GrammarPlanet - Product Review

GrammarPlanet is a free online grammar program for ages 10 and up, appropriate for both Christian and secular homeschoolers. If you prefer an ad-free version you can purchase the program for a one-time fee. (Yay! Not a subscription!) One thing I loved about grammar planet was the way the program weaves history into the study of grammar. This is done simply by having the student identify words in sentences about history, instead of contrived sentences.

My 7th and 8th grader, ages 12 and 13 have been using GrammarPlanet for the past several weeks. The program introduces a concept with a video. There is a handout for each new concept that is meant to be printed out and used for reference by the student as they work through the practice questions that follow the video. The student can go back and re-watch the video as many times as needed.

The first lesson was about nouns. Here is a screenshot of the progress screen. During practice, the student clicks on words and labels the parts of speech covered so far in the program. When the student clicks on a word, a submenu of labeling options pulls up, and they then click on the correct label. Below is a screenshot showing this submenu. As the students progress through the program more options appear in the submenu.

Here is a screenshot of the progress screen. Both the teacher and student can view this screen for any of the units that are completed.

From here you can click on practice or tests on the side and the answers are displayed center screen. As you can see, correct answers appear in green and incorrect in red. On this sample, the student labeled the word marks as a noun, it is not a noun, so it is marked in red. The word “unused” appears above it because the student was not yet being asked to mark that part of speech.

The program emails the teacher/parent to notify them if the student misses 5 problems and locks the student out of practice. You then have to log-in as the teacher to unlock the level so they can continue to practice. It does not allow them to retry or go back to a previous lesson without your intervention. When I say blocked I don’t mean that they cannot move forward, I mean they cannot practice anything at all. They will just be locked out and unable to practice until you override the lock-out. While I do appreciate the email informing me that they missed some things so I can go over the concepts with them, I do not want them to be locked out of practice. I would like them to be able to retry questions and simply be blocked from entering the next unit until they have mastered the current one.

There are some labels which are a bit confusing and have a learning curve of their own, for example, -PN and PN- are used to mark proper nouns phrases, but if you select the PN- and then -PN it will not mark the phrase. If you label something that should not have been labeled it is simply marked unused unless that part of speech was already taught and it should have been marked. I found this to be vague and confusing, a lot more learning could be happening if you can see what the part of speech is as opposed to just knowing that it is not a part you were supposed to label for that lesson.

All in all, this program is very thorough, but I would hesitate to assign it to a young child without a great deal of additional teaching from the parent. If you have an upper-level high school student who needs to polish their grammar, this program may be a great fit. Do you have a student thinking about majoring in English? Send them to GrammarPlanet!

For my 7th and 8th grader it is just a bit too much. Even when I stopped and went over things with them and made sure they were using the handouts they still did not seem to be gaining any additional understanding of grammar concepts…but at the same time, they missed a lot of labels so their lack of learning was not because it was too easy. They are not new students to the subject of grammar, we have covered it in the past in various ways, but this program is hard.

To read some reviews of how other students did with GrammarPlanet check out the Homeschool Review Crew.

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