Learning Language Arts through Literature

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  • Reviewed on Monday, March 6, 2017
  • Grades Used: 3rd, 6th
  • Dates used: 2016-2017
My 10 year old is just finishing up the Yellow book (3rd skills). He was a late reader but is doing well now. This book has been great for him. He seems to enjoy it. The "grammar" is very low key (but present!). It gives him a bit of a creative outlet. I already have the Orange book for him to continue into.

My 8 year old son is just starting the Yellow book. His handwriting is a mess (sigh), so I am glad for the copywork. He enjoys the work and doesn't complain (bonus!). We will continue on with this for the rest of this school year and into next.

My 11 year old son is part ways through the Tan book (6th). He was getting pretty bogged down with abstract grammar terminology in Rod and Staff and Easy Grammar. This is more like it. He is stretched a bit by the writing lessons. My plan, at this point, is to continue into the Green book when he gets done with this.

We have been doing Rod and Staff Spelling on the side as well as Pentime. None of this is a huge load for any of them and they can easily handle it. There is some overlap of skills and I wonder if we can ditch these 2 additions, but they actually rather like them so we keep at it.

I ad lib a lot, almost never open the teacher book. We skip stuff and have no remorse. I have made it MY tool instead of, as in previous experience, allowed myself to get frustrated by it. Looking back through their books I see where I have done a bunch of impromptu lessons about related things in the margins.

Part of the appeal of LLATL at this point is I was "just" doing copywork and dictation from other sources (a method I enjoy). This is that plus some more pointed lessons.

Another user friendly tweak is I cut the bindings off and Proclicked the pages together. It makes the books so much easier to handle.

I will say I like this series for grammar phobic boys. At this point it is my goal to get them to half ways enjoy language and this is happening. If I had a super studious child who LOVES (and understands) technical grammar jargon I would probably go with something like Rod and Staff.


  • Reviewed on Monday, February 6, 2017
  • Grades Used: 9th, 7th, 5th
  • Dates used: 2016-2017
I really wanted to like the Gold American book. It looked perfect for us. I didn't want to overdo literature because I wanted my son to still have lots of time to read on his own, so this course looked like the right amount. I like how the literary terms are sprinkled throughout the course, I like the writing assignments (so many more than just the 3 essays in the table of contents), and I liked the discussion questions about each story and novel. I have often read that the Gold book's questions are mostly comprehension/recall but this isn't the case at all. It is also a great price for everything it comes with. This is how I wish I had studied literature when I was in school!

However, it did not work for my son. He couldn't answer the questions; it's like his brain is just not wired this way, so we had to drop it.

The Green book has worked very well for my 7th grade son. The amount of grammar and diagramming is just right for my grammar-phobic boys. The lessons are a nice length, not overwhelming and the teaching is clear. He uses it independently, using the dictation passages as copywork instead. My only complaint is the spelling. The spelling is just not hard enough for him, and he is not a spectacular speller, so we used something else for that.

The Purple book was also a good fit for my 5th grade son, again, except for the spelling. However, I was generally using it for the grammar and there just isn't enough grammar to last the whole year. He was finished with the book in about 5 months.

I plan on continuing with LLATL for the middle grades and junior high, as it has turned out to be the right balance of grammar for my family, but I'm not sure I will ever have enough of an analysis-loving kid to use the Gold books!


  • 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.


  • 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.