Whew...I finally made a decision on a language arts program. I've been agonizing over this for months. I've decided to go with Wanda Sanseri's Spell to Write and Read. This was a tough decision since I've been planning on using Romalda Spalding's The Writing Road to Reading since Daniel was only a couple of months old.
The two programs are very similar, but it is my opinion (at this moment) that Spell to Write and Read (SWR) is easier to implement for homeschoolers. Also, I'm hoping that SWR will provide the comprehensive program (spelling, reading, grammar, and writing) that I've found lacking in The Writing Road to Reading (WRTR). Technically, WRTR is also a complete language arts program, but I would not be able to teach it. I'm not confident in teaching writing or grammar to my boys due to the lack of instruction I received in school. Therefore, I need a program that is more guided. With SWR, I should be able to handle giving the boys a gentle introduction to grammar and writing through 2nd grade. Once we get to 3rd grade, I plan to ramp up grammar and writing so I will probably supplement with intensive writing and grammar programs. Of course, I'll be learning right along with them.
Now that I've made this decision, I can dive into solving my next problem. Daniel's ready to start this program today. His reading is taking off and I'd like to make sure that we don't leave phonics, spelling, and handwriting in the dust. However, I won't be able to afford to buy it intil at least next August. Paying for preschool and buying our other curriculum have tapped my resources. Now, I've been sneakily teaching Daniel WRTR for years. We've worked on phoneme awareness, introduced the phonograms, and begun learning to form the letters properly. The programs are similar enough that I think that stuff will still benefit him, but I don't know for sure. I do plan to continue all of that over the summer really focusing on his writing, but I'm not sure if I can fill a whole 3 months of school with that. I guess we'll see. I'm hoping that once we get the program, we can use the beginning (learning phonograms, letter formation, and starting the notebook) as a good review before getting into spelling.