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CLE for all subjects....and/or all the way through....


stm4him
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Does anyone use CLE all the way through for one or more subjects?  Does anyone use it for their whole family from K-12 (or even just one child)?  

 

I just wrote an incredibly long post about this and lost it.  So for now I'm just posting my question and leaving it at that because I don't want to rewrite it.

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If you are trying to put together a k-12 worktext curriculum and are already looking at CLE, Alpha-Omega, and ACE, don't forget to also look at Landmark Freedom Baptist.

http://www.landmarklfbc.com

 

If someone has to use just one curriculum, and has a limited education themselves, then I recommend ACE. If mom has at least a mediocre education and a desire to do just a BIT of research, it's sometimes best to piece together a worktext curriculum, using different subjects from more than one publisher.

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We love CLE math and the Reading program. I am considering add in LA and music. I've used the art here and there as a supplement with other art projects. I am not sure how long we will use CLE, but for now I love the cost and simplicity of it and how the light units give just enough encouragement to my kids.

 

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I have a strong education by public education standards and a college degree so it isn't that.  And I know a lot about most curricula out there.  My problem is that as soon as I start piece-mealing it becomes a complicated mess.  I overcomplicate things unnecessarily.  If I force myself to stick to basic rules to keep my eyes from wandering I do better.  For instance, for awhile I made all the curricula come from CC's bookstore or things CC had sold in the past.  This doesn't mean living books, but all the curricula.  And for a little bit when CC did not have a phonics program they were promoting (they now promote SWR), I added Saxon Phonics and language arts.  I actually liked the phonics, but I had four levels I was trying to teach with scripted lessons and it took all day!  My 4th grader at the time never opened his grammar book set because we just ended up using the rest of the Essentials lessons we hadn't gotten to during the schoolyear and my daughter only got partway through hers because of an unexpected month long trip she took to visit grandparents.  So it wasn't that I didn't like it, but once CC started promoting SWR I decided to go back to that and stepped up to teach it to 13 other families once a week.  

 

Now I am really unschooling my 7 year old and under except for the instruction they get at CC on Tuesdays and my SWR class on Fridays.  And my oldest two are independently working which I think is going ok but I feel like I am not fully sure they are getting their math and I know some things are sliding because I don't put in a lot of time with them.  I do have a computer program I found to check their math so that might make me feel better.....

 

I kind of think that going out of the house two days a week for teaching may be zapping all the energy I have that I could be refocusing on my own kiddos, but they love CC so much and it is so motivating to them (and I LOVE the curriculum) that I am a little scared to experiment with changing that until the year is over.  But we have to make decisions in February about our plans for next year so there isn't a ton of time to decide and I don't know how to decide without trying out CLE (or whatever) at home.  I am also concerned that without the accountability of CC we won't be consistent with workbooks either.  But I had so many years of consistency with CC that I think I could be a little more self-disciplined in that area than I used to be.

 

A long time ago we did Christian Liberty Press and I thought that would be the answer (this was before we started CC), but I still had to work with them so much and check their work so much that I didn't feel like I had gained any time.  The oldest was in second or third grade that year and my second one was in K or 1st.  This year I have a 7th, 5th, 2nd, 1st, and preschool.  Next year I will have 8th, 6th, 3rd, 2nd, K, and preschool.  

 

I think this whole process is good for me to think through.  I think that ACE and CLE seem different.  CLE seems to be more thorough and has MUCH better reviews.  AO we did before for a brief time in K and 2nd grade.  I didn't really like the K and we only did math for 2nd grade.  I believe it was mastery based and I like spiral much better......I'll have to look into Landmark.  

 

 

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CLE is very easy. It can be scripted according to the teacher's guide or very independent with you helping in new information. It may be the answer to you not getting much done with your younger chiildren. Just buy the math, reading, and LA and you will be set with CC :)

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We did CC last year as well. We didn't this year due to cost. And me tutoring zapped me the rest of the week. No way 2 days a week. I'm finding that I can do much more by not doing CC than what we did last year. If we decide to do CC next year I will not tutor.

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Never judge a high school curriculum by the K-3. Make sure to relook at curriculum for all the grades.

 

I don't think CLE has any plans to rewrite the high school science. I think it's still just 1980's Alpha-Omega very lightly rewritten. It's very concise, but with all the rigor and expectations of a more meaty curriculum. A STRONG teacher could TEACH those worktexts, but they are impossible for self-education.

 

I personally do not trust CLE, the way I do the other worktext providers. To save previously written material, they will sacrifice the continuity of the entire curriculum. They are choppy at points and don't admit it.

 

Sometimes the K-3 content subjects in a curriculum are really just more reading and writing practice packaged as science, social studies and Bible. They do this to make the younger years easier to fold into the schedule set for older students. It might not be the best way to teach the content subjects, but it get them READING and WRITING, and then they are able to self-teach TRUE content subjects when they CAN read. I actually strongly approve, once I figured out what they were doing.

 

 

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Regarding CLE High School Science--I don't even think THEY recommend that; pretty sure they recommend Apologia for high school.

 

We have used CLE for many things since the beginning--

My oldest has used Math from 100-700, then started Saxon Algebra I this year; very smooth transition

Second is in Math 500, 3rd is in Math 100.

 

Oldest used Reading 200-currently 700

2nd used "Learning to Read" to currently 500; 3rd is using "Learning to Read"

 

Oldest has used Language Arts 500-currently 600 (we used a variety before--Queens, Primary Language Lessons, Rod and Staff)

2nd used LA 400-currently 500 (he used First Language Lessons 1 & 2, and Rod and Staff 3); 3rd is in LA 100

 

Oldest and 2nd have used Bible 300, 400, and Acts/Revelation elective; they will start 500 after Christmas break (I like to keep them together)

 

I have looked at but am not interested in CLE Science and Social Studies.  We have used Sonlight and Apologia in the past; currently using My Father's World and Jay Wile books.

 

I am really happy with CLE for the subjects we use.  I have taught middle- and high school math, and I feel like CLE does a thorough job with great review.  I am NOT interested in their high school math; revised versions only go through Algebra I, I think, and I just haven't read good reviews about the unrevised Geometry and Alg II.  My oldest is in Algebra I at age 12, so he will almost certainly go through Calculus in high school, so I want continuity.  The Language Arts is very logical--my boys like the diagramming and the routine of it.  Our MFW curriculum is really adament about "Charlotte Mason" LA--not doing formal grammar, but I'm more in tune with CLE's method.  They are learning things in the 5th and 6th grade books that I learned in high school--we probably will complete through Grade 8, then drop grammar.

 

Reading is hit or miss--it did a great job teaching phonics (although it taught a lot of picky diacritical markings (like in a dictionary) that weren't 100% necessary, IMO--but the boys didn't realize how picky-weird it was and they did fine).  They loved the stories up through about Grade 4--then it gets a lot harder.  I still appreciate the analysis they are forced to do, but it certainly isn't an easy, fun subject any more, like it used to be.  We will use it through Grade 8.

 

Our state doesn't require testing, but I test at home and the boys have consistantly done very well.  I think the scope and sequence is complete.

 

I love that it is mostly self-teaching, yet not by rote.  Somehow it teaches thinking skills and analysis--i have a lot of respect for the developers of the program.

 

MFW includes Bible, so we really just do CLE Bible "for fun"--the boys like to learn the map work and history, and it has really helped them to learn the whos and wheres more than just reading through Scripture would.

 

Long post--hope it answered some of your questions :)

 

B

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Learning diacritical markings is essential for the students to self-eduate the upper grades, and for students being raised in churches that severely limit their exposure to audio and video resources.

 

I'm sorry--I don't understand that bolded part.  Are you just saying that's why you believe a Mennonite curriculum would include it?

 

Actually, as "down" as I was about the diacritical markings in my above post, I will say that my boys can look up words in the dictionary and actually decipher the pronounciations like champs--so for us, it was weird but kind of a fun code-cracking thing.  So I don't regret learning that in CLE Reading/LA at all.

 

B

 

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I did not read all responses (man, I hate it when people say that, lol), but personally, I would not use more of CLE than the LA and the math..... not because of anything wrong with the other subjects per se, but I think too much of it can really kill the love, iykwim.  If I were looking for simplicity, I would use CLE LA and CLE math and then just read, read, read, (across subjects) and write a little bit.  If I started worrying about "gaps" I would add in something on cd or dvd (Diana Waring, SOTW, Jim Weiss).  Consult homeschool catalogs for "living" history and literature books.  Use the library for interest led science books.  Do a free write once or twice a week (a la Bravewriter).  That would be my "even better than good enough," plan, imho.  :-)    

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I really like the look of the Math, LA, and Reading.  I think I like the Bible because it teaches them to use reference books.  I like the look of the supplements they provide.  I think it is enough without being too much.  I don't really like the look of the science and social studies but I could be underestimating it , kind of like Hunter was saying, in that the extra reading (especially of nonfiction content) could be helpful.  I could always decide not to do those and I also think they could probably just do one at a time and not both together and still finish in a year.  And they offer Apologia starting in 8th grade I think, so we would likely just go with that.  

 

The science and social studies definitely wouldn't be their only science and history.  That's why I said I would provide lots of reading material in the evenings in all subjects because we already have a pretty amazing home library.  I don't know why I would feel the need to have CLE science and social studies except to "complete the package".  I can't believe they wouldn't rewrite the books that aren't Sunrise version.  My oldest is in 7th grade and likely wouldn't test into their 7th grade material so I am hoping there would be enough time before she needed Geometry for them to have rewritten it by then.  

 

My oldest actually recognizes that there are some gaps in her skill set (she has always struggled with school) and thinks that the diagnostic tests and placing her in the right books for a little while might bring her up to grade level faster.  And she is actually asking to do social studies for some reason....

 

 

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The stricter the Plain church, the stricter the rules about audio and video. It is essential that Plain children be able to read the respellings in a dictionary, and in the upper grade worktexts. For Amish children, English isn't even their first language, and their access to hearing even basic spoken English is limited; the dictionary is a critical resource.

 

In vintage texts, it was standard for students to learn the respelling system of the Webster dictionary. Take a look at the McGuffy Primer.

https://archive.org/details/mcguffeyseclecti00mcgu

 

McGuffey's Readers are used by the strictest Plain churches, and Pathway/CGE by the more moderate Amish. Rod and Staff is used by the ultra-conservative Mennonites, but I think most old order Mennonites still use McGuffey's. CLE is a moderately conservative Mennonite publisher; I think they sometimes struggle to figure out who they are and what they want to accomplish. I just find them all over the place, not just in their curriculum, but in all their books. Rod and Staff are a steadier group with a clearer mission statement and sense of who they are.

 

All Plain schools are big on teaching respellings. It's currently necessary and part of their educational history.

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I liked the 1980's lightly rewritten upper grade CLE Social Studies worktexts, but avoided the middle grade textbook mess, like the plague. The old 7th grade CLE Social Studies was a great overview of the social sciences that often get skipped until college. The current Alpha-Omega 7th grade is still similar.

 

I remember my neighbor's 7th grade PACES were all on careers.

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Grades 1-4 and 6 seem to be in Sunrise Edition, but not grade 5.  That is a little weird.  And the science is only Sunrise Edition for grades 1 and 2 so far.  So I may put my younger ones in them for extra reading practice.  The lessons are super short anyway and there are only 5 LU each for those anyway.  But I may not use them for my 5th and 7th graders since they have not been redone.  Or I may just order one LU of each for them and see how they are.  There are no samples for the ones that are not in Sunrise Edition, so I have no idea what they look like.  

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Grades 1-4 and 6 seem to be in Sunrise Edition, but not grade 5.  That is a little weird.  And the science is only Sunrise Edition for grades 1 and 2 so far.  So I may put my younger ones in them for extra reading practice.  The lessons are super short anyway and there are only 5 LU each for those anyway.  But I may not use them for my 5th and 7th graders since they have not been redone.  Or I may just order one LU of each for them and see how they are.  There are no samples for the ones that are not in Sunrise Edition, so I have no idea what they look like.  

 

CLE year 5 science is based on an old CLE textbook. They mucked up the old Alpha-Omega scope and sequence just to retain that one book. I thought CLE had gotten farther than just updating grades 1 and 2 for science. I do not recommend using CLE science. Look at Alpha-Omega. I think Alpha-Omega comes with videos of the experiments. Unless Alpha-Omega has been majorly updated, it's going to be similar to CLE science, but in color, with videos, and without that 5th grade textbooks just thrown in there messing up the entire scope and sequence.

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Here is the PACES 10 grade Physical Science.

http://www.christianbook.com/grade-10-physical-science-paces-1120/pd/652477

 

This is just me personally, if I was using mostly CLE, I would probably use AO Science through 10th, and then ACE Physical Science for 11th and 12, or use it for just 11th, and then finish up with one of the Landmark sciences for 12th. I personally would not try and do full chemistry and physics with worktexts.

 

Landmark 12

http://www.christianbook.com/landmarks-freedom-science-s160-scientific-creationism/pd/31859?event=

 

Landmark 11

https://landmarklfbc.com/pdf/S155.pdf

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I did look at AO science and social studies (or they call it history and geography) last night.  The only thing that is bothering me is the color and they seem more expensive, but I haven't verified that.  The lessons seemed longer too but that could also be wrong.  I'm still thinking about it.  Maybe I just want Saxon Math and Grammar and Writing in 3rd/4th and up with SWR before that and SAT prep for high school.  Maybe I just want AWANA and whatever else extensions of our church activities for Bible.  Either way I know I like Hey Andrew and Latin's Not So Tough.  And everything else can be books and magazines.  

 

Sometimes I look at CLE/ACE/AO and I think it is so fill in the blankish and circle this, which is the opposite of narration.  But then I think that it teaches them some really great study skills too.  Will it teach study skills well enough that they can apply it to anything without the handholding?  

 

I think I'd like to hear from moms like Meandtheboys and Jennifer Bogart who have used it for years.  I know you both like the curriculum for its ease of use and thoroughness, but when you step back from that are you confident in their education?  Are you confident that they are retaining the information and learning study skills and have a love of learning?  

 

Hunter your input is helpful too.  It helps me to know that if I use AO I'm not really using something different in terms of content with Social Studies and Science.  Thank you for your detailed insight.

 

I woke up this morning and didn't have the strength to sit up so I am propped on pillows right now and because my husband is showing property most of the day the kids are watching a little TV and then will eat and go out to play for hours today.  My dad is showing up from out of town for a few hours and I (at least at the moment until this pain and weakness wears off) have nothing to offer.  My oldest is 13 so she is a big help, but these are the moments that make me think I need to put them in school.  But other times I think that is the last thing any of them would want and they are happy here.  They are good kids who enjoy learning and know so much for their ages.  And they love each other so much.  When I think about that, I know I haven't failed and whatever I haven't given them these last few months has not erased all the years I have poured into their lives.  I don't want to give up on classical education, but I also need to be realistic.  There is a reason that there are few women with families as large as mine carrying out classical education.  I think without my health issues maybe I could have been one of them, and maybe I'll get my health back in a year and see it differently again, but right now I care more about them getting the skills I believe are important in somehow, even if the methods are not purely classical.  

 

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I am not familiar with CC, so I'm not sure exactly what subjects are covered in that program. I love CLE LA, reading, and math, but I don't use CLE for science or history. I love BJU for those subjects. This is the first year that my core subjects fall into these two publishers, and I finally feel that I am really giving ds the education he needs. I am adding in a book club, some IEW writing, and MP poetry, but those are not on a weekly basis. 

 

 

 

 

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Sometimes I look at CLE/ACE/AO and I think it is so fill in the blankish and circle this, which is the opposite of narration.  But then I think that it teaches them some really great study skills too.  Will it teach study skills well enough that they can apply it to anything without the handholding?  

 

I think I'd like to hear from moms like Meandtheboys and Jennifer Bogart who have used it for years.  I know you both like the curriculum for its ease of use and thoroughness, but when you step back from that are you confident in their education?  Are you confident that they are retaining the information and learning study skills and have a love of learning?  

 

 

Personally, I wouldn't use their Science and Social Studies--my reasoning years ago was that we loved Sonlight (and now My Father's World) for those, plus I didn't want a pile of workbooks every day.

 

Years later, reading info like posted above, it reinforces that I don't want to use Science and Social Studies--because they are NOT the ones that CLE has worked hard to revise.  Their Math program is stellar, IMO.  Self-teaching, tiny bites, but thorough.  Even my dyslexic ADD son, who has to work much harder, has found his success in CLE.  We repeated an entire year a few years ago, and I questioned our choice--but we reviewed, repeated, he MATURED--and is doing well now, even though he has to work harder.  I taught math for 2 1/2 years, middle and high school, and while CLE may not teach some of the highly-touted deep thinking skills that everyone loves Singapore and some others for, it is a well thought out, solid program, and super easy to use.  (As I said before, I won't be using it for high school, but Saxon with the DIVE DVDs is parallel and a good transition).

 

The REading program is absolutely NOT fill-in-the-blank circling.  It was super easy up through 3rd grade, but it still worked on reading comprehension, inferences, analysis, analogies--lots of good stuff.  And in 4th grade, it started getting quite difficult! but in a way that I think is beneficial.  We use My Father's World, and I believe in narration-but my boys are not good narrators.  We discuss all of the books we read in MFW but it's like pulling teeth to get them to go beyond the surface, but CLE Reading FORCES them to come up with those harder analyses and really break apart the stories that they have read.

 

And LA is very traditional, heavy into diagramming.

 

I think CLE has focused their efforts into updating Math, REading and LA, and those are their "star programs".  I just don't think they are as hot and heavy about revising Science and Social Studies.

 

Yes, I think CLE has really helped my boys to become better at analyzing what they read, breaking apart things they are studying, researching, writing, problem solving--  I will say, after they finish their CLE lessons, *I* grade it and they have to correct their work and we go over any problem areas.  I think if you were to set them loose with their own answer key and make it 100% independent, you might not see as much true learning.  I do know of people who do that--they assume their child is correcting and learning things missed, and the child is really just marking and moving on.  That seems disasterous to me--

 

That said--my sister uses all CLE--math, bible, reading, la, science, social studies--with her 4th and 6th graders, and it works well for them.  They like to just sit down with their "pile" and work through it and be done.  They also read Sonlight Readers--she orders the reader package and they work through it all year.  So it's not awful to use Science and Social Studies--I'm sure it covers things well enough; it just seems like it might get dull to do that many workbooks, and we prefer Science and History to be more living subjects.

 

JMO

 

B

 

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stm4him, American School is another option for your older children.

https://www.americanschoolofcorr.com

 

The price has gone up since I used it with my older son, and is now out of reach for lower income families, but it is still an affordable option for middle income families.

 

The average 13 year old can start the GENERAL course. My recommendation is to start the GENERAL course at 13 and then add in college prep courses as ELECTIVES, giving you wiggle room to pull out and pick something easier, if need be. 

 

When asked about proof of an 8th grade education, just write "N/A homeschooled".

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I would love for science and social studies/history and geography to not be workbookish, and I do have a wonderful home library of books, but I think having their book to work with ensures that they are covering certain material that they might not choose to read otherwise.  Also, I know that I will not likely carry out something that is group learning oriented because I have such a large group and right now that just zaps my energy quickly.  But I would love to sit around and enjoy books together in the evening however naturally that plays out (someone wants me to read to them, someone wants me to read something they just read, etc.) without the pressure that I need to make sure they read certain things.  I could probably use something like Beautiful Feet, but that wouldn't cover science.  It is good to know your sister is using CLE science and it is working for them even though the science is not revised.  My idea is like hers.....let them do the short workbook lessons and then supplement with a good stack of books.

 

 

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I would have no problem with the old CLE social studies and science, if they just hadn't mucked up the AO scope and sequence to retain those few middle school textbooks. For non-resitant and Mennonite families, they might want to stick with the science and social studies as it doesn't contradict their faith, but for mainstream Christians that like the CLE 3R's, I'd recommend another publisher.

 

CLE 3R's isn't typical worktext, so different families are going to want to choose either textbooks or worktexts, depending on their educational beliefs. Personally, I have seen great results for kids that used worktexts supplemented by reading lots of good books.

 

 

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Why do a lot of people jump ship in HS even for the subjects they did like in 1-8?  I know that Geometry and up are not revised, but how is the Alg 1?  If the others were revised would people use them?  

 

Because I would have to jump ship in math at SOME point; my intention was to go from CLE 700 to Saxon prealgebra, so we could use one program consistantly in high school (and have prealgebra to ease into it).  But my son tested from CLE 700 into Algebra.

 

I didn't want to switch high school math curriculums halfway through, and I knew I couldn't use CLE through Calculus.

 

B

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Why do a lot of people jump ship in HS even for the subjects they did like in 1-8?  I know that Geometry and up are not revised, but how is the Alg 1?  If the others were revised would people use them?  

 

We used the Algebra 1 and really liked it. If they had Geometry and/or Algebra 2 we would have used them. 

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Can anyone share about when it becomes independent? I am hearing third grade. I don't mean that I can't help as needed, but would like them to do most of it on their own.

 

My oldest was independent in 3rd grade.  By that point, it is written to the student and could be done independently.  My 2nd started to be mostly independent in 3rd and moreso in 4th, but for him, that meant me sitting with him and having him read the new material/directions aloud and me making sure he knew what all of the review was asking for--5 or 10 minutes of my time each subject, then 2o min of independent work (and of course, my grading and his correcting).  Now in 5th grade, he occasionally will come to me with math and say he didn't understand the new and we'll go over it together, but it is written to be done independently.

 

B

 

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We used the math and reading for 2nd - 8th, but switched to Saxon at Algebra 1/2.  I wanted a smooth transition to one publisher, and we got that.  My oldest will finish Saxon Advanced Math in March or so, and then we'll do a little Saxon Calculus and graduate him.

 

My younger one used the social studies for 4th grade, and we didn't like it at all.  It was not very engaging, and there was a lot that was outdated.  We switched to BJUP, and then she did two years of the Veritas Press self-paced history in a year.

 

She also used the Science 5-7, and we actually enjoyed it although we went to other things after that.  The science looks very plain, but the content and experiments were good.

 

We used CLE because it was very reasonably priced and indeed could be done independently.  After that I had other options for them, and we moved on.

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Took me awhile to come over, but here I am!

 

This is only our 3rd year with CLE, but because I have several children, we've covered most of CLE from PK-6 in Math, Bible, Reading, and LA with a few exceptions here and there :).

 

Like a PP stated, if you just did CLE Math and LA and read, you'd be doing well. The curriculum is really rock solid. It is a HUGE blessing to have a seamless curriculum instead of piecing so many things together, trying to add reinforcements, full gaps etc.

 

Now, that being said, we've had a tougher year this year. I'm pregnant with twins (zzzzz+stress), and CLE LA 600s are tough. I finally determined to press through and I'm waiting for MY copy of the course to come. I have very little in the way I formal grammar/diagramming knowledge myself.

 

One of the major reasons I'm pressing through this tough spot (apparently if you make it through 6, 7 isn't too bad), is that I want my oldest to use CLE for high school as well. I want my younger children to go through CLE for LA, so I need to get this sorted :).

 

We use ACE for social and science. I don't really think these are incredibly vital in the early ears, I don't assign them at all until children are reading independently, but I know the basics are getting covered at least.

 

My children DO read voraciously on their own. Sometimes they write for fun, my oldest often does her own research projects in what would be considered social studies and science topic areas, and has taught herself so many life skills (she loves baking and is incredibly crafty and creative). My second (8) is pretty ADHD and still spends plenty of time playing, but she also devours large novels.

 

Do they love their workbooks? Hmmm, I wouldn't say that they do :). Some more than others - my 3rd child is often helping herself to her math and LTR workbooks as best she can. BUT they get their academics covered, which makes mommy happy, and they are learning skills they apply in their free time (like those for fun research reports).

 

We also plan on switching math after 700 to Saxon, simply because we'd like all our higher level maths from the same provider. We do plan I stay with CLE English/Lit and plan to tackle the CLE Homeschool Plus Diploma when we get there - they allow some substitutions.

 

I'm trying to address a few different posts in this thread in one go, so if I've missed anything, or if there are more specific questions, let me know!

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Oh, independence. Right - my 6th grader is almost totally independent, my 3rd grader also. 2nd, 4th, 5th we're much the same. Once they can read, it's off to the races!

 

My 1st grader isn't reading everything yet, so she needs the lesson taught to her and then does much of the work on her own. First grade is always a tougher year for me since it's more parent intensive. I do need to meet with the children daily to do flashcards with them and speed drills (or they don't get done) and to review anything they're struggling with.

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How did you feel about the spelling?  Jennifer switched to Rod and Staff for spelling since it is organized phonetically.  

 

We used other spelling until we switched to CLE LA last year (in 4th and 5th grade) and it is interesting that CLE divides more by "categories".  For us, not an issue--my oldest is a natural speller and he likes the words. My 2nd is a terrible speller, and even doing it phonetically with Rod and Staff and another program we used from Barnes and Noble, he was STILL a terrible speller, lol (and we tried Spelling Power too, that was a DISASTER).

 

He is doing as well in CLE spelling as with any other program.

 

B

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Jennifer,

 

Thanks so much for your thorough responses.  I found my Teri Maxwell book (Managers of Their Schools) and am reading through some of the benefits of Christian textbooks and later I will read some details of how she pulls it off and organizes her meetings with her kiddos.  I am interested in how you all structure your school time.  We have been so lax lately that I am a little lost as to how to pull this off.  The last time I used a traditional approach I only had two children (well, maybe my third was 4) to homeschool so the juggling wasn't too bad.  But now I have 5 children that are at least preschool age and I have another turning 4 in May so I am sure she will want to be at the table too.  What I was doing before was a form of one room schoolhouse at the table where everyone would work independently and I would start with the youngest and move up and we would all do the same subject.  As each child was done with work and done working with me on that subject they would get down and go play and I would move on to the next child.  As each subject was finished we would clean up the table and take a break and then start the next subject.  But that all took a lot of energy that became harder and harder to come by, especially after I became pregnant.

 

Traditional phonics bothers me because I am so used to Spell to Write and Read and they are hard on every other kind of phonics, but I want to use LTR if we do CLE so that they can do the markings.  

 

I am hoping that the Math will be revised by the time my oldest gets to that level of math and I am hoping that we can stick with CLE, but I will have to see when we get there.  

 

Another thing I have been thinking about is how I had a separate curriculum (we did it during group learning time) for character and we were memorizing character traits and such and while I really liked it, I'm not sure I saw it translate into action much.  Even though I find stories like the ones in the readers CLE sells to be somewhat boring and predictable compared to reading classic literature, I think they give a consistent example of what being a person of character looks like and I am thinking that that will transfer more in their actions than what we were doing.  

 

I love that CLE has little signals for them in their work about when to get a grown up and when it is ok if they move on, etc.  That is SO smart!!  

 

I find that the color in ACE and AO bother me, but if CLE really doesn't work for us in social studies and science content areas then I will switch to something else for those subjects I guess.  But I really don't see anything from the other traditional curricula that I like as much as CLE in their methods for LA and Math.

 

I'm trying to understand why CLE math is superior to Saxon in the younger years, not just because it is independent, but for other reasons.  I'm getting a lot of comments of that nature, which is exciting, but I'm not really sure what the reasons are.  Can anyone explain that?  

 

It is good to know that 2nd graders can be mostly independent.  With Saxon, independence didn't really come until 4th grade and since I have so many children under that age I sometimes had multiple scripted lessons to deal with every day in both phonics and math and it was killing me this summer even though I liked what they were learning.  Also, if I was having a bad day they couldn't do the work whereas I think all but my 1st grader can move on in at least some subjects if I'm not feeling well or something.  That is really exciting.

 

It is so scary to switch from classical to traditional because I have been in love with classical for years and I am scared I will regret it and go back.  But I think that if it works it will bring a lot of peace to our family and that I may actually find it to be more effective than the methods I've been using and I can always have them listen to the memory work cds or practice on the ipad.  

 

I am really happy to hear that your children write book reports using skills they've learned with CLE and that they still love to learn on their own when their workbook work is done.  

 

Ok, gotta go for now....sick 1 year old.....

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CLE is great for maths. I love it.

 

CLE LA is wonderful until year 6, imo.... Then it becomes too tedious.

 

CLE Reading is good, but it ended up not getting done.

 

CLE Social Studies ( only have Grade 3) is so advanced! The text book is more like for year 4-6, imo.

 

Wouldn't touch the science. A good alternative would be Truth in Science.

 

ETA:

That 'Truth in Science' isn't a good option either.......I was going to order it, but have been talked out of it.

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I don't have a lot to add here, as we've only used 1-2 years of various CLE curriculum, but I just wanted to say a word about the LTR program.

 

I love all things CLE (we are slowly returning to it after trying out some 'new and shiny' things (which didn't work, lol...math in focus was such an epic fail...). The trick with their reading is not to start too early. I tried starting my son on LTR when he was 4.5, and it was just too much. For a willing student, you could probably get away with using it, doing half a lesson a day.

 

Now, he's 5.5, and we just pulled it back out, starting at long vowels (106), and he's just in love with it. I'm so glad I tried again, because it is a great program. But it's meant to be used in 1st grade, with 6-year-olds, and not 4.5's, lol. We're getting the hang of it.

 

As soon as my order comes in, we will be doing (2nd grader) Math 2, LA 2, and Reading 2. My K'er is working through LTR, and he loves, loves, loves his Math (102). I really can't see myself switching to anything else. We tried the piece-it-together, new-and-shiny, and CLE is just better. And simpler. And still classically rigorous (in the skill areas). The only thing I will supplement out I the writing, where I will still use Writing With Ease/Skill.

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Teri's book is great, even though we use almost 100% different curriculum choices! I have a very simple teacher planner (the one CLE sells), I use one row per child and 1 column per day. I use it to keep track of what we need to do/review/cover during meeting time. I do most of that once a week when I look ahead, but add to it/cross off daily as we go. I do meetings with older children first to get them going, they start work without me. Each child has their own list of what needs to be done.

 

We do EVERY subject they'll need help with at meeting time. They can always ask me if they run into snags, but that's rare. My 1st grader plays until I'm ready for her, since she needs me for so much more. My children really prefer being able to keep going on their own as opposed to having to wait for me.

 

You still need to hold the reins, no fooling. The two weeks after I found we were having twins, I had my children keep going on their own. It wasn't TOO bad, but my 8-yo skipped chunks of her LA. There's still oversight and mental energy involved, no doubt. (As much as I sometimes wish there wasn't...zzzzzz.)

 

LTR does have more sight words than the programs we've used previously, but it's worked well. It does seamlessly transition into the early grades of LA, and gets children reading quickly. We do break it into two sessions most days.

 

We've never used Saxon math, so I can't really say, but multiple scripted lessons for multiple children would KILL me! I just wouldn't be able to get them done.

 

For reading, it's my 3rd graders FAVORITE subject. She reads voraciously on her own, but I'm happy for her to be getting moral stories in, since I have never been able to fly a separate character program. :)

 

For us, it really came down to...like Hunter always says...a curriculum that gets DONE is better than one that doesn't - even if it's imperfect. She was a real inspiration to me to keep it real during our switch making time, it does take some courage :).

 

Thankfully CLE is a VERY good curriculum in any case! And it gets done, we've never been more productive in our homeschool than we have been since switching. Another large family mom near us uses a lot of CLE as well (expecting her 8th shortly). It's definitely more doable than many other, idealistic approaches, particularly for large families that add babies on a regular basis. I have been swamped by my own idealism/perfectionism SO many times :(.

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Does the religious perspective in the reading detract at all from the lessons the LightUnit is teaching?

 

I noticed flipping through one a lot of missionary stories. One at the end of 100 talked about little girls being sold as slaves in India. Now that would upset my kids a great deal. 

 

In LA 700, there is a novel assigned--something about a child being abandoned/separated from his family during WW2? Basically, how upsetting are the stories? This was a huge factor in our not using BJU Reading. {And their point blank telling kids not to read anything that wasn't written by a Christian author or any of the classics.}

 

Is there anything else like CLE REading but leaves out the religious stories?

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For the early years, we used CLE's recommended sequence with my 3rd daughter. We started at 4.5 with the series of 4 workbooks for 3-4 year olds, then did their recommended K sequence at around 5 a R&S K books and CLE's KII. KII was better than the R&S, but we were happy with the results and it was easy to do (very concise - 20-30 minutes daily). Then we moved into CLEs 1st grade materials - we aren't rushing, and it's all working out great. I'm very happy - we've done little formal school until 6 in the past or our two oldest but I'm happier with this approach. Formal PK and K for everyone at our house from here on out :).

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