Learning Language Arts through Literature

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shellkbell

  • Reviewed on Tuesday, September 20, 2016
  • Grades Used: 2nd
  • Dates used: August-September 2016
I know I've only been using Learning Language Arts through Literature (LLATL) for a couple of months, but I'm already so happy with it. The last two years I've homeschooled my daughter (K-1), I used Phonics Pathways (which is good, but needs more) and supplemented a lot. I have a teaching background in public and private schools, so I was totally confident in my choices, using several materials from the library and things I found on Pinterest, etc. However, I am a super busy person, so I needed something that could get the job done as well as I could, but already be laid out and ready to go. I wanted something that would touch on several skills, encourage a love of reading, and have a variety of activities and creativity. I really believe LLATL accomplishes all of that.

When I taught in private schools, I was fortunate enough to use Saxon math, which I continue in our homeschool and still love. I love how it uses constant repetition of several skills. LLATL is very similar to that. Skills are introduced in short little lessons that aren't overwhelming, and then repeated often in other lessons, often building on previous material and becoming more challenging. Repetition works, plain and simple.

I especially appreciate the variety of literature used in the series. The workbook often contains several poems. There are mini foldable stories. There are the readers that come with the series. Best of all, there are several books that can be obtained with or without the series. Most of them I found at my local library, and only have to purchase a couple. All of those books are quality classic literature. Children need to be exposed to a variety of reading material, and this series does so.

Some in their reviews complained about the cutting and pasting, but it was one thing that I really wanted. Young children should be doing lots of cutting, pasting, and writing to practice those motor skills. There are times when we are in a hurry that I may help cut some things out, but I certainly want my daughter to do most of it for the practice.

There are also several opportunities for creativity when there's the symbol of a little treasure box in the guide. We've been doing just about all of them because my daughter thrives on creative expression.

So many skills are touched in this series. Not only are students getting great reading practice and comprehension, but they are also getting grammar, mechanics, spelling, context clues, and much more. So much is covered. It really is worth the money and it's a very reasonable price for such a full package.

Most of all, it has made my planning so much easier. It's very much my style of teaching, but I don't have to spend all weekend searching Pinterest and other resources to develop similar lessons. It's all there. When I first started, I was a little confused about how the lessons run (There's no big division between one day and the next), but I've got it down now. Every lesson is unique and different, so it doesn't get tedious, even when we are continuously reviewing concepts. So glad I found it.

mshanson3121

  • Reviewed on Wednesday, January 7, 2015
  • Grades Used: 2
  • Dates used: 2015
I have to say, at first we loved this, I really appreciate just how thorough it is. However, many of the lessons are really LONG. And, while at first we were just cutting them in half, doing half one day, the rest the next, doing that, you'll get very far behind. For some children it may not be a problem, but my son very quickly became overwhelmed with the length of the lessons.

Also, in the red book at least, they require a LOT of cut and paste activities (and not a lot of fun cut & paste activities, but rather cut out 20-30 small rectangles of words sort of thing), which again, my son very quickly grew tired of.

Finally, our last problem was it's VERY spiral in it's approach, which some kids do great with, but my son does better with a mastery approach.

I will say this - it is an EXCELLENT value for what you get (buy it off of www.christianbook.com for the best price). The materials are all very high quality, and my son did love the books/readers that came with it.

jeather

  • Reviewed on Monday, July 7, 2014
  • Grades Used: 1st
  • Dates used: 2013-2014
For our first year homeschooling, (kindergarten) I loved the idea of an all-in-one language arts program. As promised, the program really is all-in-one. However, I found the coverage of most of the subjects to be far to light for my liking. Also, the organization off the materials was a bit lax as well.

By the end of the year, I had supplemented with additional handwriting, spelling, and reading curricula because the coverage was just too light to really work. This curriculum may work for a gifted student who needs little to no repetition, but for my son, it was nowhere near enough.

The word lists often had errors in them (words listed twice, words not covered yet, etc). The teacher's manual made no distinction between outside reading materials and the included readers. This meant going through the entire book and picking out all the books I needed from the library just so I would have them in time.

I can't express enough disappointment with the spelling coverage. I got All About Spelling to fill in the gaps, and noticed huge gaps in the LLATL coverage of spelling rules - basically, there were none. They never attempted to explain vowel usage, or when to use k, instead of ck, etc. It was just a guessing game.

It wasn't all bad though. Many of the activities and lessons were fun and effective. The readers were great - I'd honestly consider buying just the readers for next year.

If you have a student who can learn from one light lesson, then I'm sure this curriculum would work very well. For my family, it's just not complete.

susieinms

  • Reviewed on Wednesday, May 7, 2014
  • Grades Used: 1st-12th
  • Dates used: 2000-2014
We have used most levels of LLATL. My older children used levels Tan (6th) - Golds (12th) from the time we discovered this program. My youngest now has used part of the Blue (it didn't fit her at that time), and all of the Red and Yellow. We now have the Orange and I have read through it. As with all other levels I get excited looking at all that is in stored for the new year.

LLATL is very complete and offers a good deal of variety in the lessons. My dd actually looks forward to her lessons. Besides the normal dictation, grammar, spelling, writing, etc you will also see fun activities sprinkled throughout the books. One fun lesson that comes to mind is when the child becomes a detective after reading a section taken from Encyclopedia Brown.

Looking over the Orange Book I know my dd will love the writing components: making her own book of poems and the newspaper project. The sound of the latter didn't thrill me till I saw the lessons. The authors of LLATL have a great way of making learning fun.

I do the spelling just as designed in LLATL. You are to add your child's misspelled words to the weekly list. This way they focus on works they need work on.

I have tried other Language Arts programs and none have come close to this one. I realize no curricula is a fit for all families/ children, but for us this one is tops. I could not be happier.

I would like to agree with Titus2 when she said:
" This is NOT a series where you can grasp the full impact by doing one book. The full effect of LLATL can be found in the consistent usage of each grade (color) level. This is a wonderful program that DOES teach what's needed if you stick with it. It's hard to see the forest, when focusing on one tree....given the opportunity, this program can really shine!"
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