We are currently using FLL1 (First Language Lessons from Peace Hill Press) and are absolutely flying through it. FLL is a very gentle, oral approach to grammar – wonderful for children who cannot or do not want to write very much. You can find samples at the PHP website and you can also buy the PDF version of FLL1 there.
The first year covers nouns (common vs. proper), pronouns, the four types of sentences, and verbs in 100 lessons. In fact, the first 45 lessons are on nouns. Along the way there is also some picture study, poetry memorization, story narrations, and light copywork. Each lesson is scripted and it is a very open-and-go program.
Although, I dislike scripted lessons, as does my dd, the realm of language arts is very murky for me; teaching grammar and writing as subjects inspires a bit of fear? in me. With that being said, I do enjoy the handholding that FLL provides and I feel confident that we will easily make it through 1st grade grammar unscathed.
However, the repetition is driving my dd crazy and she suggested that we skip some of the lessons. I was a little hesitant to do so (after all, what do I know about grammar?), but she was quite insistent that she already knew what a noun was and when it should be capitalized in a sentence.
So, I went to TWTM forums and from what I have been reading it is common for a very verbal child to finish FLL1 and FLL2 in less than a year. After reading this I felt a huge amount of relief that we can (and should) compact the program and I now feel that we have found a good rythm. After five days of short lessons (5-10 minutes) we completed lesson 22 this past Friday.
Each day I ask my dd to give me an example of a common noun and then a proper noun. Every now and then I repeat the definition of a noun, but not every day as is outlined in the lesson. Later on when pronouns and verbs are introduced I assume that I will take the same approach: asking for examples of the parts of speech we are working on or, vice versa, giving an example and asking what part of speech that word is from.
On Mondays I introduce our poem of the week and we practice reciting our poem at random times throughout the day each day of the week. On Wednesdays we cover concepts that my dd has not yet been exposed to (eg. what are cousins, writing our full address). On Fridays, we do both a picture narration and a story narration.
My dd and I are both much happier now with this program. In fact, the only problem remaining is that my incessant need to plan is causing me to start to panic that I have no overall plan for grammar. Most likely I will spend a good chunk of today planning out what we will use in the next 2-3 years. 🙂
Any grammar program suggestions out there?