Spectrum Language Arts

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  • Reviewed on Monday, March 19, 2012
  • Grades Used: 5
  • Dates used: 2011-2012
We purchased bju online...and in the first two weeks realized it was not going to work. We then started researching a bit more and decided a mixed unit study-classical-charlotte mason would be best. Were not impressed with intermediate language arts so we purchased spectrum grade 5. We were more than fine with this program... but my wife and also had ordered rod and staff five. We started using runs upon arrival and we are very pleased...but... in my opinion...D's was getting more out of spectrum with regards to balance of writing and grammar and punctuation. I think if we had not already agreed to stick with runs we would have stayed with spectrum. Truth...we will use spectrum over summer to be more than ready for next year... for the price..the new full color language arts is more than fine. It is grammar and let's be honest...they are studying the same basic info for the next four grade levels... grades 4-8 is grammar heavy with varying levels of writing. Even comparing other l.a. programs, they are basically repetitive with different graphics and story lines... go for it...invest your money in writing intensives and a good literature base program...they are going to need great lit skills and math skills in this new day. Imho


  • Reviewed on Monday, June 20, 2011
  • Grades Used: 1-3
  • Dates used: 2010-11
I am not usually impressed by Spectrum, but I wanted to recommend Spectrum Reading 3. This workbook has really helped my third grader understand reading passages better. He seemed to have fine reading comprehension prior, but this workbook drills the kinds of questions that are asked on those stupid standardized tests. Mostly inferential questions which are not really "in" the text anywhere. We do one lesson a day and it has really pinpointed something I would have otherwise missed. Great.


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, September 30, 2009
  • Grades Used: 2nd and 3rd
  • Dates used: 2008-2009
I have tried teaching grammar through copywork, via the Charlotte Mason method. However, it doesn't suit my dd, and she likes workbooks better.

I decided to use Spectrum, because it was affordable, and I don't have a lot of money to spend. I am also not concerned with drilling grammar at this age, but I did want to give her an introduction.

I find that it does a good job teaching grammar in a way that she can understand. She doesn't care for the writing, but she can do the very basics and squeak by.

She doesn't retain much of the grammar, but I'm not worried about that at her age. If you want a program that really drills grammar, then you would need to look elsewhere. However, for the early grades, it is a good introduction.

I haven't used the later grades. Perhaps when the child is older, the material will stick with them.


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, August 6, 2008
  • Grades Used: 6th and 8th grade
  • Dates used: 2007-2008
Books are good for summer use only. Do NOT cover all that a student needs to know for that grade. Easy material and not challenging. We got AOP Lifepac which was far better.
The kids were bored with Spectrum, enjoyed Lifepac.
Save your money and buy something decent if you want your kids to get an education and job, and not flip burgers.