McRuffy Language Arts

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  • Reviewed on Tuesday, April 9, 2013
  • Grades Used: k-1
  • Dates used: 2011-2013
I have used this program for k and grade 1. The phonics portion of this program is the best in my opinion. There aren' t many sight words because most word are taught through phonics. Which I felt will produce stronger readers. It is a very affordable curriculum including phonics, grammar, spelling, handwriting, creative writing, and readers. My dc are reading and spelling well. There are areas in my opinion which require supplement. I have added sight words to our spelling list. Sight words are taught and my dc can read sight words but struggle with spelling them because some break the phonics rules. So, I have added them to the spelling list. K12reader a free spelling site has a list of dolch and fry sight words. Though creative writing is introduced in grade 1 there is litte instruction on how to teach it. It is basically 1 page that explains the writing process.This was not enough for us. We will be adding Essentials in writing as a supplement for grade 2. I recommend Mcruffy. My dc are doing well with it but I would look into a writing supplement because that is the one area where it is weak. I also use a free supplement found at for extra grammar practice here and there. I just wanted to add that phonics is taught k- 2 so if you are using Mcruffy for 3rd grade and have a struggling reader you may want to use Mcruffy' s supplement book that covers k-2 phonics to catch up. If you have used Mcruffy k-2 your dc will likely be reading very well by the end of grade 2.My dc are half way through grade one and our breaking down big words with ease. I have only used the se version and have only found one typo in grade 1.


  • Reviewed on Monday, April 8, 2013
  • Grades Used: 3rd grade
  • Dates used: 2012-2013
I homeschool my grandson using McRuffy Language Arts Grade 3. I have mixed opinions about the program. There are many good things about the program: It is complete, containing reading, spelling, language/grammar, cursive writing, and writing. Considering it covers these areas, the price is not out-of-line with other programs.

However, there are also negatives. My biggest complaint is concerning the reading book. There are many spelling errors, incorrect homophones used, and (at least in my book) a page's writing is partially covered by the picture and is not readable. If a child struggles with reading, it is difficult to allow him to read out of a reader that has several errors.

Another complaint is the grammar portion of the program. In my opinion, grammar is not covered as deeply as it should be. It seems to be a hit and miss kind of presentation - jumping around without solidifying a skill.

Also, McRuffy offers quarterly testing. This may be fine for some, but I prefer to test more frequently so I can see which area may need more work. A positive point to make is that for 3 or 4 lessons before the quarterly exam, there is a review of the material that will be on the test. (Spelling is tested every 5 lessons.)

Finally, while it does cover writing, it is not a true composition unit. Once a week, composition is touched upon. Very little explanation is offered.

Since I have a granddaughter in a public school who is the same age, I am able to look at her books and papers to make sure we are staying on standard with the public schools in our area. My grandson will eventually be returning to public school so this is important to us. I have found that we are extremely behind in both composition and grammar.

Before I purchased this curriculum, I did read the reviews which is why I am posting this one. I believe this program will work well for homeschoolers who are using a method other than traditional teaching, but for those who are attempting to align with state standards, etc, this is probably not the best choice. I am not saying, "Don't buy it", but make sure it is going to fit it with your needs and expectations.


  • Reviewed on Thursday, July 5, 2012
  • Grades Used: 1st
  • Dates used: 2011-2012
My son and I both LOVED it!!! I chose it because it seemed affordable, colorful, and simple to use. I loved the fact that it was an "all in one" language arts curriculum. We spent JUST the right amount of time on each reader (my son didn't get bored but reading it several times REALLY helped his fluency). The lessons are simple and in my experience required little to no advanced preparation on my part. ;-)

This was my first year homeschooling and McRuffy DEFINITELY made my first experience a GREAT one!! We are looking forward to starting McRuffy language arts 2nd grade in the fall!!!


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
  • Grades Used: K-3
  • Dates used: 2011-2012
This is a really good curriculum. After using Horizons for most of kindergarten with my son and both of us hating it, I found McRuffy in about March to use for his little sister the next year. As soon as I opened the package I ditched Horizons and he and I spent time reading the McRuffy readers. He got more out of that than all those Horizons worksheets. He has now completed the 1st grade McRuffy curriculum and it made a dramatic improvement for him. My oldest is upset that next year (grade 4) will be the last year she can use it since that is they highest level. The kids have become very attached to a lot of the characters in their readers. Many of them appear across all of the levels. A book that one read may have one of its characters show up in another child's workbook 3 weeks later and they always comment on this and get excited about it. Overall, this is a wonderful way to learn to read. The child really gets immersed in a particular concept each week as it is spread out across spelling, grammar, & phonics work. Depending on how in depth you want to get with writing and grammar you may want to supplement something else for these topics. Although, I feel that for the most part using this alone from K-4 will give your child a love of reading and a good solid base for grammar that will prepare him for the more difficult concepts in upper elementary. We have fun with this every day and overall I would definitely recommend it. It's only $100-$130 depending on the grade level and for the next child you only have to purchase the workbooks which would amount to roughly $30. Very affordable for what you get. Posters & games come with the younger levels. My oldest is really too old for some of the games but she still enjoys playing them with her younger siblings. The scripted teacher's manual seems a little overwhelming. I have realized that it's really easier if you just sort of ignore it unless you need it for clarification of something. The bound workbooks make a really nice finished product at the end of the year and make it easy to keep all work together. We are planning on sticking with this through 4th grade. When I have contacted the company they have been very couteous and responded quickly. We spilled a whole can of root beer on a reader (oops!) and were able to replace just that one book when we emailed them and asked about it. We are McRuffy fans at our house! (They have math and science too if you are interested.)