Favorite programs for the grammar stage
The early years of homeschooling are full of fun and adventure, projects and activities. And there are so many fabulous homeschool programs available now that it can be hard to choose that “perfect” program. We’ve been very blessed to use a variety of programs and have a few favorites that have become staples in our home. Or course every family will have their own favorites – let me know what yours are!
In the future I’ll share more of our favorite grammar stage resources that aren’t necessarily ‘curriculum’ but books or products that we’ve slowly collected over the years. But for now, let’s take a look at our favorite homeschool curriculum for the grammar stage.
I just LOVE RightStart math. We have used it from the beginning and it’s been the perfect program for us. Math is not my strongest subject so I needed something that was more scripted and had more hand-holding. It’s strongest features include it’s hands-on nature and the way it teaches place value, addition, and subtraction. And the mental math instruction is wonderful (something I’ve always struggled with learning). I’ve learned so much from this program and can see the growth and progress that TJ has made through the years.
Of course it has it’s faults. There isn’t enough review in the books (that’s where the games fit – they are a great way to review new concepts). But overall, it was the perfect program for that stage.
- First Language Lessons – We’ve always enjoyed using this program (TJ even says that grammar is one of her favorite subjects). The first two levels are so easy and gentle. The memorization is a great addition – the poetry and the grammar definitions and lists. Finding prepositional phrases is so easy when you’ve memorized the list of prepositions. Read more about how we’ve used First Language Lessons.
- All About Spelling – Another wonderful hands-on favorite. We’ve used every level (we’ll be using level 7 this year) and each level just gets better. Take a peek at level 6.
- Writing with Ease – A gentle way to introduce writing lessons to young students. We used the workbooks for levels 1 & 2 which worked very well for us. In 3rd grade TJ was ready for the transition of writing her own narrations so we just loosely followed the teacher’s guide but moved to just using the ideas on our own.
- Writing & Rhetoric – This program is just fabulous. I love the discussions that we’ve had because of the topics in this series. There is just so much goodness in each lesson. TJ has finally grasped the point behind summarizing. Reading through a fable and learning to cross out unimportant details is just what made it stick for her (and why didn’t I think of doing that before?!). Read more of my thoughts about Writing & Rhetoric.
- Teaching Writing: Structure & Style – I have a love-hate relationship with this program. I love the way writing is taught in small increments from outlines to one-paragraph papers. I don’t love the stylistic portion and think it’s better left for older students. But I’ve learned a lot about writing from this program so it ultimately earns a spot in my list of favorites.
The Story of the World series earns top prize for this category. I’ve only been tempted to switch to another shiny, new program once (and that was a disaster). Everything you need is contained in 2 books (plus a library card) and you are all set for a wonderful year of history. My own history education was seriously lacking and the narrative thread of these books helped me gain a deeper understanding of historical events. Want to plan your year a bit? Here’s my weekly checklist.
I love the Latin materials from Memoria Press. There’s a great deal of depth, lots of recitation and practice, and no fluff. I actually prefer programs that don’t come with a lot of bells-and-whistles. I can add those things on my own when I want. I really appreciate that they offer solid programs that still help me teach a subject I know nothing about (yay for DVDs!). Here’s a look at a week with Latina Christiana.
That’s it for my favorites. If you’d like to see what we used for every subject for K-4 here’s our homeschool curriculum page.
Leave me a comment – tell me about your favorite grammar stage programs!