Michael Clay Thompson's Elementary Grammar Series (Grammar Island/Town/Voyage) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 1 Old 09-11-2007, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Product/Service name:

Grammar Island

Brief description of product/service:

First in a series of books designed to introduce grammar to gifted, language adept, or curious children. Grammar Island would typically be covered in 3rd grade. The program is designed to be used over a short period of time at the beginning of the school year and USED (with occasionally reinforcement) throughout the rest of the year. Reinforcement is as simple as a 10 minute sentence analysis.

Store/Site of purchase:

Royal Fireworks Press


$30 for the non-consumable student book
$35 for the TM

For homeschooling purposes, only the TM need be purchased.

$10 for Practice Island -- consumable practice book
(designed for use with both Grammar Island and its writing counterpart, Sentence Island; the concept of indirect object is covered in the latter, but not the former)

How long have you used this product/service?

DD1 finished it in about 6 weeks.


The author, Michael Clay Thompson, loves grammar and words, and it shows. This is not a traditional workbook style grammar tome, but more an exploration and celebration of the mechanics of English language. There are many illustrations, lots of whitespace in the layout, and amusing stories based on grammatical concepts at the end of each topic. Exercises are few, and trivial topics such as capitalization rules are not addressed at all. Instead, the core of MCT's system is what he calls four level analysis: parts of speech, parts of the sentence, phrases and clauses. Other topics such as punctuation, are addressed only as they relate to the core language components (e.g. place a comma before a conjunction joining two independent clauses).


The book is attractive and the material is engaging. It's unlike any other grammar text I've seen. We do use this in conjunction with a more traditional grammar program that teaches the trivial mechanics of usage (skipping duplicated material), as opposed to Grammar Island's bigger picture.

Customer Service/Communication:

I had some problems with Royal Fireworks Press that were quickly resolved.

Edited to add:

We emailed Mr. Thompson with a question about one of the sentences in Practice Island. He responded promptly and addressed each of DD1's points in detail.

Would you purchase this product/service again?

Absolutely, and we intend to continue with the series as well.

Have you made a complaint to the company about the product/service? If yes, please provide details of any resolution or lack thereof.

No complaints.

Additional Comments:

I give it (How many thumbs up out of five?):
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