TOS Crew Review: Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree

Fix It! Grammar Review

I’m an English major, but unlike many English majors, I’m not a grammar freak.  In fact, I have horrible memories of hours spent in English class diagramming sentences.


It’s enough to suck the life out of anyone, especially for those who don’t even like studying English to begin with.

Still, knowing how to compose a grammatically correct sentence, paragraph, and paper are essential life skills.  I cringe every time I see someone writing a formal paper as if they’re texting on their smart phone.  I want my children to be strong writers, and that includes grammar.

Thankfully, the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) has found a fun way (gasp!) to teach grammar to kids in 3rd grade and above.

Fix It! Grammar Review
We received one copy of Fix It! Grammar:  The Nose Tree [Book One] Student Book ($15.00) and the teacher’s manual ($19.00).  Bookworm and I enjoyed these books so much, we plan to use the for the rest of the school year.

What Is Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree?

Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree is the first book in a series of grammar books.  IEW recommends that all students start with The Nose Tree first since concepts will build with each consecutive book.  The Nose Tree also includes advanced concepts, so if it is too easy for your child initially, you can add in the advanced concepts.

If you’re not sure where you should place your child, IEW offers a placement test.

???????????????????????????????Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree offers a novel approach to studying grammar.  Rather than memorizing dry grammar rules and diagramming sentences, students are given one sentence a day that is part of a longer story.  They must look for particular components in that sentence and correct the errors.  For example, early in The Nose Tree, students are asked to identify nouns and articles.  They are to add proper end punctuation.  They are also asked to choose the right homophone between “their”, “there”, and “they’re” in a sentence.

In addition to looking for the grammar errors and parts of speech, each sentence contains one vocabulary word that students must look up in the dictionary and write the definition in a notebook.  During our review period, Bookworm defined these vocabulary words:  poor, destitute, wretched, gloomy, keeping watch, alert, dwarf, rebuffing, plight, worthy, comrades, don, purse, awarding, graciously, and curious.

???????????????????????????????Each day, the student puts the day’s sentence on a separate sheet of paper.  The sentences accumulate throughout the weeks to provide the complete story on a separate sheet of paper, so the kids get to read the whole story at once and  practice forming paragraphs and formatting a paper correctly.

How We Used The Nose Tree

The Nose Tree has four days’ worth of work for each week.  Bookworm and I used this book four days a week during the review period.

Bookworm liked The Nose Tree because the story was surprising and funny.  He wanted to keep doing the assignments so he could see what happened next in the story.

The story is about a group of three poor soldiers who are wandering through the woods.  They are out of work and desperate.  Then they run into a dwarf who gives each of them a special gift.

See, don’t you want to keep reading to see what happens?  Creating grammar lessons around an interesting story with a great hook is a fabulous idea!  I loved that my son was eager to do his grammar lessons every day just to see what happened next in the story!

In addition, we both loved that the assignments were relatively short.  Each day’s work could be completed in approximately 10 minutes.

Bookworm said he liked the book because it didn’t feel like learning, but he did learn new grammar concepts.

We really enjoyed this book and plan to keep using it.  If all goes well this year, we’ll likely invest in the later books in the series.

I was one of 100 crew members to review these books.  (Some reviewed other levels of the books.)  To read their reviews, click on the link below.

Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer

Things to Sort Out Before Creating A Family

Although creating a family can be one of the most wonderful experiences to enjoy in life, this journey must first begin with a responsible attitude. Preparing for any eventualities ahead of time can help avoid potentially challenging financial situations in the future. With this in mind, what are some of the factors to consider?

Life Insurance

beb030c0945549faa587747b80bc6059Possessing a robust and relevant life insurance plan is a key variable that should be addressed well in advance. In the event that you (or your spouse) is gravely injured, becomes severely ill or passes away, the beneficiaries can be allotted a sum of money which can ease the challenging times ahead.

Furthermore, it is important to note that not all such plans are alike; some can be more expensive than others and in return, higher levels of protection will be offered. It is for this reason that a number of providers should be consulted before making the final decision. Such insurance is critical for even the youngest of families.


f993822d001840ecb90b1da5e8f9acc4Thanks to challenging economic times, pension plans have recently made the news in various parts of the world. As the cost of goods and services is on the rise throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, those who retire can find living on a meager income difficult. Thus, a robust pension scheme is another area of concern. These are often offered by one’s employer although there are standalone policies which tend to be more modular in their nature.

From the standpoint of a family, pensions are indeed powerful tools, which can help to provide sustainable levels of income after one, or both, partners cease working their normal jobs.


It is an unfortunate fact that many families are just able to “make ends meet” these days. Living from paycheck to paycheck is not only risky, but a growing family may be forced to sacrifice basic amenities should their money become tight. Investments are excellent means to offset the chances of this occurring.

Of course, this is a very wide category but the point of any investment is simple. The intended short- and long-term profits can be used to provide extra liquidity when needed.

In addition, these funds can be set aside into the aforementioned pension plans or they can be used to put a child through university in the future.

In general, the wisest choices of investments are those which will produce a viable income (such as a wealth management fund). While high-risk opportunities may seem appealing, we should never forget that they will be associated with greater losses as well. So, it is always prudent to speak with a qualified financial adviser to determine which sectors and positions will best suit specific needs.

These are three critical areas that should always be addressed when one is planning on starting a family. Although it is impossible to know what life will throw at us, these financial tools will enable any family to be better prepared for the challenges ahead.

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