Picking up where I left off, for Language Arts I chose Spectrum Language Arts, Spectrum Writing, A Reason for Handwriting Transition, and A Reason for Spelling. There's no huge explanation for the grammar and writing portion of language arts. Although the Spectrum books are basically workbooks, they're pretty thorough and provide a good foundation for us, but we'll supplement with internet resources that build on the lessons. We'll see if I'm wrong and correct it next year if needed, but I really feel that we're in good shape here.
We used Spectrum Spelling for the last half of our 2nd Grade and it fell flat for us. It just wasn't enough reinforcement. He was memorizing the spelling words just enough to take his test each week instead of learning them. He also started the year as a total perfectionist- freaking out if he missed his bonus word and only made 100 on a test. By the time it was over, he didn't care how he scored. He was disengaged.
We've used the A Reason For series for in a few areas thus far and I decided to give this a try for spelling this year. After reviewing the provided lesson plans, I feel making a move to actual spelling lessons is a good move for us. What Spectrum Spelling lacked, A Reason For Spelling more than makes up the difference. I look forward to seeing the difference in these approaches.
Another reason we love A Reason For is the unchanging, unabashed Bible references and emphasis. That alone is why I chose A Reason For Handwriting for our transition to cursive writing. It has well over 52 weeks worth of lessons, so it will last us into our 4th Grade year. I love, love, love the scripture copywork at the end of each lesson and I love how it encourages the student to consider sharing those verses with others.
Lastly, there are several books we're reading this year, some I've chosen and some he has chosen. We'll also be reading some poetry selections from Homeschool Creations. I think it's going to be a great year for Language Arts!