Be Sure of Shurley
by Sue T.
Shurley English Levels 1-7, 2006-present
Having studied to be an English teacher years ago, I found that I was incredibly picky when it came to teaching my own children (and my friends' children) grammar skills. I had tried countless other products only to be disappointed because I knew that you can't memorize grammar. You see, being proficient in Grammar doesn't mean that you can tell the difference between a Predicate Nominative and a Direct Object. It doesn't even mean that you can conjugate a list of difficult verbs without error. What being proficient in Grammar actually means is that upon completion, your child can communicate anything he or she wants through any avenue he or she chooses. It means he or she can speak well, read well and most importantly where your colleges are concerned- they can WRITE WELL.
Shurley English is the only broad spectrum grammar course that starts at the simplest of parts of speech and carries the student through to efficient writing. I teach elementary and middle school students with Shurley English and I also tutor college students in writing. You would be amazed at how my middle school students surpass my college students with simple writing skills.
Shurley English uses a very different approach than other curricula. Regardless of what level you start with, your student will go over the very basics of sentence structure and parts of speech. Likewise, no matter what level you start with, your student will finish that year with solid writing projects. Shurley is as excellent choice for parents who weren't necessarily proficient in grammar themselves because the question/answer practice she employs truly is an easy way to KNOW (not just memorize) grammar.
Each level of Shurley was meant to cover one school grade, and this is a good rule to go by. However, if you have multiple students, you can easily teach from a level that falls between your students and still find that your students are excelling. I teach aloud from Shurley level 5 to a group of children from 3-7th grades. All of my students are challenged, learning, and making great progress.
With all the good that Shurley promises to offer, parents should be aware of a possible negative aspect of Shurley English. Shurley English is time consuming. It's not one of those 'learn grammar in ten minutes a week' books. It will require you to sit and teach your child (there's actually a script that you, the teacher, will read to your child). Following Shurley's method will have you at the kitchen table working with your child/children about 30 minutes a day. It's not difficult, and you don't even have to be good at Grammar to teach effectively, but Shurley isn't student led; it's teacher led.
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