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mommymilkies
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I've used CLE for math and LA for 2nd and 3rd grade. I didn't really want anything "preachy" either, and CLE doesn't bother me - in fact, I think it's a great, thorough program. There are some scriptures quoted and used in both (more in LA than in Math) but I don't feel that it's teaching doctrine at all.

 

Personally, I haven't tried FLL but for us, CLE is enough without going too overboard. Maybe someone else can answer that who is familiar with FLL.

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We're using CLE LA 100 for the first time. I think, maybe because it's Mennonite, it has a different feel than stuff you'd see out of fundamentalist Christian publishing houses.

 

It's more like reading something from a different culture, than proselytizing. There are a few references to God which are not problematic for us. And there are regularly sentences relating to obedience. "I like to obey my father." kind of thing, which is a little weird for my kids (and maybe it's just that we don't use the word 'obey'... we say 'follow directions' or 'be respectful/kind/etc...')

 

I love how easy it is to implement. The only thing I don't care for (and this is from a linguistics perspective) is that they have exercises in the books that children with normal acquisition wouldn't have trouble with. Like on pronouns... Plenty of kids do have trouble with knowing whether to use an accusative or nominative pronoun as the subject -- especially with a conjunction -- like "David and me/David and I went to the park." which my kids could definitely use -- but we don't have that. Instead, my daughter has done exercise after exercise on whether it is "I and David went to the park." or "David and I went to the park.", which wouldn't be a typical issue for native English speaking kids. Also, I'd much prefer if the diacritic marks matched with the IPA, instead of CLE creating their own. What use is it that my daughter has learned that a voiced /th/ has a line under it and an unvoiced /th/ doesn't? At least if she was going to learn the difference (which again, isn't something that really is essential at this age), why not have her learn it the way a dictionary will show -- /ð/ or /θ/ ?

 

Still, I like that mechanics and spelling and handwriting and phonics and grammar are all in one. So, for right now, we'll be continuing.

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We are a secular, non-religious family. I use CLE Math for all 3 of my boys. I LOVE the math!! There is some scripture quoted on some of the pages, which is easy to just skip over. Some of the story problems are of a religious nature.

 

For example, in 503, one word problem is: Pastor Mark hired Alex with his cart to haul Bibles that were donated to the Kenyan churches by Christians in the United States. One box of Bibles weighs 16.2 kg. Another box weighs 20.3 kg. The third box weighs 17.5 kg. How heavy is the precious cargo Alex's cart is carrying?

 

Other word problems refer to tithing or tracts. None of these bother me and sometimes even lead to great discussions. However, in the 600 level, there were some word problems (we've only come across 1 or 2 of these so far) that wanted you to look things up in the Bible. Those ones I just crossed out and didn't have DS do. Overall, I feel it's such a great program (and one of the only ones that have worked for my kids) that I don't let those bother me. I have used half of Math 200, just started using 300, all of 400, halfway through 500, and halfway through 600.

 

We started using LA 200 and 400 last year. Being LA, it had a lot more religious references in it. A combination of that and the fact that we weren't using half the program (the spelling, the writing, or the penmanship) led us to drop it before we finished it. It seemed like a solid program though.

 

I am using LTR with my kindergartner and so far it seems to be going well. There are some religious references, but I either skip them or just go with it. I do want my kids exposed to the Bible stories. For the "F" story, it talked about God creating fish and fowl on the fifth day. I just read it and if the kids had questions, (all the boys stop what they are doing when I read to DD, lol) they ask and I answer.

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We're using CLE Language Arts 500, and I think it would be fine for a secular family. There are some tasks that, for example, will ask the child to find the prepositions in a certain scripture. So you can either view the scripture as another source of literature, or you can skip those kinds of things entirely, without much impact on what you're doing.

 

The Reading program, has a LOT more religion in it. I haven't used math (yet).

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I think the CLE math isn't very preachy at all; we've been pleasantly surprised. We've used years 1&2, and have found the LA more preachy than the math. It say things like, "God wants us to have neat penmanship." Or, the sentence you would be working with would be something like, "Add capitals to this sentence, 'jesus is the son of god'. I wouldn't call the LA unbearably preachy, but a little more than the math, IMHO.

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