Shurley English

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  • 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.


  • Reviewed on Sunday, June 3, 2012
  • Grades Used: Level 4
  • Dates used: March 2012 to present
We had to ditch our other Language Arts program bc I realized my kids still hadn't learned a thing. My 4th grader still didn't know what a noun was! After reading reviews about Shurley English and speaking with the publishers, I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did! The representative discouraged me from putting my 2nd grader in level 4 (I wanted to combine my 8 and 10 yo) but I went with my intuition considering my ds test scores. It is very challenging but my advanced 2nd grader picked up on it nicely. My 4th grader was a totally different story. He took a bit more time to understand the content and became frustrated bc it is a lot of material. He would suffer from information overload frequently so I slowed down the pace. Sometimes we do the whole lesson and other times we only do 1/2 of it then finish it the next day. I bought the practice book so the boys didn't have to write the sentences used for classification. This has saved a lot of time. However, you have to flip to different books and sections of the student workbook a lot. We used colored tabs label the different sections of the workbook so we can flip to the right section easily. The publishers said they organized the book that way because they want to teach the students research skills, something rarely taught in elementary school. Overall, I like the program.

---well thought out,
---new way of teaching,
---jingles (they actually work!),
---teaches research skills
---scripted teacher's manual

---can take a long time to teach,
---sometimes the lesson will begin teaching one topic then it seems to switch gears and begin teaching something else which results in my ds feelings of information overload
---teacher's manual is very wordy (I love that it's scripted but the author makes me feel like I'm talking way too much)


  • Reviewed on Monday, September 26, 2011
  • Grades Used: 3rd & 6th
  • Dates used: 2009-2011
I love this program! It is a circulating type of approach. It builds on what you have learned with each lesson. I don't use the jingles as much as I thought I would but I do like the question/answer flow. I do find that the lessons take quite a bit of time to complete. Spending anywhere from 20 min to 60 min on a lesson. I don't use the script for the lessons word for word but I like the fact that it is there if I need to. Overall the sentence structure and writing process is laid out in such a way that you almost follow a "formula" to diagram a sentence or write an essay. This works well for my kids and we will continue to use it!