We used Learning Language Arts Through Literature this year because of its all in one nature. I didn’t like it and we are switching for next year. It doesn’t cover any one area in depth. I ended up using a different spelling and handwriting because I felt it was weaker on those subject areas (basically uses copy work and rote memorization, includes a few spelling rules but some of them aren’t even accurate) and I found ones I liked better (AAS and ARFH). There were 4 easy books read at the 3rd grade level over the course of an entire year of plans, this felt very light on literature and language comprehension for my daughter who is an avid reader. My daughter doesn’t like copy work and this book has a lot of it. She did enjoy the bonus activities like analogies. I also found that she hasn’t retained what she’s learned well when she does the unit review questions. Because it tries to be comprehensive, it really skips around in the subject matter with just a few problems, and I think she does better with more of a mastery approach. Also I found this curriculum to be very light on writing. This program may work well for others, obviously it has been around long enough to stand the test of time, it just wasn’t as good of a fit for our situation as I hoped it would be.
For my 4th Grader next year, I will be going with: All About Spelling, Essentials in Writing for grammar and writing, Drawn Into the Heart of Reading for Literature and A Reason for Handwriting. For my 2nd Grader next year: All About Spelling, Essentials in Writing, All About Reading (includes phonics, fluency and comprehension) and A Reason for Handwriting. I’m excited about trying Essentials in Writing as the video instruction will help me out as I’m expecting baby #4 in the fall, so it will be one more thing they can do independently. The other new one to us will be DITHOR and I like that they choose books from different genres, there are lesson options, and you can teach multiple ages together as it has options for different levels.
There are so many choices, it can be overwhelming, that was why the all-in-one approach attracted me, but I think for us I’d rather have more specialized programs that more thoroughly cover the subject areas. We’ll see how our retention is next year.