I got Language Smarts to see how it differs from All About Reading and Spelling. So here are my thoughts on Language Smarts and which LA (language arts) program I liked better. I will say that a big thing for me with Language Smarts is that I could not find a level A. I can only imagine that if there was one it would go over the letters and their sounds. Maybe even some spelling considering that level B has some word scrambles and if your child has not started spelling then this can be frustrating for them. This curriculum immediately starts off with short vowel sounds. A thing I really do not like is that when going over the short vowel the page has a bunch of words with Y in them but some of them have the long vowel for Y. Either you have to tell your child the words or try and get them to understand that the Y in sky says I and the Y in gym is like a short vowel of I. This concept can be very confusing especially when you are just learning to read. It then goes into the long vowel sounds. I do not think there is enough work on either of these. It seems like you would need to supplement with other books or maybe even another workbook. Language Smarts quickly then goes into more vowel work for 2 vowel together.
Following the vowel the book has some work on consonants and word patterns. I do not really see the point of word patterns. If someone has better insight on this please let me know in the comment section. There is a section on silent consonants. Like with All About Reading I noticed again that both our daughter and I drop a lot of our consonants when we talk so this section could be a little tricky for those who talk the same as us. I do like that it goes over when to use a vs an. When I am online I have noticed that some people make this mistake a lot. Another thing I like is the Editor in Chief section. Your child will go through the passages and find the mistakes. While I do like this I also think this is bit much for a child who is just learning to read. Syllables are covered as well but I think that it shows up kind of late in this curriculum. Rhyming is also covered pretty late in the book in my opinion. Other things that are covered are contractions, compound words, kinds of nouns, kinds of verbs, subject and predicate as well as kinds of sentences. While this does seem like a full LA curriculum since there is grammar being taught I just do not think there is enough work on each of these concepts.
Language Smarts does go over a lot of grammar like when to use certain words as well as kinds of words. Something that I felt was unnecessary was goes over order of things and sequencing as well as other thing. These I felt were more of a critical thinking skill than that of LA. Going over punctuation and capitalization was nice as well. All in all I thought that there was not enough work on each of the main concepts. Because of this the curriculum seems to go very fast. Too fast for a young child in my opinion. I much prefer All About Reading and Spelling. While they do not go over grammar I think their explanation and having more work benefit the child a lot more than Language Smarts does. If you have tried both before let us know which you thought was better? If you do not use either of these what curriculum do you use?
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