Woo hoo – grammar time! (said no child ever) As boring as grammar can be, Grammaire de Base does a good job of breaking it down into manageable chunks. This program starts at grade 3 first language/immersion level and has books up to grade 6 level. Its components include a textbook (good for all the levels) and one workbook per grade level.
This is the first grammar program that we have been successful with. We had previously tried a free online option and it just didn’t work well for us. I bought these books a while ago, but my 8 year old daughter has only recently been ready for them, so she began the grade 3 book a few weeks ago. She seems to like the activities. The starting pages were easy for her, so that built her confidence. New material is introduced in small steps, which is critical in our house!
The workbook is broken down into different sections – vocabulary, spelling/punctuation, conjugation, agreements (accords), syntax/punctuation, and text organization. The order of items presented makes sense to me and has a good flow to it. The scope and sequence looks comprehensive and I’m confident that after working through the levels of this program, my children will have a good base of French grammar.
The textbook and workbooks can easily be purchased through Librairie du Centre. However, make sure you get the right edition – it should say “Nouvelle Édition” on it somewhere. Some of the links on the store’s site seem to be for the old edition, so check with them as to what you’re buying.
Answer key dilemma
The answer key in printed form is $74.95 which I find to be completely ludicrous, so I originally decided to do without. However, as we got further into the book, my confidence dwindled slightly and I really wanted the answer key – if only for reassurance. In doing some digging, I found that I could get an online version from Pearson for $29.95 per year. I decided to bite the bullet and get it. I can make the corrections in my daughter’s workbook, keep it, and use it as a corrigé for my son when he is ready to do the lessons after my subscription expires.
The online version of the answer key also includes a pdf of the student book that I had already purchased in printed form for $11.95. However, for future levels, I will still buy the student book separately because I don’t think I could print 106 pages full-colour for less than $12.
Buying the online version was difficult. Their system has controls in it such that only schools can buy the answer keys; presumably so tech-savvy 9 year olds don’t get all the answers to their homework. I had to contact the company’s tech support and go through some rigmarole in order to gain access, but now that I have it, it’s totally worth it.
Overall, I’m very happy with this purchase!If you're not reading this post in your e-mail, sign up for updates right here and get your free guide to Getting Started Teaching French at Home: