Total Language Plus

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Wingin' it

  • Reviewed on Monday, May 11, 2015
  • Grades Used: 4th-12th
  • Dates used: 2011-present
I liked what I first saw with TLP as did many others. I agree that it lacks basic grammar instruction which I see should be part of a language arts program.

My BIGGEST difficulty with TLP is the structure of the work book itself. It is far from being user friendly. The book is split into units and within each unit are sections for vocabulary, grammar, spelling, etc. The answer section does not correspond with the pages as as the child completes them but instead is grouped according to area of study, i.e. vocabulary, grammar, spelling, etc. So you cannot just mark your working page as you complete it and your answer page as you use it, but must constantly search back and forth through the answer section for the answers to the page you have been working on. And if my explanation sounds confusing then you now have a taste of what your child feels trying to correct his/her work. Also, many of the lesson questions are not numbered, so it is very easy to lose your place while correcting your answers, especially if you pass the workbook through more than one child and do not write directly in the book.

I do like the concept of TLP but just think that they would do well to make the structure more user friendly.


  • Reviewed on Monday, May 20, 2013
  • Grades Used: 4th
  • Dates used: 2012-2013
This was my daughter's first year using TLP. After scouring the homeschool book fair last year, I felt that TLP may be a great fit for her, given her strong desire to read.

I think for some students, this program will be right on the money. Many parents will be satisfied. However, my daughter oftentimes dreaded it. The book study choices were excellent (for example, we chose The Courage of Sarah Noble and Pippi Longstocking this year). Yet, the study moved so slowly that my daughter (who is a very fast reader and likes to move from book to book fairly quickly) lost interest quite frequently.

Another downside, in my opinion, was the sub-par spelling. Granted, the TLP books suggest ways to help aid in memory of spelling words, I found that my daughter still had a difficult time, even after repetition. I think that next year I will go with a spelling program that focuses intently on very common words, rather than ones that are isolated to a particular book.

However, when my daughter took her standardized test this year, she had very high scores in vocabulary. I attribute this, in part, to TLP. They do a very good job at bringing home word meanings, which I think is great.

So, although I will not be using TLP for my rising fifth grader, I think it may have more to do with the child, rather than the curriculum. Yet, if you do choose TLP, I would consider an additional spelling program.


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, September 14, 2011
  • Grades Used: 6th and 9th
  • Dates used: 2011
I just wanted to put in a good word for Total Language Plus. I have wanted to use this for years, but I would always chicken out. :) I finally gave in this year. I bought one for each of my dc just to try. Ds in 6th is using My Side of the Mountain and dd in 9th is using Swiss Family Robinson.

The reading comprehension questions are great!!!!!!! I have them answer them, and then we discuss the answers together. The personal thinking questions are great for getting them thinking, and they are great for helping them get their thoughts on paper. Vocabulary is covered in a way that they truly do remember the words. They are actually using the words in real life. They are also doing great in spelling the words too. I use the grammar/dictation page by just letting them copy the passages. I do add in Daily Grams each day for daily review of capitalization, punctuation, sentence combining, etc. It has great ideas for projects, pictures to draw, and pen and paper(writing assignments). doesn't feel like busy is learning! I really wish I had found this sooner. I think more people need to know about this curriculum!!!!!!


  • Reviewed on Friday, July 16, 2010
  • Grades Used: 5th Grade
  • Dates used: 2009 School Year
We used TLP for my 5th grade son this last year. We LOVE it. We have tried many other language arts programs and were never able to find something to fit my son's learning style. TLP is the perfect fit for him. We didn't do all of the projects at the beginning of each unit, but there are some good suggestions there. THe spelling/vocabulary was challenging, but not too difficult. The dictation was helpful for grammar practice. We used a seperate grammar program, as there isn't a very thorough teaching included.

My son is a reader, so he often read ahead of the schedule, but it wasn't a problem. Overall we love it, and have already purchased our guides for next year.