Language Arts for 1st – 2nd Grade – I'm Confused!

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Hey everyone! So the more I research the more confused I become. My twin girls are 7. I pulled them out of PS first grade at the beginning of this school year. Currently, for LA, we are doing:

ETC (presently middle of book 5)
First Language Lessons 1
Draw Write Now (DD1) and HWT (DD2)
Lots of readers in/outside of school

We do not do a formal writing program right now, as we just stopped Write Shop because nobody cared for it. I already purchased much of the curriculum for next year because I’m organized to a fault. I have Writing With Ease 1, First Language Lessons 2, All About Spelling 2 and HWT 2nd grade set that includes Power Printing and transitioning to cursive. And the rest of the ETC books.

So we are hitting a wall with ETC and I’m considering a change. I am looking at Phonics Pathways, All about Reading and Plaid Phonics. My girls do know how to read, and read fairly well at grade level. I do not like some of the weird pictures (it’s hard for me, as an adult, to figure out what some of them are!) and vocabulary introduced in ETC so I’m getting just as frustrated, perhaps more so, because they can’t work independently in the workbooks after I spend time teaching the lessons due to these reasons.

So I was researching Phonics Pathways, etc and stumbled across many posts and articles and now I’m very confused and questioning our whole LA curriculum. I could use some advice! Here are my general concerns:

1) I read, in numerous places, that spelling and phonics together aren’t necessary and that I should hold off on spelling until after phonics is complete.

2) I read that First Language Lessons isn’t appropriate for their age level.

3) ETC is not good as a stand alone phonics program.

4) If they are reading at grade level, I’m assuming I should still stick with phonics for next year? Or drop phonics and only do spelling?

I know there is no "right or wrong" with homeschooling but now I feel like I’m not doing things right. My girls like the spelling (we just started AAS recently and just completed level 9) and are responding very well to FLL. So I’m confused. Are they supposed to be too young to learn these things? Is there an age when grammar is supposed to start? And should I purchase a more complete reading curriculum like All About Reading?

Am I doing too much? Not enough? Doing things in the right/wrong order?


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