I used the Orange and Yellow volumes of Learning Language Arts Through Literature for my 8 yo daughter and my 10 yo son for the ’13/14 school year.
I was very excited about it, because I love the idea of pulling your grammar, writing and research from great literature. Having all of the language arts in one resource just seemed so very streamlined and convenient. Below I will list the pros and cons using this curricula this year.
Pros-1. The recommended literature was great; sweet and inspirational stories, many of them true. 2.Besides the recommended books, each volume has many excerpts of other literature scattered throughout to help the student work on grammar, spelling, etc. Each of these excerpts come from wonderful, unheard of books that I proceeded to look for and add to our library. 3. It is convenient to have all of your language arts in one place. 4. It does cover a wide range of grammar: parts of speech, verb tenses, punctuation, etc. 5. There are frequent reviews, I was so grateful for this, especially in light of one of my cons… #2.
Cons-1. The answers to all of the student’s questions/exercises are right there on his/her pages. I had to constantly keep a paper awkwardly covering them as we worked, or cover them with post-it notes. This became exceedingly annoying. 2. One lesson covers such a myriad of things, that it left my students and I feeling a bit ADD. There was so little practice on any one thing that it didn’t feel like it could sink in. For example, in one lesson, after you read an excerpt from Wilbur and Orville Wright, your student will be INTRODUCED to (not just reviewing) compound verbs, adverbs, antecedents, present & past tense, compound sentences, biographies, and autobiographies all very rapidly. It left us feeling a little dizzy and cheated. 3. I was kind of surprised at how often the authors used excerpts NOT in the literature that you were supposed to buy. More often than not really. For us, it ended up being kind of frustrating, but kind of good since we ended up buying these books in ebook form. But for a student whose parents can’t buy all the extra books, they learn just enough about the book from several excerpts, that it could leave them feeling frustrated to not be able to find out what happens.
We won’t be using it again. This year, I decided to pick my own literature, use Growing with Grammar, and have them do writing prompts related to the books.