This is our 3rd yeard homeschooling and this is our 3rd English/Grammar/Writing cirriculum. This one blows the others away. We have done Shurley English and First Language Lessons. I did not care for either. My son loves doing his English now. Enough review mixed in that the he is learning things better. Not too much review where he is bored with it. Vocabulary words have been geography related so far which is great.
This curriculum is just what I was looking for. I love the way the Saxon/Hake curricula continue to teach the lessons throughout future lessons in order to ensure the lessons are mastered. My son has always been a reluctant writer and these writing lessons take the subject bit by bit and are not overwhelming to him. I like that vocab is included daily as well. We are only 20 lessons in at the moment but I haven't been disappointed so far. There doesn't seem to be specific spelling lessons included but the weekly dictations cover that for strong spellers in my opinion. If your child isn't strong with spelling I would recommend a separate spelling curriculum. There is nothing flashy about this curriculum and no colors and illustrations but it just isn't needed. It has substance where it counts, the lessons.
I purchased Saxon Grammar 5 to use in homeschooling my 4th grade daughter. She is somewhat advanced in grammar, so the material presented in this book is perfect for her. I love the Saxon method of incrementally introducing new concepts, then constantly reviewing previous concepts, in each lesson. The tests presented after every 5 lessons are a great way to ensure understanding and retention.
So far, this has been the best Grammar program I have ever used. It's clear, to the point and intergrates 2 vocab words into each lesson. I thought I would have to use a separate vocab but realized that at 2 words a day (10 a week) that it is complete. Not only is adding the vocab words in great but it constantly is reviewing them so they are actually applying them more than we did with other separate programs. The lessons are just the right amount of work. The reviews make sure that the information is retained not just introduced. I like the way the grammar info is presented at the top of each lesson with samples and solutions. I'm very impressed with this curricula and would highly recommend it if you want clear, serious & direct learning. We usually like pictures and colors and the program does not have any but its okay because no distractions and to the point learning is working for my daughter because she doesn't get frustrated. The pages in the book are thin and that's the only thing I would exchange for a spiral notebook. In additon to the large Grammar book it comes with a Student Writing book all about composition. So far, this has been broken down in easy formats that is clear and direct also. It gives adequate opportunies to observe things like topic sentences and to identify before asking the child to write their own. I think the program is EFFECTIVE, EFFICIENT & COMPLETE. It's my new favorite program and I wish I had used it the last 2-3 years! Anything that works right is worth the money. Good luck.