The first two years of college we used the Minna No Nihongo books (so year 1, book 1. Year 2, book 2), alongside a Japanese native teacher. The Dutch teacher (I’m Dutch, we used the English version) would always answer questions we had after the Japanese teacher explained the grammar. We would do one chapter per week. Monday go through the new vocabulary list. Listen to pitch and such, the explanation of grammar. Other days we did all the exercises. Speaking exercises on Friday. After around 7 week, 7 chapters, we would have a big test. Reading, writing, speaking, listening.
We used not only the main book and the grammar book, but all the resources this series has. (so also listening, 2 additional exercise books, and 2 kanji books).
I thought it was a very pleasant way to learn Japanese because you get right into reading it from the start. There’s furigana, but no romaji, which I thought was super helpful. (I hate romaji with a passion)
Obviously having a native teacher helps too, but the book comes with CD’s that help you with pronunciations. I also thought it was more complete than the Genki series. But I haven’t tried those for long.
Only thing I dislike about the books, is that it uses the more formal ます form for a bit long. But as I was supposed to work in a business environment after graduating from this college, it made sense at the time. The more informal dictionary form is also taught, however. So you’re not missing out. And I got to say, as a result of this book, I tend to default to speaking a more polite Japanese.