Harvey's Elementary Grammar and Composition
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2013
Although the book was intended for fourth and fifth grades, I am using it with my third grade homeschooled student. I had been teaching him grammar by integrating it into his writing and spelling work, but I was a little concerned that I might be leaving something out. I had wanted a simple book that I could use to fill in the gaps. This little book helps keep me on track. It is a little high for him, so we work through it together. The lessons are short, and sometimes we just talk about them. I am only going through Part I and Part III with him--the concepts presented in the section on syntax are a little high for third grade.

The book is divided into three sections. Part I is an introduction to sentence-making and parts of speech. It also includes things like abbreviations, contractions, and how to use quotation marks. The sections are short, and they include definitions and exercises. It includes a bit of composition, occasionally asking students to write paragraphs and stories from pictures. Some of the information is new and challenging, and much of it is a nice review from second grade.

Part II is different. It is written more like a traditional grammar, such as what you would see in a Latin Grammar of the same period. For example, the Noun section covers these topics: Gender, Person, Number, Case, Declension, and Parsing. The section on Verbs covers things like Mood, Tense, Voice, Person, and Number. So in this way, Harvey's Grammar is a real "Grammar", not just a workbook with a few punctuation and usage exercises.

Part III is a rather short chapter on punctuation. It has definitions, but very few exercises.

A few thoughts on Part II: I love Harvey's traditional layout of grammar and would probably teach it to my student if he were in fourth grade. That being said, if you do not have a strong background in English grammar, this may be challenging to teach. I do not believe most English teachers have any idea how to parse a noun or what the mood of a verb is. The only reason I am familiar with these terms is that I studied Latin and Greek a bit. I had never seen a language organized in this way until I met my first Greek declension. I suspect that most people are the same way. Some argue that it is not necessary to teach grammar in this way; others say that it is the only way to truly teach grammar. Harvey's does a wonderful job of presenting the English language in an organized and complete way...but it is certainly not the "only" way to teach elementary students. You will have to make your own judgment about this.

Because it is a 19th-century book, there have been a few things I have had to adjust. The diagramming of sentences looks slightly different from the way it is taught today. Since he will be back in regular school next year, I taught him the modern way to diagram. Also, there is a section on addressing letters near the back. Because this reprint was published in the 1980s, the examples show the states' names written out longhand instead of the modern abbreviations that are standard now (IL, CA, ME, NY, etc.). I also make sure he is familiar with some modern terms (question mark for interrogation mark, linking verb for copulative verb).

Overall, this book has been a delight to use for our purposes, and the style will be attractive to some teachers and parents. It really does contain everything an upper elementary student needs to know, and is inexpensive compared to many programs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2013
Besides the feel of the book (which is nice) it matches our McGuffy's readers perfectly! :) We have the hardcover copy. It is easy to read. It is also required for our son's schoolbook, Classic Curriculum Writing Series 4 Book 1 and probably for books 2, 3, and 4 also.
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on July 1, 2015
This grammar and composition book is a great guide and lesson planner (it is meant for teachers), but the comprehensive content in this thin book is sequenced logically and makes the book valuable for self-study, even beyond the elementary level, or for parents who want to help their students. There are instances where adjustments need to be made in the choice of examples and certain expressions, but that is a normal consequence of a book content first published in 1869. It does give a fascinating look at the level and system of learning at that time. Definitely worth having.
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on September 28, 2014
I absolutely love this book! My son and I do the lessons verbally after Reading because he loathes paperwork. After the lesson we use the book we are reading for additional practice. Usually we will pick a paragraph or two and he will point out proper/common nouns or singular/plural nouns - whatever we are working on at the time. I just love this book and I feel confident he (and I) will have a very thorough understanding of grammar when we are done. I also purchased the teachers guide but I have not had to use it yet.
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12 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2007
Harvey's Elementary Grammar and Composition is an excellent resource book. Plenty of information and exercises to test your knowledge. The hc book is beautifully bound and finished which makes an handsome addition to any bookshelf. A lovely collectors piece.
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on January 12, 2015
perfect
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2013
Haven't used yet. Looks very nice. Should work well. I like that its not cartoony and seems like I can use it along side good literature as part of my children's education.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2013
I got it a bit later than I expected, but the contents more than make up for it. It looks great.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2014
Helped a little as a supplement to other curriculum
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2014
ok
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