Language Arts

What I use currently:

All About Spelling: a 7-level program that teaches the “why” behind spelling instead of just having a list to memorize, and also has a great review system built in for retention.  It is pick up and go for the teacher.

Writing and Rhetorica great writing program based on the Greek progymnasmata.

Shurley English: a great way to introduce grammar to younger students.  I skip a ton of the content in this series and I skip grades entirely.

Junior Analytical Grammar: this is a great follow up to Shurley.  Once the student understands and has had around 2 years of Shurley, I switch to this.

Handwriting Without Tears: easy penmanship program

New American Cursive: beginner cursive if the student wants to bypass print in the early grades

Spencerian Penmanship: fancy, old-fashioned cursive for the student who wants beautiful script and the ability to read older handwritten documents.

Headsprouta fabulous beginning reading program.  It takes the student from nothing to 2nd grade in 80 short lessons.

Hooked on Phonics: I use the online app and the readers from both the DVD program and the older Deluxe CD version I got from eBay.

Ticket to Read: a reading program that teaches beginning reading through 6th grade.  It has fluency and comprehension exercises that I use.

Reading Eggspress: a good way to help student build reading comprehension

Wordly Wise: an online vocabulary curriculum

Witty Wordsmitha one-semester course from The Lukeion Project that teaches an enormous amount of Latin and Greek word roots

What I plan to use:

Barbarian Diagrammarian: a one-semester course that will be the capstone on our grammar studies and the final prerequisite to studying Lukeion Latin.

Lukeion Latin*  I plan on using level one through AP starting in 6th grade

Lukeion Greek?*  I am on the fence about this one.  I know that it was in the line-up classically and that a lot of people feel that it is a necessary part of a classical education.  We will see what our schedule looks like, but I heard that you shouldn’t start Greek until you have had two years of Latin, so it would be starting in 8th or 9th grade.

AP English: I will be looking into several AP options high school looms nearer.  Stay tuned…

*I included Latin and Greek in my language arts line up because a lot of English writers claim that knowledge of those ancient languages help them write in English with more precision and skill.

What I have tried that I am not using:

Spelling Workout: a total disaster for us.  It was built around memorization with a few helpful hints like “i before e except after c” and stuff like that.  My oldest couldn’t retain anything long-term either.

Classical Writinga popular greek progymnasmata writing program that totally didn’t work for me for a lot of reasons, which I will hopefully post about.

Classical Compositionanother progymnasmata fail for us.

Writing With Skill: a decent program that is written directly to the student, but was too incremental and redundant for our family.

Writing With Ease: I may use this again, but I skipped a lot, and I feel that Writing and Rhetoric does a lot of the same things in a far more pleasant way.

First Form Latina good program, but we will be replacing it with Lukeion.  I will share why in a post.

Prima Latina: a beginning Latin program that seems like a fun idea, but never worked out for us.

Latin for Children A: another beginning Latin fail for our family