language can be.
Thirdly, each unit ends with a creative activity, which will allow the students to practice what they have learned in an interesting way.
As with all Bob Jones materials, the teacher guide can be placed into even the most inexperienced teacher’s hands, and the teacher can feel confident that she is delivering an excellent program.
Weaknesses In Grammar Book:
One flaw that I have found with this program is that the authors trust the students to remember everything they have learned from previous years. After teaching grade seven and eight for the last nine years, I know they need to be reminded of the basics of how to pluralize, punctuate, and form complete sentences and paragraphs. It doesn’t matter how great their training was in earlier grades; it is the nature of a junior high student to forget.
Although the books do touch on the topics mentioned above, I think the students would benefit from more pages dedicated to the basics before delving into the more complicated subject matter.
Recommendations In Grammar Book:
After years of searching for the right grammar program, I not only bought these books for my classes but also confidently recommended the Bob Jones Writing and Grammar to the elementary curriculum director. Now each year I see a considerable increase in students’ confidence and capabilities with their writing.
Paired with the Bob Jones Explorations/ Excursions in Literature books, anyone can confidently deliver a great 7th and 8th grade English program.