Moving Beyond The Page
McRuffy Language Arts
This is a scripted, all in one language arts program for K-4. Handwriting is included at the option of the teacher/parent in cursive or manuscript. At the K-2 levels, it is focused around a weekly phonics lesson, with skills introduced by the parent, and practice through daily color worksheets and readers. Worksheets and readers are the core of this program. This program is more parent intensive at the K-2 level and lessens at 3rd and 4th when readers also change to chapters within a bound volume.
Note: Includes practice through optional online “playground” on the McRuffy website.
This fun, mind building book teaches standards-based language arts and develops critical thinking skills. Language Smarts™ can serve as a complete curriculum for language arts when combined with literature packets and/or trips to the library. It may also be used a supplemental resource for online learning. Each section introduces a specific topic, followed by appropriate practice and application activities. These engaging and colorful lessons develop critical thinking and language arts skills through a variety of activities Each section introduces a specific topic, followed by appropriate practice and application activities. These engaging and colorful lessons develop critical thinking and language arts skills through a variety of activities and different genres: parts of speech, punctuation, sentences and paragraphs, homophones and homographs, fact or inferences, writing, and more. link
Comes with: This is a stand alone product.
Notes: Covers language arts skills through colorful worksheets and doesn't need much parent involvement. Colorful pages. This is a great program for parents who want time to explore other academic avenues.
The standards-based critical thinking activities of Reading Detective® develop the analysis, synthesis, and vocabulary skills students need for exceptional reading comprehension. The activities are especially effective at helping students understand more challenging reading concepts such as drawing inferences, making conclusions, determining cause-and-effect, and using context clues to define vocabulary. Students read and analyze short literature passages and stories that include fiction and nonfiction genres. Then they answer multiple-choice and short-response questions, citing sentence evidence to support their answers. link
Notes: For strong third grade readers who want to have time to explore other academic interests such as great works or literature or independent study projects.
Jack Kris Publishing Combo + Literature Packets
Growing with Grammar, Soaring with Spelling, and Winning with Writing by Jack Kris Publishing can be combined for a well laid out curriculum that is practical for busy parents. Each day and week is clearly laid out in each book. While the pages are simple without lots of color and pictures, they are well laid out and easy to use. Once a student can read independently they can work relatively independently within this program. Link
Comes with: Student Books and Answer keys
Notes: Each level builds on the prior year, so concepts are repeated.
Spectrum Language Arts Combo + Living Books (Video Overview)
Spectrum is a simple workbook
combination that is colorful and easy to understand. Works as a supplement when used separately or packaged together. Packaged set includes Writing, Reading, Spelling, and Language Arts workbooks. Link to spectrum
Notes: Great for families using other more exploratory programs so that there is basic practice but time for other family curriculum choices.
Shurley English covers grammar and composition. Students memorize jingles to learn grammar. Children memorize jingles to learn some grammar basics. Students learn through the question and answer process. The program also teaches writing in a structured way. link
Comes with: Student Workbook, Teachers Manual with audio CD.
Notes: Solid program but teacher intensive and uses repetition to teach.
Essentials curriculum uses proven, research-based methods to teach remedialstudents ages 7 to adult to read, spell, and write successfully. Essentials improves the spelling and reading skills of all learners by providing linguistically accurate phonics instruction, fluency practice, morphology and vocabulary development, grammar, and composition. Clear instructions and scripted lessons allow teachers, tutors, and parents to learn alongside their students, developing their own understanding of the structure of English as they teach. Multi-sensory instruction and a variety of multi-sensory exercises allow teachers to customize the curriculum for the needs of their students, paving the way to success in reading for all kinds of learners.link
Comes with: Essentials Teacher's Guide,Essentials Student Workbooks, Spelling Journal, Basic Phonogram Flash Cards, Spelling Rule Flash Cards, Advanced Phonogram Flash Cards, Grammar Flash Cards, Phonogram Game Cards (2 sets in different colors),Phonogram Game Tiles, Phonogram and Spelling Rule Quick Reference, Spelling Analysis Card.
Notes: Logic of English is a very solid phonics foundation that will start at square one and progress very quickly. It is meant for remediation students above age 7. It is quite parent intensive but may raise reading level significantly. Help me Choose link
Time4Learning provides the tools and resources students need to build skills and confidence in the core subjects like math, language arts, science, and social studies.
Time4Learning is a flexible, online curriculum that can be tailored to your child’s individual needs.The comprehensive, award-winning curriculum allow students to study confidently and excel at their own pace, making it ideal for all kinds of learners, whether they are mainstream, gifted or special needs.Informational Video
Language Arts, Math and Science included. Personalized learning software adapts automatically to give each student a unique learning experience tailored to his or her own skill level and pace–making it ideal for all of your early learners. link
Notes: This program has successfully given students reading instruction that is easy for parents. It does involve considerable screen time and may be repetitive for some students.
Language Arts Components
Supplement your program -or- Allow Davinci to help you create your own package with phonics, writing, grammar, spelling, and Readers for a full program!
Your student will learn exciting new concepts, including the jobs of Silent E, new phonograms, and methods for decoding multisyllable words – and continue to establish a firm foundation for a lifetime of learning. Every component of reading is taught: decoding (phonics and structural analysis), vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Below is a sampling in each area. link
Comes with: Teacher Manual, Student Activity Packet, 2 Readers, Interactive kit.
Notes: All About Reading is great for struggling readers and new readers. It may be a bit repetitive for natural readers. link to placement test
Explode the Code
Content provides research-based, multi-sensory instruction best for beginning and struggling readers. Reinforcement for every skill in the “1/2 books” series allows for extra practice if needed. Consistent exercise formats with simple directions and concrete examples allow students to work and learn independently. Link
Reading Horizons (online)
Reading Horizons is an online reading program that is based on Orton-Gillingham research. This program is explicit, sequential, systematic, and multi-sensory. This program helps student to learn the why behind decoding. It uses marking to help students learn to decode and has a fun interactive platform with fun reading incentives. This makes it an excellent online option for new readers and very help for struggling readers. Informational Video
Notes: This curriculum will cover phonics, spelling and grammar for young learners but needs writing and comprehension supplementation.
This program requires students to mark words to build decoding skills.
Reading Eggs makes learning to read interesting and engaging for kids, with great online reading games and activities. Children love the games, songs, golden eggs and other rewards which, along with feeling proud of their reading, really motivate children to keep exploring and learning. link
Reading A to Z (Online)
Reading A-Z plus and Headsprout are combined in a single student portal, provided online books, reading practice and fun interactive phonics lessons. Perfect for the student who needs online practice without a lot of games.
Link to headsprout
Link to raz-plus
Reading Horizons Elevate (online, remedial)
This is an online program designed for students age ten and above that are struggling with reading. This is a program designed for specifically for struggling readers that delves deeper into reading instruction and differentiates to meet student needs.
Notes: Elevate covers reading and grammar at this level but requires writing and literature packets. Reading Horizons Discovery will also work at this level for intervention if your child prefers a more youthful program.
Growing with Grammar
Practicing with sentences, practice with subjects and predicates, joining sentences, capitalization, plural nouns, irregular nouns, object and subject pronouns, using I, me, we, and us, action verbs, subject-verb agreement, past and future tense verbs, irregular verbs, linking verbs, using a, an, the, using do, does and did, using has, have and had, contractions, adjectives that compare, commas, using a dictionary, writing a friendly letter. link
Comes with: Workbook and Answer Key
First Language Lessons
The Level 3 Student Workbook (Grades 2-4) for First Language Lessons, used alongside the teacher's Level 3 Instructor Guide, gives teachers everything they need to spend more time teaching their students―and less time preparing lessons, making copies, or gathering supplies. It's all right here: inside this book, you'll find poems for memorization, empty sentence diagram frames, and blank lines perfectly sized for young students' copywork, dictation, and narration. Level 3 is a complete grammar and writing text that covers a wide range of topics―including parts of speech, sentence diagrams, and skills in beginning writing, storytelling, and narration. link
Comes with: Teacher Edition and Student Workbook.
Notes: Is very effective for auditory learners. Requires daily parent involvement.
Editor in Chief
Improves students’ grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and attention to detail using a standards-based thinking approach rather than drill and practice. This effective method teaches students to carefully analyze and edit stories. This book includes 16 lessons in grammar and mechanics. Students identify and circle errors in each story and write their correction. The grammatical and mechanical errors in the paragraphs are based on general instructional guidelines for specific grade levels; the content level, however, is ungraded, allowing usage of these materials at many instructional levels. Writing styles and content are varied to sustain interest and to broaden the students’ exposure to different writing formats, such as letters, stories, and dialogue. The illustrations integrated into the context of the activities further spark student interest. The skills developed can be applied to the students’ own writing. Detailed answers are also included. Link
Spectrum is a simple workbook
combination that is colorful and easy to understand. Works as a supplement when used separately or packaged together. Packaged set includes Writing, Reading, and Language Arts workbooks. Link to spectrum
Notes: Great for families using other more exploratory programs so that there is basic practice but time for other family curriculum choices.
Wild Tales will continue your student’s journey through the Skill Development stage. If your child is new to Spelling You See, you will want to take a little more time with the first few lessons in order to become familiar with this unique approach.
Reads interesting nonfiction passages about animals
- Reads the passage with the instructor each day. Guided reading helps readers of all ability levels become familiar with the passage
- “Chunks” the appropriate letter patterns indicated for that day’s lesson
- Will have opportunities for copywork, free writing, and writing from dictation throughout the week
- Includes 36 lessons, divided into two books for ease of use. Each of the lessons is divided into five parts, A through E. One daily lesson consists of two or four facing pages. Link
Comes with: Instructors Handbook and Student books.
Notes: Continual Review is a notable part of the program. Does not necessarily correlate to grade level.
Soaring with Spelling
Each lesson contains 10 list words. List words are slightly more complex single-syllable and two-syllable words. Lessons contain games such as crossword puzzles, word search, definition matching, unscrambling words, identifying misspelled list words in a paragraph, alphabetizing words, complete the sentences, match the picture to the list word, and identifying words that make certain sounds. link
Comes with: Workbook and Answer Key.
Students should complete All About Spelling Level 1 before starting Level 2. All About Spelling is a building block program: each level builds upon the previous one. In Level 2, your student will continue to learn encoding skills, reliable spelling rules, and multisensory strategies for spelling, along with exciting new concepts including 11 new phonograms, vowel teams, syllable division rules, Silent E and Vowel-Consonant-E words, blends, and R-controlled syllables. Phonological awareness and encoding skills are taught throughout Level 2. link
Comes with: Teachers Manual, Student Pack and Interactive Kit
Notes: All About Spelling level 2 goes with All About Reading level 3
Spelling Workout has all the components you need to lead students from simple sound-letter relationships to more complex spelling patterns. Students learn spelling skills based on phonics through unique, cross-curricular reading passages, practice, and high-interest writing activities. Packed with flexible lessons, motivating activites, including fun riddles and puzzles, this dynamic program leads students to spelling success. Link
Notes: This Spelling program is phonics based and includes writing, reading, and editing in higher lessons.
Writing with Ease
Provides easy-to-use materials for introducing this comprehensive writing approach to young students; an approach that understands the need for one-on-one instruction and focuses on copywork (putting words on paper) and narration (putting ideas into words). Link
Comes with: This is a stand alone book.
Notes: This pairs well with First Language Lessons and Spelling Workout. This program is well scripted but requires parent involvement.
Four Square Writing
Teach writing skills using this innovative new approach. The Four Square method can be used with all forms of writing and will fit any reading or language arts program. This step-by-step approach is built around a simple graphic organizer that first shows students how to collect ideas and then helps them use those ideas to create clear and polished prose. Open-ended reproducibles make the technique accessible to writers of all ability ranges. Link
Notes: A writing method that is easy to teach and understand.
Winning with Writing
This level covers introduction to sentences, different types of sentences, organizing your thoughts for writing, main topics, details, detail sentences, choppy sentences, rambling and run-on sentences, creative writing, and how-to writing, among other things. link
Comes with: Workbook and Answer Key.
Notes: Pairs well with Growing with Grammar and Soaring with Spelling.
Spectrum is a simple workbookcombination that is colorful and easy to understand. Works as a supplement when used separately or packaged together. Packaged set includes Writing, Reading, and Language Arts workbooks. Link to spectrumNotes: Great for families using other more exploratory programs, so that there is basic practice but time for family interests. This program I intended as a supplement to additional writing assignments.
This is a simple, yet colorful workbook that will build wriitng skills in your student. It covers both expository and creative writing. This level will cocus on progressively more complex writing skills. The incremental approach gradually leads students towards completing full writing assignments such as a personal narrative and a short report.
Notes: Colorful, easy to use.
Comes with: Workbook
(Video Overview #1) (Video Overview #2)
This program is based on The Writer's Jungle, written by Julie Bogart. The Writer's Jungle is an explanation of Bogart's writing method. One can use The Writer's Jungle to guide writing as a parent designed curriculum. Alternately, the author created a series of writing curriculums and language arts guides (with grammar and literature study) that follow the philosophy of The Writer's Jungle. This curriculum has a feeling of Charlotte Mason. link
Notes: This curriculum covers language arts and creative writing, but requires another curriculum to cover foundational skills. It does not focus on expository writing. Additional components to accompany the writing guides are also published. The Arrow portions of this curriculum are only available under individual book titles as it was written as a periodical. Levels in this program do not necessarily correlate to standard grade levels so looking at samples is important.
Word Roots Beginning
Students learn the meaning and spelling of roots, prefixes, and suffixes commonly used in English. Learning these word elements dramatically improves spelling and the ability to decode unfamiliar words. The activities focus on using these words in context to help students incorporate each word into their vocabulary and retain the correct spelling. There are periodic reviews to make sure students retain what is taught in the lessons. Word Roots books will add hundreds of words to your students' vocabulary and greater depth to their thinking and writing. link
Wordly Wise 3000® provides systematic academic vocabulary instruction—developing the critical link between vocabulary and reading comprehension. The program incorporates the use of context clues, word study, reading comprehension, and writing. The words presented are commonly encountered in grade-level literature, textbooks, and standardized tests.Link
Focuses on understanding of mathematical concepts. Uses clear explanations, lots of visual exercises and pattern exercises. Mastery oriented: concentrates fairly long on a topic, with fairly few topics per grade. Emphasizes mental math and developing number sense. Very little preparation needed. link
Comes with: 2 Worktexts, Test/review book, Answer Key
Notes: A great curriculum that covers all skills thoroughly. Full of information, thus the page layout can seem a little overwhelming. A great fit for the student that loves Math or prefers to work independently. link to placement test
There are lots of youtube videos by Maria Miller (the author) link
Multiplication for single and multiple-digit numbers and other topics. Once students have mastered the concepts of addition and subtraction (covered in Alpha and Beta), they are ready for multiplication. Gamma teaches single-digit facts and multiple-digit multiplication skills. link
Comes with: Instructional DVD, Integer Block Set, Teacher manual and Student workbook.
Notes: Math-U-See works well for struggling learners or those who prefer a hands on approach. It may be repetitive for students who enjoy a fast pace. link to placement test
The students are provided with the necessary learning experiences beginning with the concrete and pictorial stages, followed by the abstract stage to enable them to learn mathematics meaningfully. This approach encourages active thinking process, communication of mathematical ideas and problem solving. This helps develop the foundation students will need for more advanced mathematics. Practice exercises are designed to provide the students with further practice after they have done the relevant workbook exercises. Review exercises are provided for cumulative reviews of concepts and skills. All the practice exercises and review exercises are optional exercises.
Comes with: Workbooks A & B, Text A & B, Optional - Home Instructor Guide
Notes: Colorful kid friendly pages. link to placement test
Right Start Math
This unique, award-winning, hands-on program de-emphasizes counting, uses visualization of quantities, and provides strategies and visual pictures for learning the facts. Understanding and problem solving are emphasized throughout the curriculum. The primary learning tool is the AL Abacus, a specially designed two-sided abacus that is both kinesthetic and visual. The AL Abacus is grouped in fives and tens for quick recognition of quantities. The second side of the AL Abacus teaches place value to the thousands. Children develop visual strategies as they use this manipulative. Practice is provided with math card games, minimizing review worksheets and eliminating stressful flash cards. These games provide interesting and varied repetition that is needed for the automatic responses to the facts. More importantly, these games provide an application for new information and create hours of fun learning math facts and concepts. link
Comes with: Lesson book, Worksheets, CD, Games book, and complete manipulatives set.
Notes: A great Math especially for struggling learners, but is very parent intensive. Lots of games and manipulatives. AL Abacus is primary manipulative. link to placement test
youtube videos explaining the games: link
These 140 lessons use math in real life; identifying place value; completing patterns; mastering multiplication and division facts; adding/subtracting multi-digit numbers; multiplying a multi-digit number by a single digit; dividing by a 1-digit divisor; adding/subtracting fractions with common denominators; telling time to the minute; change for a dollar; graphing.
Comes with: Teachers Manual, Home Study Meeting Book, Student Workbooks and factcards.
Notes: Saxon Math is a spiral math with lots of review. It has excellent math facts drill but a dry presentation. Black and white only. Manipulatives available for younger grade levels . link to placement test
Math in Focus (Video Overview)
Math in Focus provides an authentic Singapore math curriculum, highlighting problem solving as the focus of mathematical learning. This complete program teaches concepts using a concrete-pictorial-abstract learning progression to anchor learning in real-world and hands-on experiences. Each topic is approached with the expectation that students will understand both "how" it works, and also "why." link
Comes with: Student Textbook, Student Workbook, and Answer Key, with Assessments available separately.
Notes: This program uses concrete- pictorial-abstract method of instruction in a colorful format but maintains a traditional textbook feel.
Beast Academy (Video Overview)
Beast Academy books provide a curriculum that is both rigorous and complete as well as engaging and entertaining. Each grade is split into four parts (A-D). For each part there is a Guide and a Practice book.
Guides provide instruction delivered by the Academy instructors in a comic book style that encourages reasoning and problem solving.
Practice books provide hundreds of problems, puzzles, and games to reinforce the lessons. Link
Notes: This program was written for advanced math students. Problems are generally fewer but more difficult. The 5th grade level prepares students for Pre-Algebra. Please see the site for placement test.
Aleks Math is a research-based, online program that offers course products for mathematics, business, science, and behavioral science. Using personalized learning and adaptive assessments, ALEKS quickly and accurately determines exactly what a student is most ready to learn. This unique approach to learning dramatically improves student performance and confidence. link
Ascend Math offers personalized learning plans, and continuous assessment. It provides math tutorials that are prescribed to fill any gaps that a student may have. It has been designed for intervention to catch up students quickly but also covers the math skills required at each grade level.
Notes: Printable worksheets to go with this program are available.
Sumdog (online supplement)
Sumdog is a fun math practice program that uses games and competition to build math skills. Link
Notes: Somewhat trendy graphics. Supplement only.