Shurley English

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  • Reviewed on Thursday, April 16, 2015
  • Grades Used: 5th
  • Dates used: 2012-2013
It took me a bit of time to work out how best to use Shurley English for my 10yo dd. Not all of the activities suited her, and I began to screen the lessons ahead of time and write down what I think we could use on a sheet of paper. That has been our best strategy for Shurley--we choose activities and practices that we really need, and if we need more reinforcement of a concept, the rest are there.

My dd knows the Shurley jingles well, and remembers the parts of speech well. Because there is a lot of practice involved, concepts are well memorized by the time testing happens. I occasionally expand on certain things [like the other day, when we explored how many different forms prepositional phrases can take, especially when you add all sorts of adjectives to them--fun!] but overall it gives us a very good jumping-off point.

Not sure how "fun" grammar can get. Shurley can be a little dry but we have no problem spicing it up. And from what I can see it is comprehensive and there are no gaps that I know of. Includes a bit of writing in the early levels, so we supplement that with creative writing and go from there.

A good program, I do recommend it.


  • Reviewed on Friday, February 27, 2015
  • Grades Used: 2nd
  • Dates used: 2014-2015
My 6 year old student and I made our way through level 2 of Shurley English this year. While I will admit I ordered a level higher than I should have, I am still impressed.

I can't diagram a sentence to save my life, but my son is actually quite good at it. He knows all the parts of speech taught in level two, and very quickly breaks down the practice sentences with little to no error. He's learned homonyms, sentence fragments, contractions, how to make words possessive, capitalization and punctuation rules, and has started to take a crack at writing.

We have had to edit the program just a bit due to my over-estimation of his skills, but he's preformed very well despite this.

However, the program is dry and time consuming. It's everything you remember grammar and composition being in school. However, it is effective. My son usually doesn't do well with dry and time-consuming work, but he does with Shurley.

I don't think this program would work with a large homeschool family - it would simply take too much time. For a smaller family though, it's worth a try. I plan on doing level three once my son has had a chance to catch up to the skill level a bit.


  • Reviewed on Thursday, June 19, 2014
  • Grades Used: 3-8th Grades
  • Dates used: 1994-97, 2006-08
I've used Shurley English for years. I began using it when it was initially called, The Shurley Method. I find this program to structured, engaging, and fun! The students were so proud of themselves at the end of the year, when they could identify every word in a lengthy sentence and understand each word's function in the sentence. Shurley English is a comprehensive program for teaching mechanics and usage. My daughter, who is currently in grad school, was taught Shurley English in elementary school, and to this day, attributes her wonderful essays and research papers to Shurley English. Love it!!


  • Reviewed on Tuesday, April 22, 2014
  • Grades Used: 4
  • Dates used: Current
Shurley was a bust here. The program seemed very logical and orderly with plenty of practice but there were some major problems for us:

1. The program was very school-ish and boring.
2. The biggest problem was that the jingles were not songs or chants but a very unhappy combination between the two. Additionally they sometimes rhyme and sometimes do not rhyme. This bothered my daughter immensely. The jingles were unnecessarily verbose as well. It would be better to make a song of it such as you can find on YouTube of people singing the prepositions song to t he tune of old folk songs. Or, just chant them over and over. One or the other!

My daughter loved first language lessons so we will continue with book 4 and see where to go after that.