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Allison TX

Why is LLATL disliked by so many?

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Is it because it's light?  Any other reasons?  It sounds so tempting to have all LA components covered in one book, but I keep reading all these awful reviews of it.

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No, it's not because it's light.  It's because so many others do it better.  LLATL schedules 34(?) weeks, right?  But there are supposed lit studies that are nothing more than lists of questions and really poorly planned activities that you're supposed to "throw in", since they obviously aren't scheduled.  The literature they do schedule is taken in bites with no real cohesiveness connecting one week's piece to the next.  You get a paragraph to play with, but it doesn't build skills in an easy to see manner.

 

You want light, well thought out planned weeks?  Try Writing Tales, or WWE/Skill. You want language arts integrating literature studies?  Moving Beyond The Page does it better.  LLATL fails on both counts when compared to the rest of what is out there.

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To add to all of the above, it is also dated. Some updates would go a long way to addressing some of my own issues with the program.

 

Overall, I found it to be poorly done.

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Thank you, both.

 

That does help.  I just really want something all in one.  I guess I 'll keep looking.

 

We did use Writing Tales 1 and 2  a while back and enjoyed it.  Something like that would be perfect, but I need it for 7th and 8th.

 

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There are very few all in one programs that are solid AND meet the needs of a particular student.

 

We are using EIW for grammar and writing, AAS for spelling, and I come up with our own literature studies.

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Thanks, Sweetpea3829.  We tried EIW for 9th grade and it didn't go over well.  I'll check out the lower levels. I do like that it includes grammar.

 

Do you think that LLATL is disorganized and dated in the upper levels as well?  I'm wondering if most people who don't care for it try the lower levels and then move on to something else.  I'm finding very few reviews of the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade books.

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I do wish someone would go further with LLATL.  It is a great idea, really.

 

Two things have kind of caught my eye that go down a similar trail are:

 

Write From.......History by Kimberly Garcia.

 

and

 

Spelling Wisdom coupled with Using Language Well both from www.simplycharlottemason.com

 

Neither are exactly the same thing as LLATL, of course, but appeal to me.  In fact, I am using the Write From.....books right now with a couple of my children.

 

I am using LLATL Yellow with my 9 year old, btw.  It is fine for him.  I am not expecting huge doses of grammar or anything for him.  It gives us something to do and may be something I will continue (with modification) with him.

Edited by Colleen OH

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Thanks, Sweetpea3829.  We tried EIW for 9th grade and it didn't go over well.  I'll check out the lower levels. I do like that it includes grammar.

 

Do you think that LLATL is disorganized and dated in the upper levels as well?  I'm wondering if most people who don't care for it try the lower levels and then move on to something else.  I'm finding very few reviews of the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade books.

 

We did Tan.  Definitely did not impress me.

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There are very few all in one programs that are solid AND meet the needs of a particular student.

 

This is what I found with all of the all-in-one programs we tried. When I looked at LLATL lower levels, I knew it wouldn't work well for my kids for this reason. We did try out LLATL Gold British Lit in high school, and I was underwhelmed then too. The questions mainly focused on comprehension and really didn't give us the kind of direction I was hoping for with regard to literature analysis. There was some, but I've actually enjoyed things like the free Glencoe Lit guides more (and I was hoping for something more than what they do when I tried LLATL). I thought the opening poetry unit was well done, but it spent so much time on poetry throughout the year--a turn-off for my non-poetry-lover. 

 

When my kids were younger, I found it much more appropriate to use separate programs but set priorities and time limits to make it just as doable as an AIO. For example, you don't have to do writing AND grammar every day, week, month, semester...or even year. You can choose to do things in units (which is a lot of what AIO's do too--they don't do every single component of Language Arts daily.). If your student has issues with spelling, you can focus on a program that will build at their level without sacrificing the other components, and so on. 

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We were using LLATL for the first 2 levels and I thought we were doing well with it, but half way through the second level I found myself in tears as there was VERY little spelling, my son could barely write, and reading was only so so. His comprehension wasn't great either. So I got really sad realizing I had wasted over a year and my son learned very little. :( Considering I thought he was doing well with the program, that tells you a lot about the program.

 

I don't mind dated programs, as long as they teach well. This didn't do that. Now I will be fair and say that I may have started this too early for him. My older son was much like my younger son, and REALLY had a thirst for learning at an early age. So I started him doing "preschool" at 3.5 years old, and Kindergarden at about 4.25 years old. So he was about 5 when we started LLATL so maybe he was too young for some of the program? Not sure, that is just a guess on my part. However the programs that we have went to, I could see using with my younger child at an early age so it probably is just the program. 

 

I guess the old adage is correct. You get what you pay for (for the most part) - with curriculum. This didn't cost as much as all the components individually separately, but he didn't learn much either. 

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I've seen a lot of people drop LLATL to spend more time and money accomplishing less.

 

Is it awesome? No!

 

Is it awful? No!

 

I've only used yellow through highschool, not the red and blue levels. It got done. Students were not overwhelmed and made consistent progress.

 

It can be taught with just the teacher manuals, and they are cheap used. It's a very affordable and doable curriculum for a large family without a lot of cash.

 

The student pages can be bought in pdf from the author if mom wants the convenience of them and wants to print them several times.

 

The curriculum is for all grades, and it is finished. It is solidly good enough.

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Hunter, I was hoping you would chime in, because I know you have a lot of experience with LLATL and are generally positive towards it.

 

It was a huge flop for us and I loathe that we stuck it out for three levels, lol! Part of my problem with it is that it didn't match my kids. The Blue (1st grade) level had parts that are Kindergarten level. But the Red (2nd grade) level was a bit TOO advanced for my current first graders.

 

But for my oldest two, we started Red when they were 2nd grade and it was well beneath them. And that's saying something because that includes my oldest kiddo who, globally, struggles with school. Yellow continued to be well below them.

 

With my youngest two, believe it or not, but I'm thinking of pulling out Red for their summer school. Mostly because we have it, I don't want to buy something else, and it's just summer school.

 

But I'm already feeling stabby, just thinking about pulling it back off my shelf, lol.

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The strength of LLATL is in the whole. If a family stuck with it, often they would be better off than continuous hopping.

 

We tend to overcomplicate things and throw the baby out with the bathwater.

 

LLATL is like a kitchen garden with weeds. It is not a giant farm. It is not weedless. But it produces adequate herbs and vegetables for the table. It feeds the family.

 

It is oldschool. Is is not as dated as some whippersnappers think, but it is certainly not trendy. It isn't meant to prepare gifted students for direct entry into an elite school; it was designed for normal kids, headed to the reality of where the majority ends out.

 

It is like bologna sandwiches and apples for lunch every day. If mom won't/can't consistently plan a new gourmet super healthy menu for each day, bologna and apples is better than no lunch or continuous trying of new stuff that the kids won't/can't eat. There are a thousand "better" things you can serve your kids for lunch. But will you, and will they eat it? And what else could you be doing if you were not spending all that time and money on lunch.

 

For decades some families have settled into LLATL with a sigh of relief and call it good enough. It is bologna and apples day after day. But if you have gone hungry enough times, bologna and apples seems just fine day after day.

 

I eat a lot of bologna and apples, lately. :lol: One of my mom's biggest complaints about her childhood is bologna and apples. My mom used to say I am a lot like my grandmother, and she did NOT mean it as a compliment! Grandma was tired from the time she was a preschooler and so was I. Reality bites, but we chose to admit it and deal with it. And when we get tired we fall back to daily bologna and apples.

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We actually really enjoyed blue through yellow then moved to MCT.

 

I did supplement, and I haven't hit highschool yet. I have tan and Gold I think on my shelves the old editions which I've heard are better due to less busy work, but I haven't used them. I'm kind of a pick and choose homeschooler though, so I'm happy to use it as a sort of independent spiral review, yellow especially. I did like blue though, except the first section (and I still supplemented).

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 Thanks everyone.

 

Hunter, this is why LLATL appeals to me; because I think it will get done consistently.  However, I also don't want to settle for less because I'm tired and don't want to spend two hours on English everyday. :laugh:

 

 

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 Thanks everyone.

 

Hunter, this is why LLATL appeals to me; because I think it will get done consistently.  However, I also don't want to settle for less because I'm tired and don't want to spend two hours on English everyday. :laugh:

 

 

You definitely do NOT have to spend two hours on English/Language Arts every day while using LLATL.  Our lessons were generally pretty short.  We did cut out a lot of the busy work, particularly in the Blue and Red levels (that busywork drops off a bit in the Yellow level).  

 

It's definitely a good "get it done" program.  It's pretty easy to plan...pretty much open and go.  

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Do you think that LLATL is disorganized and dated in the upper levels as well? I'm wondering if most people who don't care for it try the lower levels and then move on to something else. I'm finding very few reviews of the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade books.

It does seem like most people who give bad reviews of LLATL have only used the lower levels, blue and red. The few good reviews I have found are from those who have used the upper levels, often not having used the first two levels. The general feeling I get from it is, if you stick with it, it does eventually cover everything and does produce good writers. It is not advanced or rigorous though, so I'm not surprised it doesn't get much love here. It's more laid back, learn by example, more they'll write well because they have a feel for good writing and not because they've been explicitly taught every detail of good writing.

 

All this is my hope anyway. Lol. I'm using LLATL orange this year with my oldest. (I need to update my signature) This is our first year with it. We are enjoying it so far, but we are still newbies with it so take my opinions with a grain of salt. My son likes the variety of the lessons. I like not having to coordinate, schedule and organize multiple LA pieces (just like the Singapore book shuffle wore me out, so did juggling all the LA components). Doing LLATL and getting it done every day is going to be better in the long run than my collecting 'better' programs but not using them regularly. I think it fits well with my style. And my experiences of teaching my kids. When they've hit a plateau or a stumbling block, I've usually just dropped the matter, taken a summer break, come back three months later and voila! they do the thing easily. I know that method doesn't work for all, my closest homeschooling friend has a completely different philosophy and drills, drills, drills on the trouble spot till they get it. I know LLATL wouldn't work for her, because there's no clear cut linear progression of skills. The 'natural' method is too disorganized for some.

Edited by vaquitita
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We only used red, and that for less than two months. It felt like a waste of time for my particular dc, because most of it was too easy for him, yet he wasn't ready for the next level (mostly because of spelling, and which he needed the level in red). So for us, having it all bundled meant my child couldn't work at the level he needed for each skill. We reached a point where we were skipping most of every lesson. Certainly all the cut and paste activities, which were busy work for a kid who already had great fine motor skills. So, we moved on, and it was a relief when we did.

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I have used the ancient, spiral-bound version with my girls. Joy went through the purple and green levels. She liked them and I credit LLATL with helping her develop her writing skills so well. She asked to try something else after that and we haven't gotten back to LLATL yet. I have the new Gold levels waiting for my perusal.

 

I ordered the new version of yellow to try with Faith because someone gave me the TM that went with it and I wanted to try new and shiny. After looking it over, I was disappointed. We tried it for a few weeks, and quickly ditched it. It felt very light and disjointed. It lacked the direction and thoughtfulness of the original books. I wanted to switch back to the old version, but Faith wanted no part of it, so we went in a different direction. I am still hoping to steer her into it later on.

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I used a little of the OLD red, which is much like level yellow, but never used any of the new red and blue. Way too expensive and way too many pieces. Just looking at the pictures in the catalogue made me break out in a cold sweat.

 

The revised Alpha-Phonics has been published in a new smaller and cheaper paperback called Phonics for Success. It works fine before starting level yellow and it is even the color red.

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Haha, now I'm worrying I should be using the old comb bound version!

I've used both, and think both have their pros and cons. The old version gradually became more and more like the new version, so the older version has a bit less of a consistent feel to using it.

 

The old versions started out being very Ruth Beechick, but gradually the authors found their own voice more.

 

If you are going to stick with the series, for better and worse, long-term with multiple kids, I think sticking with the new version is probably better.

 

I adore where the authors started, but they didn't stick with it. The oldest books are a great example of the Three R's, and can get a family started with the "natural method" if they want to later on move onto writing their own lessons.

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We used it last year (Red, Orange, and Tan levels).  My issues were the lack of reading practice in the red book, plus too much busy work.  The five lessons per week were difficult for me to keep up with (times 3 DC plus a preschooler & baby to keep track of).  We were spending up to 2 hours each day on LA trying to get through everything (and the older two did some of their work independently).  I didn't like that there wasn't prepared dictation (I prefer Spelling Wisdom for dictation)...although you could easily have them study the passage ahead of time.  The copywork/dictation passages were too long for my DS, so we often had to shorten them.

 

We've switched to ELTL and I prefer it over LLATL.  It focuses on writing through narrations & outlines, covers grammar through sentence diagramming, and IMO has better literature selections.  It also only has 3 lessons per week, which I love!  I only wish I'd discovered it when planning our previous year...for some reason I'd quickly crossed it off my list of possibilities.  

 

I have a friend who has used LLATL all the way through.  Her DC have done very well with it, and I think that says something about the program.  I really wanted to like it, but it just wasn't a good fit for us.  There were many things I liked about it...It was very open-and-go and the lessons generally flowed nicely.  If my oldest wasn't such a reluctant writer, it would have been a really good fit for her.

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I didn't like that there wasn't prepared dictation (I prefer Spelling Wisdom for dictation)...although you could easily have them study the passage ahead of time.  

~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The way I fix this is to have dd use the passage for copywork on the first day. Study the passage during the week, and then when it comes up again in the lesson she has prepared dictation. I don't have her do the passage as dictation on the first day. I know that is how it is worded in the book, but I agree with you that prepared dictation is far better. So using the passage for copywork is practice and studying to prepare for dictation later in the week. 

 

Did I muddy that?  :huh: 

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Susie in MS- are you the same Susie in MS who gave a good review of LLATL on homeschool reviews.net? If so, you have used it LLATL all the way thru right? Can you tell me a bit more about what you like about it, what you tweak? Eta: which version do you use?

Edited by vaquitita

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I understand why a lot of people dislike LLATL but for some reason I always come back to using it!

 

I actually look back fondly on the tan book and all the levels below. I'm not so keen on the green and gray books (haven't used the high school levels). 

 

I agree with Hunter ..... it does get the job done.  

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Thank you, both.

 

That does help. I just really want something all in one. I guess I 'll keep looking.

 

We did use Writing Tales 1 and 2 a while back and enjoyed it. Something like that would be perfect, but I need it for 7th and 8th.

We use Lightning Literature. That might work for you.

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Is it because it's light?  Any other reasons?  It sounds so tempting to have all LA components covered in one book, but I keep reading all these awful reviews of it.

 

But I'm sure there are positive reviews, as well. Why let the negative reviews help make your decision instead of the positive ones? :-)

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Susie in MS- are you the same Susie in MS who gave a good review of LLATL on homeschool reviews.net? If so, you have used it LLATL all the way thru right? Can you tell me a bit more about what you like about it, what you tweak? Eta: which version do you use?

 

Yes, I am. 

 

I am currently on the Purple level which was the only one left I have not used. So I have experience with each of them. They are all different in some way with the red and blue and golds varying the most from the others. 

 

What I like about it. I subscribe to much of the Charlotte Mason and Ruth Beechick methods. I don't feel that lots of rigor is necessary for the average child. And for some it can actually make them hate to learn. I love that there are dictation passages each week and that learning is gentle yet thorough (over the long haul). I don't find it weak, but we all have our expectations. If a person is using R&S or ABeka regularly they will find LLATL weak or a breath of fresh air. We were the latter. I also like that everything is in one book and planned out. 

 

How do I tweak? Well, LLATL is designed to add misspelled words to a spelling list for the student. I do that. I also get more advanced dictation passages from the free online download of Dictation Day By Day, from time to time. My dd, although creative, is not all that good at writing. If I didn't have  a job 5 days a week I could spend more time working with her. But since I don't, there are some writing assignments we have had to skip in the Orange level and one so far in the Purple. I may go back to some of those when my work load decreases.  But other than these things I really use LLATL as is. 

 

Depending on the level some of the book studies seem very lacking, and they are, and are more like a mini unit study. However, for those that lack a great deal what one may not see just glancing is that there is a good deal of work that probably would have been better placed in the book study section found in the Everyday Words sections. Something like research Admiral Byrd and write about him. 

 

I use the new versions.

 

If you have any more questions I will do my best to answer. But I must say Hunter does an excellent job! =)

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I was able to look over the Tan level recently as a friend had it. I was drawn to LLATL a long time ago because of the all-in-one aspect. Based on what I saw in Tan, I'm glad I didn't buy any of the levels. It just isn't for us, then or now. However, I learned long ago that something we heavily dislike can be something that works really well for others.

 

So, if you are drawn to it, why not check out a level?

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Thanks everyone.  I'm glad to know that not everyone dislikes it! There still seem to be more negative reviews than positive.  I may order the green level to look through,  but I'm looking at ELTL again too.  Thanks again!

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Thank you Susie in ms. Everything you said was helpful, and reinforces my hope that LLATL will be a good fit for us. It has felt like a breath of fresh air to us after our AAS/CtGE/HWOT combo. So far I'm just using orange with my oldest, but I've been looking over yellow and think it looks great for my daughter to use next year. I'm not sure where to place my third child though. Since he can already read all the books intended for the parent to read in both the blue and red levels. I'm thinking I'll just keep on using AAR with him and next year, his official kindy year, add in spelling you see, and just hold off on LLATL till he gets to third grade/yellow.

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I used LLATL for a couple of years with my older two. We liked it. It was nice that it was all there in short lessons. They seem to still remember a good amount of what they learned (although they didn't when they were doing it.)

 

The problem that I had with it was that we started it halfway through a school year and I had this idea that we would "catch up". The pressure of catching up made my girls hate it, and, I think, contributed to them not remembering stuff when we were going through it that they remember now. Plus, I was trying to double up lessons to get through it faster but then it took too long so we would end up skipping it. I put it away this fall thinking I could just make up my own thing but that hasn't worked out so well either.

 

I'm seriously considering using it again in the fall. I was asking the girls about it tonight and they both said they liked it. I just have to figure out which levels to put them in. They'll be in 4th, 5th, and 7th in the fall but we've done very little grammar at this point. I'm not sure that the levels for their grade will work at this point. I'm hoping to look at it at this year's convention before I decide.

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I've always liked the *idea* of LLTL, but the samples are very "meh" to me. Not great or even good, but not terrible either. Honestly, if you like the idea of LLTL, you should take a look at English Lessons Through Literature. You'll get the all in one, but IMO it's put together so much better and with more challenging content. If you used level 6 for both your 7th and 8th grader, I think that would be more challenging that LLTL grey.

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The problem that I had with it was that we started it halfway through a school year and I had this idea that we would "catch up". The pressure of catching up made my girls hate it, and, I think, contributed to them not remembering stuff when we were going through it that they remember now. Plus, I was trying to double up lessons to get through it faster but then it took too long so we would end up skipping it. I put it away this fall thinking I could just make up my own thing but that hasn't worked out so well either.

Yeah, I'm in a similar boat right now. I only started LLATL only a few weeks ago. I've been trying to figure out how to catch up a bit. Because my son has already read all the literature link books for orange, I'm thinking of skipping those units. And then the poetry unit is pretty lengthy, I'm thinking of skipping some of that. Plus if we keep doing school through the summer, we should be mostly done by fall. I may just skip the end or keep going and move into purple shortly after the new year starts.

 

I'm seriously considering using it again in the fall. I was asking the girls about it tonight and they both said they liked it. I just have to figure out which levels to put them in. They'll be in 4th, 5th, and 7th in the fall but we've done very little grammar at this point. I'm not sure that the levels for their grade will work at this point. I'm hoping to look at it at this year's convention before I decide.

I have the TM's for 2-8, plus one of the gold levels. If you have any questions, I can look through them and try to answer.

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How does ELTL compare to LLATL as far as teacher involvement/time? I like the looks of ELTL too but it seems like it would take more of my time. LLATL requires some teacher involvement but they can do a decent amount on their own too. With four kids to teach I need them to be able to do some things at least partially independently.

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I really do like the looks of ELTL.  Very nice.  I am not that crazy, crazy about some of the book choices, but the lesson samples look VERY well done.

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How does ELTL compare to LLATL as far as teacher involvement/time? I like the looks of ELTL too but it seems like it would take more of my time. LLATL requires some teacher involvement but they can do a decent amount on their own too. With four kids to teach I need them to be able to do some things at least partially independently.

 Disclaimer: I haven't used it yet. But the author has said that it can be mostly independent (past 2nd grade) aside from the dictation. I've heard/read users say they have the children listen along on librivox while following in their books. Check out the amazon samples to get a really good feel.

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Thanks everyone. I'm glad to know that not everyone dislikes it! There still seem to be more negative reviews than positive. I may order the green level to look through, but I'm looking at ELTL again too. Thanks again!

Did you make a decision and order? Checking in for an update.

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I think most people are much more passionate about reviews when they don't like something unless they got the item for free and are essentially being paid with free material to write a review.  You don't see really harsh negative reviews on any of the bloggers sites that get their materials free to review.  You see waxing lyrical reviews from paid reviewers.

I also think not everyone goes online and praises curriculum that gets the job done.  We have used LLATL with our older girls and now with the boys in between being in a k12 charter using a lot of intense material for each individual language arts subject.  I can tell you that we had more frustration and tears over the intense language arts.  LLATL got done and the kids did well with it and understood the grammar concepts and their writing improved.  The spelling is really not much in it, but that would be my only complaint. 

I have kids that range from gifted to dyslexic/dysgraphic.  All of them got something out of LLATL.  I never used the blue.  I did use the red with one of my boys.  It wasn't awful, but I would rather start with yellow.  We have done yellow, orange, purple, and tan.  My son that is dysgraphic/dyslexic is writing more and without the stress and frustration that came from having huge chunks of time in each language arts sub subject.  It is short and sweet but gets the job done.  We add in Spelling You See.

I think you have to look at what will fit your family and your needs.  I used to research and buy and try so many things.  The grass is greener syndrome was alive and well in our house.  I would think things weren't working or that the children weren't learning and would look for something that would be better.  It really didn't get us anywhere but a disjointed scope and sequence that never built upon itself.  In school, they pick publishers or curriculum and it flows through the years.  They don't change every year and the kids move steady and learn everything over time.  After using k12 and coming back to homeschooling, I really looked at what got done in our house.  What curriculum got done with minimal issues and fuss and the children learned.  For us, LLATL gets done and works. 

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Is it awesome? No!

 

Is it awful? No!

 

 

This basically sums up LLATL. It has the foundation to be something great, awesome even, but it falls short. I've used red, yellow, orange and now purple. It's great for my language arts-phobic DD. She's overwhelmed easily by lots of work on one page and has to take things slowly. I do have to supplement the spelling though. We've even used Queen's Langauge Lessons for the Elementary Child- Vol2 which is even lighter than LLATL. Neither of my older DDs enjoy language arts and it doesn't come naturally for them. Why do I continue to use LLATL? It gets the job done with little complaint. For my younger DD I've even made up my own LA program for her that is a mixture of LLATL and Cindy West's Living Literature Grammar Packs. It's time consuming but I get exactly the program that I want. I tried making up a LA curriculum with my oldest DD but she claims that it's "too hard". So LLATL works for us.........for now. I'm not hating on LLATL but I'm surely not loving it either.

 

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If you want something all included for 7th and 8th, then look at Hewitt Homeschooling LIghtening Literature!!  They even offer grading for the essays if you want.  The whole pack is under 100 including books and is 100% re-usable and re-sellable, since it's not consumable.  (Ok if you get hte vocab workbook that portion may be consumable.)  They study awesome pieces of literature and work on writing in a logical step by step way, all spelled out in daily lessons.

 

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If you want something all included for 7th and 8th, then look at Hewitt Homeschooling LIghtening Literature!! They even offer grading for the essays if you want. The whole pack is under 100 including books and is 100% re-usable and re-sellable, since it's not consumable. (Ok if you get hte vocab workbook that portion may be consumable.) They study awesome pieces of literature and work on writing in a logical step by step way, all spelled out in daily lessons.

We've tried these and they are very similar to Total Language Plus. My dilemma with any type of single-book study is that all of my children love to read. When I have them stop to do something like this, they get frustrated. They prefer LLATL over other choices because they can continue reading the book, along with others they may be reading, and not get bogged down. I have only had to supplement one child so far, and we used Easy Grammar for that. He did great in college.

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If you want something all included for 7th and 8th, then look at Hewitt Homeschooling LIghtening Literature!! They even offer grading for the essays if you want. The whole pack is under 100 including books and is 100% re-usable and re-sellable, since it's not consumable. (Ok if you get hte vocab workbook that portion may be consumable.) They study awesome pieces of literature and work on writing in a logical step by step way, all spelled out in daily lessons.

One major drawback to Lightening Lit is that they don't have all of their lower levels completed.

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I've been using LLATL for a couple months now, and while I still like it, I've come to a few realizations about it, for me. As I look through future lessons and books, I find myself needing to gather up supplies that aren't easily accessible to me. Encyclopedias, atlases, newspapers, etc. When I read through it, *I* like the stuff it teaches, but because they are things I've never done before, it becomes more work for me. While on one hand, I like the old fashioned stuff (I grew up in a family of all girls with a mom who loved tea parties and everything Victorian) my kids are modern kids and boys. The cluttered pages of the workbook also annoy me. Why couldn't they have started each day's work on a new page? And the small spaces are often not big enough for my sons writing.

 

I've decided to switch to ELTL. It has a lot of the things I like about LLATL, but has a more modern feel, less cluttered pages. I like the book selections better, and the fact audio books are available will be very helpful for my late reader. When I read through the samples, even though the grammar is over my head (thanks public school), I feel like I can teach this from a position of strength. Everything I've tried from barefoot ragamuffins has been a hit with my kids and for me. RLTL is giving me what I liked about AAS, but in a doable form. I compiled a book list for history this year from every possible source. Lol. But the books from wayfarers are the favorites by far. So I have high hopes for ELTL. Used on level, it's more 'rigorous' than LLATL. But I'm going to use it behind. I prefer teaching things later, when a kid can pick it up easily, rather than earlier and struggling with it. Levels 1&2 are gentle but 5 is NOT.

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Sorry about that, I thought we were talking about 7th and 8th. But....What does it matter to your older kids if your younger kids use something different?

 

Also, junior high and high school is about writing and literature study. Once you hit 7th grade you have to start studying literature in depth. And spelling is all but finished by that point as well... The kids will have to learn how to either be patient or go backwards and re read what they have forgotten.

 

With younger kids, I totally understand what you're saying and up till 7th I did fine doing literature and writing and grammar separately - it was less frustrating for me and mine. But then I also found that you can skip literature altogether and just read well written books. :)

 

I found that a strong grammar and writing and a strong spelling, all separate, is much better for my kids than the CM methods.( I don't have much experimence with ELTL but of the more streamlined it looks more rigorous and therefore more likely to be effective.)

 

For younger kids, I recommend BJU grammar and writing for something easy to use, clear, plenty of review and all teaching in the book. For spelling a strong start with AAS would be great. For truly struggling spellers we had success with Apples and Pears.

 

LLATL did not have enough of anything - and we tried it 3 times. All 3 times it left my kids a few months behind where ether went backwards, and also frustration for me as it was outdated to a degree that it caused problems.

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