Cohesive language arts program?

Hi everyone, we’re in our first year of homeschooling so I still have a lot to learn! I’m planning our curriculum for next year. I was wondering if there’s such a thing as a cohesive language arts program that includes spelling, grammar, writing and reading all in one. I would love if it all tied in together, know what I mean? i.e., our spelling is based upon our readers, which also are involved in our grammar/writing discussions, etc. It seems like most people use separate curricula (?) for each of these areas. Currently we use Bookshark and that’s somewhat tied in together, but not completely.

Does anyone know of any curriculum that does this? Thanks!

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CLE includes everything, however the spelling is a random list of words. A good way to make it work would be to create your own language arts, that way you can make it all intertwine. I recently read Designing Your Own Language Arts Curriculum by Jimmie Lanley. Maybe you can look into it.
I know Abeka also intertwines but in order for that to work you would have to buy the whole box curriculum. The spelling words come from all the different subjects, math, science etc… BJU may also do this.

We have not used it, but I think Learning Language Arts through Literature encompasses all of these areas. :slight_smile: I have looked at it several times and we are going with an integrated curriculum written in part by one of the same authors of the language arts curriculum.

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@mamalisa This is a struggle in our house. We have a separate book/workbook for vocab, spelling, grammar, composition, handwriting, etc etc. I haven’t yet found something all in one that I like. I have looked at Learning Language Arts Through Literature, but I’m not sure that its “enough”. I’m always on the lookout though for something all-in-one in this area. Let me know if you find something and I’ll do the same! We started Sonlight in the beginning of the year, but didn’t stick with it. For next year I’m using a mix of things. I’m really drawn to Trail Guide for Learning which incorporates everything except math, but for right now my oldest is too old for it and my younger ones aren’t old enough to use it!

OH! I almost forgot about this but, one thing you may want to look at is Saxon (Hake) Writing and Grammar. It is a secular program. Its academic but I don’t think its overly challenging or boring. I haven’t used it myself but I have a copy of the sixth grade book that I got from a friend somewhere on my bookshelf, and thought it was worth hanging on to! Its a comprehensive language arts curriculum that includes grammar, writing, spelling, and vocabulary. I think the only think you would need to add is reading/literature. It may be worth looking into!|1000112

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We will be using CLE next year and is the spelling part the only thing you didn’t like?? I was planning on adding all about spelling as well. Thank you

I didn’t like the random list of words for spelling and I also felt more direction was needed for the writing. In general I loved CLE as a program and it is solid but these 2 aspects for me made me search for something else. If you have a natural writer, the writing shouldn’t be a problem at all. They do take you through the process a bit but it wasn’t enough for my children.

I am looking for an “all-in-one” program is well. It just seems like kids would be learning it all better if it all came together and they could see how it all flows together! Thanks for asking this question!

It was suggested to me to use Voyages in English for next year, which we are going to try, but that just integrates Grammar and Writing together. Not Vocabulary, Spelling, and Lit.

I was going to ask you, I am interested in Book Shark and how it works. Do you like it? Do you recommend it? Was is easy to use, stressful, too much? Any thoughts would be highly appreciated! Thanks!

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I’m not sure if this is what you are looking for, but my younger children enjoyed McRuffy Press. I wasn’t crazy about some of the stories, but for the most part it was very good and it isn’t that expensive. We really enjoyed their math too. Hope that helps. :slight_smile:

Logic of English Foundatuons is a complete language arts curriculum and we LOVE it! It is based off of same theory as All About Reading, which we have used and liked, but it is a little more thorough and interactive. It has a ton of games and my boys love it. In level D the vocab, spelling etc are related to the readers. Here is a great link to an overview of LOE foundations…

Again, i cannot say enough good things about it!


Honestly, I found that all-in-one type programs never worked well for us. They were never in the same place with reading, writing, and spelling–and trying to make them line up help them back with reading or made them frustrated with spelling and writing. I found that setting yearly goals and time-limits so that we didn’t over-do it was much more effective in meeting their needs.


Possibly English Lessons Through Literature by Barefoot Meandering.

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McRuffyLA for k-2. Shurley english for grammar, writing and vocabulary NEED separate spelling. All about spelling,Spelling U See, or Rod and Staff spelling would be my choices.:slight_smile:

shurley english for grade 2 and above.

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.


This is such a great question!! I don’t have any answers, but I’m following for advice. :slight_smile:

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I will respond re:Bookshark when I can get on my computer later. :slight_smile:

Hi there, @sgrrrbear. So Bookshark - it’s basically a secular version of Sunlight. But certainly Christian friendly if you want to add in your own Bible content. It’s literature based and you read only real books (no textbooks). The entire thing is planned out if you buy the whole package, which I did this year for my 2nd grader. So it includes spelling, LA, readers, read-alouds, science, history, and handwriting. I also purchased my Horizons math curriculum through them. The person who I talked to on the phone was very helpful. I also bought a Kinder package from them which is a little less robust since it’s just K. That all being said I basically dropped history and science during the first couple of months. :confused: I was just too overwhelmed managing 4 kids, being new to homeschooling, etc. They were the easiest subjects to drop. So besides that hiccup, it’s been a good experience. I LOVE all the books my 2nd grader has had the chance to read or have read to him. He has actually started reading on his own, which I’m thrilled about (like for fun, before bed, etc). He is reading at roughly a third grade level at this point and isn’t even 8 yet. I have been happy with the spelling program. I think the LA portion is a little dry and overall I wish there was a little more tie-in between everything. BUT having everything planned out really has been great and I know has been a key to my success this year with the boys. So I can’t really speak to how good the history and science are, but everything else has been pretty good.

With all that said as you can see I’m looking for other options for this coming year. I do want something that ties in a little better together and is a little less dry. In fact I recently discovered the Trail Guide to Learning series which I’m really excited about and think we may go with. It also has everything integrated, but even more so, in 6 week history-oriented unit studies, which there are 6 of for a school year.

Hope this helps? Feel free to ask anything else!


Thank you for your awesome reply! It helped out a lot! :slight_smile:
I’ve looked into Trail Guide to Learning too, and I think it looks really interesting! If you go with it, could you please let me know what you think of it as well? Thanks for all your help!! :slight_smile:

I pieced together the components that seemed to fit each kid, but mostly used: Explode the Code and Megawords for spelling/vocabulary, American Language series for beginning reading, then selected literature for read-aloud and discussion, Spectrum Language Arts (the old version was a reprint of Language Roundup - NOT the new ones), A Reason for Handwriting, poetry for oral language and copy work (mainly from the Random House Book of Poetry), Aunt Lee’s typing online, and journal prompts for writing. I didn’t spend a lot except on literature to have many choices on hand.

I couldn’t agree more! I used LLATL this year for my 2nd and 3rd grader and it was way to easy (and boring) for them, as well as, a little dated. I was also drawn to the all-in-one approach. Thank you for your suggestions on what you will be doing next year. I will be checking into them for my kids next year. I’ve also been looking at AAS for next year. My children love doing A Reason For Handwriting so we’ve also added that because of the lack of handwriting in LLATL and plan on continuing with it next year.

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