KISS Grammar Mega-Course – Grades 1 through 12!

KISS Grammar

This amazing site offers a complete – and quite unique – grammar curriculum for students from primary grades all the way through high school with texts, lesson guides, a grammar game, essays that explore the problems with modern grammar teaching, specific suggestions about what grammar should be taught in which grade levels (including explanations of how and why), and a large selection of instructional material, including answer keys so that parents and teachers can study the KISS approach and decide for themselves if it makes sense.

Instead of focussing on grammatical constructions, the KISS Approach focuses on texts. It uses grammatical concepts to explain how words in a sentence work together to create meaning. The students’ objective is to understand how every piece (every word) fits. This huge resource has everything you need to teach grammar from primary through high school. Check it out!

from the introduction:

     When most people think of studying grammar, they think of rules (hundreds of), and exceptions (thousands of), and “drill-and-kill” exercises. That is, after all, the way that grammar is currently taught. But it need not be. Currently, too many terms and exceptions are taught, and the concepts for which they stand are not related to each other. The typical textbook, for example, explains subjects and verbs and then gives students twenty numbered sentences (which do not form a coherent text) in which the students are expected to identify the subjects and verbs. Then, in another section, the text explains clauses and gives students an exercise with twenty sentences in which the students are supposed to identify the clauses. Students are NOT expected to apply what they learned about subjects and verbs to their work on clauses.

Imagine working on a jigsaw puzzle. All the pieces with flat edges (probably border pieces) go into one pile. Light blue pieces (probably sky) go into another. The dark green (grass?) become another pile. Pieces that don’t go into any of the above remain in a pile by themselves. In terms of the current teaching of grammar, we have now finished the puzzle. If that were how jigsaw puzzles actually worked, few people would find them either enjoyable or sensible, but the comparison accurately describes current instruction in English grammar. It doesn’t make sense.

The purpose of the KISS Approach is to put the puzzle together. Instead of focussing on grammatical constructions, the KISS Approach focuses on texts. It uses grammatical concepts to explain how words in a sentence work together to create meaning. The students’ objective is to understand how every piece (every word) fits.

Click here to go to the Home Page with links to everything.

13 Comments

  1. Kristine S. says:

    April 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Love Kiss grammar.  Takes a bit to get familiar with the site, but once you do….WOW!!!

  2. Dineen says:

    April 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    This is wonderful. My husband has been telling me he just doesn't understand English grammar and this will probably be exciting to him.

  3. Mary-Ann says:

    April 28, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    The site is way too confusing for me!  I can't find the curriculum anywhere.  Anybody out there that can help me get around the site would be much appreciated, I know it's a lot to ask!

  4. Peggy says:

    April 28, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    We have been using KISS Grammar since January.  While it does take a little getting used to at first, my children and I have learned so much about grammar and how words work in sentences.  The sentences come from solid children's literature and are a delight to read and work through.  We will definitely continue using this excellent grammar curriculum.

  5. Diana says:

    April 29, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    After taking a look last night it seems as though you can just go directly to the workbooks if you want so the site might not be as confusing as it may seem.  If you don't get answers to your questions perhaps you can email them through the site.
    I'm wondering how this program compares to Easy Grammar which my kids really enjoyed and didnt include writing assignments like 'write a story about the picture above' etc. 

  6. says:

    April 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Thank you for the kind review of KISS Grammar. Seven people just asked to be added to the KISSGrammar list, and one of them noted that she found out about KISS from this site. I might note that the Yahoo KISSGrammarGroup (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KISSGrammarGroup/) tends to be more active and includes more homeschoolers. Peggy (in Comment 5, above) commented on the literature used for KISS exercises. I have no objection to (I even encourage) users adding or substituting exercises based on what their own students are reading. You can even share these exercises–as long as you do not try to sell them. 
    Thanks again,
    Dr. Ed V.
    P.S. Yes, the KISS site can be intimidating, but that is because it does so much. One last thing I'll emphasize: the KISS exercises are based on literature primarily because teachers would go crazy trying to teach the basics to students who are analyzing their own writing. But parents and teachers should regularly have their students analyze short selections of their own writing.

  7. says:

    May 1, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Wow! Although I haven’t yet done a complete tour of the KISS grammar site yet, I’m very impressed with the author’s premise and his dedication. And it’s so kind of him to comment here! If you see this, Dr. Ed V., thank you! What you’re doing shows how much you care.

    At the risk of sounding ignorant, I’ll confess I’d never heard of “the law which prohibited the Christians from teaching the arts of grammar and rhetoric” mentioned in the quotation from Gibbon on one of your pages. I’m going to study that a bit further; I’m intrigued.

    Thank you again, and God bless you.

  8. Sharon says:

    May 6, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    This grammar course is too confusing for a parent without prior thorough grammar knowledge. It had me tearing my hair out in the first exercise as there are no answers . Many of the exercises do not have answers in the answer key. There was also no clear expanation for what was required.  For example it asks you to cross out all the non sentences when it doesn't give a definition of what a sentence is. Basic I know, but necessary in a basic text!

  9. says:

    February 22, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Sharon, there’s a “crash course” on the site that’s intended for adults. (It was originally designed as remediation for Dr. Vavra’s incoming freshmen who didn’t have a thorough grasp of grammar.) If you’d like to teach this but you’re not confident, yourself, I’d recommend starting by going through that part yourself. I’m having some trouble finding it since the site has been reorganized, though.

  10. says:

    April 11, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Thank you! I always avoid printing things as much as I can and found that you can use the workbooks with an app like pdf-notes on your ipad and have your child “write” the answers right on the ipad. It took me a few steps to figure out, but if anyone is interested I can try explain it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.