The Library

Wheeler’s Graded Studies in English {Free eBook}

Wheeler's Graded Studies in English {Free eBook}Wheeler’s Graded Studies in English: First Lessons in Grammar and Composition by William Henry Wheeler is a free English text that focuses on making grammar the servant of writing.

The author begins by explaining that the purpose of writing is conveying ideas. The way we do that is through sentences — a “unit of language.” The sentences are then composed of words that reflect thoughts. On this foundation the course of study is laid:

Beginning with sentences of two words each, the development proceeds gradually with an explanation of each modifier as it is introduced, until the most complicated form of the sentence has been reached. By this process, the pupil forms the habit of noticing at a glance the chief words of a sentence, and of determining the exact office of each modifying word, phrase, and clause.

The exercises are based on quality literary works as models from which to work. Some of the authors quoted include:

  • William Cowper.
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
  • Oliver Goldsmith.
  • William Shakespeare.
  • John Milton.
  • Charles Dickens.
  • John Greenleaf Whittier.
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne.
  • Sir Walter Scott.
  • Many others!

Wheeler’s Graded Studies in English works best after a student is writing well. Then the task becomes, as Ruth Beechick encouraged, “learn to write, write” — something with which the author agrees:

The more frequently the pupil writes the correct form, the better; for the hand has a memory of its own, and the mere act of writing a given form tends to fix it in memory.

One look at the “Grammatical Index” at the end should assure you that all of the basics of grammar are being covered…and then some!

Excellent introduction to English grammar with the right focus (writing) — and free!

Free eBook


  • There are 141 lessons, so the book can be completed in one school year. Nevertheless, it might be better to split the lessons up providing more time for writing, copying, and writing assignments outside the book.
  • Keep a grammar notebook, including a page for each topic taught.
  • If interested, you can use a simple grammar reference to supply the rules the topics follow and copy these at the top of the pages in your grammar notebook. A “Review-Scheme” can be found in several lessons that offers a simple definition and examples (ex. Lesson 59).
  • Take the time to have your student copy the passages provided as models.
  • Substitute composition exercises from your child’s reading assignments. You (or the student depending on ability) can create a simple outline to work from.


Additional Resources

Wheeler’s Graded Studies in English by William Henry WheelerWheeler's Graded Studies in English {Free eBook}
Quality paperback version for those interested.

10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #5 Grammar & Spelling
Help for setting up  your grammar notebook.

Daily Grammar {440 Free Lessons & Quizzes!}
One grammar reference.

Grammar-land {Free eBook and Notebooking Pages}
Fun go-along.

Beechick BasicsBeechick Basics
Favorite ideas for making grammar the servant of writing.