Hi everyone! Welcome to day 3 of my homeschool curriculum forum/discussion series. Today we’re going to be talking about English & Grammar.

I have to admit this is always one of my hardest subjects to finalize when picking curriculum. For the most part I am happy using Abeka phonics for the earlier years, but when it comes to 3rd grade and up I’ve been wavering. For the last two years we’ve been using BJU Press English & Grammar. I started this in 3rd grade and had planned to stick with it for future grades.

While that is still my plan, I’m not totally in love with this curriculum. I’ve just been sticking with it because it’s “okay”. The pages are colorful which is nice for visual learners, and the daily lessons are nicely outlined at the top of the student worksheets which I also find helpful. You do need the Teacher’s Manual in my opinion for this curriculum as there are more examples and help for the student in the TM. The TM also includes a smaller duplicate of the student workpage but also includes the answers as well which is helpful.



  • Fairly thorough and straight forward
  • Colorful worksheets
  • Student workbook answers are in the teacher’s manual.


  • Can be pricey unless you buy used.

I have looked into Abeka, Rod & Staff English, as well as Shurley English, and Easy Grammar but haven’t been brave enough to try any of them as of yet haha!

So for lack of wanting to change I’m currently planning to stick with BJU English. While BJU English isn’t a bad curriculum at all, it’s just that I don’t feel my kids are really “getting” English. I am also not a huge fan of the writing, so we use something else for that, but we’ll tackle that in the writing curriculum post coming soon.


IEW Fix It Grammar!

As many of you know we switched to a new English/Grammar curriculum. We’ve been using Fix It! Grammar now for about 2 years and so far I really like it. Click below to see the full review on this English/Grammar curriculum.


What I like about Fix It! Grammar:

  • It takes less time, about 15 minutes per day.
  • It includes vocabulary.
  • I like that we’re learning to edit a continuing story line.
  • Story is interesting and kids are excited to see what happens next.
  • It correlates well with the IEW Writing program.
  • Helps reinforce proper paragraph formation, writing structure, etc.
  • Teacher’s manual is easy to read and concepts are clear and concise.
  • Love the extra teacher notes, so far any questions the kids have asked have been listed in the teacher notes which is great!
  • Like the easy reference flash-cards.
  • Cost is great!


So, now comes the fun part!

What are your favorite English curriculum, resources, websites, etc? Leave a comment below discussing your choices for this year and why.

Feel free to ask questions or reply to each other too!

It’s my way of doing a forum without actually doing a forum haha!

And hopefully this will help us all as we start the process of researching curriculum, and trying to decide what will be the best fit for our homeschool.

Note: Please keep today’s conversations geared towards ENGLISH & GRAMMAR, I will be posting one for each subject separately so we can keep our comments organized.

Disclosure: This was not a sponsored post, I may however be affiliated with one or more products mentioned. The opinions expressed in this post were not influenced by the company. They are products I have used and felt like sharing, cuz’ it’s my blog and I can if I want to.


  1. My kids are still in the lowers grades and still learning how to read so we use Child 1st Publications and All About Learning Press (both have similar programs and complement each other’s strengths/weakness’). I also believe kids should start grammar instruction as soon as they are reading and writing sentences so we use Growing with Grammar since they start in the 1st grade (unlike most programs), and my kids seem to catch on quickly to their easy approach.

  2. We’ve done a few different things, but this has worked the best (and plans for the next couple years):

    Phonics/spelling: Spell to Write and Read with the Wise Guide to Spelling. It’s a k-12 curriculum and we’ve used it through 4th grade so far.

    Grammar: Introduce the parts of speech in 1st or 2nd with activities I bought years ago from Scholastic (cut & paste type things). Then Jr. Analytical Grammar and Jr. Analytical Mechanics in 4th-6th grade, and Analytical Grammar beginning in 6th/7th grade.

    Writing: Daily writing and biweekly writers workshops with a writing exercise included. Don’t worry about grammar/spelling unless the audience requires it. Don’t worry about genre. We’ll likely begin a formal writing curriculum in 7th or 8th grade.

    Literature: LOTS of read alouds, LOTS of classics and books in a variety of genres available to read. My kids do read a lot, so no assigned reading lists. We’ve done lit. lapbooks from this site (LOVE!) and also from Progeny Press (a little more “academic” than my preference for now, but still very good). Lots of discussion. We’ll lapbook through Robin Hood/Beowulf/Canterbury Tales this year. My kids are requesting more lit. lapbooks from this site, so I’m going to comply 🙂

  3. We have used ABeka since K4 and are finishing up 3rd this year. We dabbled in First Language Lessons one summer – we did like it. I like the ABeka and feel my son has a good grasp on the material, so we will be sticking with it mostly because that is what we are familiar with. We have added in some more “fun” computer work this year. One of the things we do is from the site Grammaropolis. We just use the FREE portion of this program. They have fun videos that help teach all the parts of speech. My kids think they are fun and ask to watch more than the “one a day” that is assigned. I just ask them to watch one of the videos a day of their choice. Hoping it will help drill everything in there for me! Here is the site: http://grammaropolis.com/index.php
    Hope that helps someone. Oh, and did I mention its FREE!!!!

  4. I started my 4th and 1st grader with Writeshop and hated it for my 4th grader and am tolerating for my 1st grader.

    I switched to BJU Press for my 4th grader and like it very much. The writing is a little bit of a challenge since I do not know how to teach creative writing but it is MUCH easier to figure out than Writeshop. BJU does not give guidelines on how to grade the writing projects. They just suggest a rubric. I am sticking with BJU as it seems in line with what 4th grade in our area is teaching.

    I am going to switch my 1st grader to BJU Press for language/writing when he starts 2nd grade.

  5. I am using Oak Meadow’s entire curriculum for 7th grade. I am VERY pleased with the reading selections and the way the grammar is integrated each week. I think it is straightforward and easy to follow. Perhaps find just the English to buy used??

  6. We use BJU. I find that the more years we use them, the more of a routine my kids get into and are confident with doing their work independantly. With that comes less direction needed from me. I find that they are very consistant with the standard testing that we all have to take. In my second year of homeschooling I tried a different cirriculum because the first year I was given BJU to use and was trying to save money. What actually happened was I had to re-do lots of lessons because it left so many holes. With BJU I am confident that there are no holes in their education. We recently started a Young Writers Club where I invite a few of my kids friends over and they share their writing. That has been very inspiring to them!

    Mother of Two Boys
  7. We currently use FLL and WWE, along with All About Spelling…. I was wondering if anyone has used Sonlight’s language arts programs. Maybe I just missed that comment! 🙂 I have wondered how their approach compares… we love Sonlight’s Cores, but I have been afraid to try the LA because we love our current programs.

    1. I have not been a huge fan or Sonlight’s language arts. Love our Core, just not the language arts. So I’ve been trying to decide what we’ll use next year instead. Halfway through this year I got All About Reading and we’ve been doing that instead of Sonlight LA.

  8. We have used the K12 grammar for the last 3 years….2nd through 4th grade. I really like the workbooks. You might be practicing using comma’s and periods by reading sentences about Rosa Parks or the Wright brothers. My daughter used Abeka at a Christian school before we started homeschooling and I think I agree with the poster who thought Abeka was good for the younger grades. My two 4K’ ers and one 5K’er are rocking the Abeka and learning so much.
    I have also used the Sonlight program for 1st grade with another daughter and have decided to switch to Sonlight next year for 5th grade. If it doesn’t work for us….we can always switch back!
    Good reading…thanks for the “forum”!

  9. As anyone can see not one option fits every family. That is what is so cool about homeschooling! We get to pick and choose what works for each kid.

    Over our time we have tried out:
    Growing with Grammar 1st-6th (no retention)
    Calvert School Grammar 3rd-4th (Just UGG!!!)
    Oak Meadow English 4th-6th (the whole method did not work for us)
    Easy Grammar Plus (confusing)
    Saxon/Hake Grammar and Writing 5th-6th (too much like Saxon for my Saxon hating guys)
    McRuffy K and 1st (too easy for the age kids I bought it for but we did like it)
    Rod and Staff 2nd-5th (Boring and overly religious/preachy with too much diagramming focus and too little writing are at the top of the Never Again List.)
    CLE 100 and 300 (the combo approach made it confusing for mine)
    ABeka (3rd) (cannot remember why this one did not make the cut)
    I think that covers it.

    For this coming year, we are going with BJU. As a poster on TWTM forums said, (and I am paraphrasing here) she liked BJU because it teaches her daughter to recognize and correct the kinds of mistakes she and her daughter’s friends will make. She also liked that the kids learn a grammar concept then immediately apply it to a writing assignment. I agree with her. I also like that it gives a more even coverage to the topics of grammar and writing, is colorful, and feels more engaging. I have not had any luck finding a writing program that clicked for my very creative writing guys so I am hopeful this one will work out. I have heard it said that BJU is about a year ahead grade wise. The suggestion to me was to use it one grade behind.


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