I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

A Case for IEW Fix It! Grammar {a curriculum review}

Fix It! Grammar Review

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

Written by Krista Smith.

Recently, I mentioned that my children started using (and loving) Andrew Pudewa’s IEW Structure & Style for formal writing. Structure & Style was not our first exposure to IEW, however. We had previously completed Fix It! Grammar and wanted to continue to hone our writing skills.

My schooling experience was, perhaps, a bit different than most, especially in the area of language arts. I grew up in inner-city Denver and, unfortunately, had almost no grammar instruction at all.

I remember completing my first MadLibs on a family trip across the country. For every single blank, I had to ask, “Mom, what’s a noun? What’s an adjective again?” I'm grateful that MadLibs don’t call for participles or I would have been truly sunk. As a gift of God’s providence, when I moved to the upper Midwest in 8th grade, I had an amazing and very patient English teacher who tutored me, stayed late, and encouraged me. Because of his kindness that year, I got (mostly) up to speed.

Fast forward to my language arts experience as a homeschool mom. In all honesty, before Fix It!, I was still very shaky at grammar. I knew I needed to do my due diligence to find the most excellent curriculum I could—one which would make learning nouns and verbs a joy and not a mind-numbing chore.

Enter IEW’s Fix It! Grammar. While many writing programs introduce the basics of grammar by teaching grammar concepts for memorization, Fix It! employs the novel technique of teaching grammar by making your child an editor!

A Case for IEW Fix It! Grammar {a curriculum review} #homeschool #curriculum

How Fix It! Grammar Works

When you purchase any Fix It! Grammar Level, you receive a Teacher’s Manual and Student Book on a story like, “The Frog Prince,” “Robin Hood,” or “Mowgli & Shere Kahn." Inside, the curriculum is broken down into a five-day schedule (but families who practice a 4-day schedule will find that this is easily accomplished with minimal adjustment).

Levels 1-6 are suggested for students in grades 3-8 and include the following: 

At the start of each week, a teaching section lays out the topic or concept the student will be learning that week. Then it’s on to editing the story for the rest of the week. Each day, the student has a sentence or two to write in their Fix It! Grammar journal. Starting out with the basics, students read through a section of the story and look for and mark the items being taught for that week, making use of the concepts learned in previous lessons. For instance, your student may be instructed to rewrite the sentence given on the page but should expect there to be mistakes that they must edit as they transcribe it onto their own page. Then, they will uniquely label all of the bits and bobs of grammar they have learned thus far like nouns, verbs, commas, and prepositional phrases.

In addition, there is a daily vocabulary word for the student to look up and write down which is a bonus for this word-loving family!

boy doing Fix It! Grammar

Why Fix It! Grammar Works

Oftentimes, when a student is learning grammar, the concepts can become disjointed from their actual usage in writing or even in reading. While a student might be able to come up with a verb in a MadLib, they might struggle to understand the differences between true verbs, gerunds, and infinitives in their own writing or in someone else’s.

Fix It! embeds the concepts of grammar into a real, wonderful story that is engaging, often times funny, and perfect for solidifying just why this verb tense should be used over that one. And the repetition of the process gently allows your child to gain mastery of grammar concepts over time while also improving their writing and editing skills. (I’ve also noticed an improvement in penmanship…BONUS!)

At the end of the week, students use their fully edited sentences to do the “rewrite” section; essentially rewriting the entire story (corrected and edited) by the time the year comes to a close. 

My kids have gone back to their favorite Levels of Fix It! Grammar time and again to reread their favorite passages, expertly edited and written by their own hands. There’s something special about being an editor! And I can tell you, my kids have learned so much more—and so much more easily—than I did by using this novel method. I wish I’d had the opportunity to learn grammar this way as a kid!

girl doing Fix It! Grammar

How We Tweaked Fix It! Grammar

Some of the earlier books we purchased had the week laid out with days 1-4 focusing on the editing of sentences and day 5 set aside as the day to rewrite the full week’s section. Later books switched it up a bit and encouraged students to do a rewrite every day after editing the sentences. (This would be perfect for a 4-day schedule.) However, my kids really liked being able to rewrite everything at the end of the week because it gave them the chance to experience a large section of the story at once and see how it fit into the larger theme of the narrative. Also, as my kids have gotten older, they've asked if they could begin reading the “new concept” sections at the beginning of the week themselves instead of being at the mercy of my availability to read it to them. Since I've seen their grasp of grammar improve and their diligence to really READ the teachings and understand the concepts grow, I've felt confident allowing them to use the curriculum independently.

fix it grammar in homeschool

Final Thoughts

I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed this program as a parent. The fact that my children truly enjoy it too is such a blessing! To be perfectly honest, there are days when one of my children will complain about the length of writing for that day’s lesson, but these days are few and far between, and the complaints usually come from my child who is allergic to writing…or holding pencils in the first place.

I can tell you with certainty that Fix It! Grammar has been the pièce de resistance in my quest to help my kids have a firm grasp of English grammar. If you’re struggling with moans and sighs when the grammar books come out, try making your kid an editor with Fix It! Grammar  and just see if those sighs don’t turn into giggles when they edit Princess Dorinda’s lines in “The Frog Prince.”


Krista Smith is blessed to be the mother of three beautiful children and is privileged to homeschool them using an eclectic variety of methods. She has a deep and abiding love for tan-colored coffee, spending time with her family, and seeing children find their forever homes through adoption. But above all of these things, Krista is, first and foremost, a lover and follower of Jesus Christ. So, may the Lord and His Gospel get every ounce of honor, glory, and credit for anything she writes, says, or does.


  1. I love the post, but just had to comment on your love for tan colored coffee. Lol. Yes! Me, too! 😆

    1. We have used and loved Fix it Grammar however your description of the original books had me thinking we would have loved the fifth day of writing the whole paragraph at the end of the week. We currently used the revised edition and honestly I feel that would be our missing piece.
      Thanks for sharing

    2. You bet! Yes, having used it both ways, I'm partial to having my kids do the whole rewrite on Fridays. Maybe you can switch it up with your kiddos next year for a bit and see how it goes! Blessings and best of luck!!!

    3. Amen, sister! Cream and sugar delivery system, coffee is ;)

  2. Thanks for your insight. I've heard a criticism about Fix-It Grammar in that it uses slang too often. What are your thoughts on this?

    1. Great question! The only stories I can remember using slang were "Just Deserts" and "Mowgli and Shere Kahn". In "Just Deserts, the slang is actually the uppity self-righteousness of the main character who is summarily humbled by the end. Think sentences such as, "But, daddy! Like....my cell phone is...like...my life!" Students are welcomed to change these sentences to a less "valley girl" form as they rewrite the story, or because it is part of her character, they can also leave it and watch as she changes her ways (and language) over the course of the story. In Mowgli and Shere Kahn, the slang is very obviously (and my kids picked up on it quickly) meant to be edited out. Think, "He don't not care...." I guess for me, living in a world where slang is prevalent in people's writing and every day lingo, I'd like my kids to have a way to be exposed to the correct grammar in the midst of it. Though, to be completely truthful, that slang was used at all was not on my radar until you asked this question! It just isn't something that would have deterred me from this curriculum at all. Hope that gives you something to go on!

    2. Yes, thank you very much for that feedback.

  3. I appreciate your advice. There is a complaint that Fix-It Grammar use slang too often. What do you think about this?