- Reviewed on Monday, December 21, 2015
- Grades Used: K, 3
- Dates used: 2015
Where to start? I guess, I'll start by saying I have absolutely nothing negative to say about CLE. It has purely been a blessing to our homeschool, and I wish I had tried it earlier. I will say this - CLE is advanced. You'll find that the 200 level is on par with most grade 3 curriculums, and it's not at all uncommon for children to test into a level lower than their actual grade.
When we started homeschooling a few years ago, I wanted the "opposite" of public school, I wanted to do a very Waldorf/CM inspired approach. Except that - that's not how my children learn best. So, having tried more curriculum than I even want to admit, I knew we needed something new this year.
I had realized that my children both do best with workbooks, and a visual approach, and that they both like independent work. A friend recommended we try CLE, and here we are. After the first week, we were in love.
We are using Kindergarten II for our 5.5 year old daughter. It is an excellent program. Very thorough, and you just cannot beat the price. My daughter thoroughly enjoys her work book pages. I only wish there were more of them because she's enjoying it so much that she will easily do 10 pages a day!
Our son is doing CLE Reading, Language Arts and Math. Our son used to HATE math, absolutely hate math, he found it overwhelming. He is now loving math class. He loves doing the speed drills, which are really helping him cement his math facts. I find the lessons are a good length, too.
The reading is sweet. Wonderful, Godly stories that are engaging to the children. My son enjoys reading them, and even my youngest loves to come listen in.
The Language Arts takes longer to complete than the other program we were using, but oddly enough, even though it takes him longer, he likes it better. I find using Reading and LA together gives a great, interwoven review of topics. You get enough review to help it stick, but without it feeling like overkill.
Overall, we find it takes about 90 minutes for Math, LA and Reading at the 200 level. And for the first time in a long time, my son is eager to do his lessons. We also do the review questions in the TM before each lesson, as well.
- Reviewed on Saturday, November 8, 2014
- Grades Used: K
- Dates used: 2014
This review is for the new CLE Kindergarten II
This is the best Kindergarten curriculum I have ever used. (and this is my 4th kindergartner, and my 9th year homeschooling)
There are 10 workbooks, but you use two together so it's really only 5. One is the Workbook and one is the Activity Book. The workbook is the main lessons. You don't need a teacher manual, the instructions are written at the bottom of the students page. They are very simple. The workbook covers both Phonics, Writing, and Math. It has letter identification and sounds and a lot of writing. The math part covers counting and writing numbers. It introduces concepts like left and right, above and below. It has matching and different excercises. It has instructions on teaching their phone number and address. It has taught color words, rhyming words. It has coloring excercises and cut and paste activities in the activity book. There is alot more to the curriculum than it first appears. The lessons are long, so plenty to do in a day. It is intended that you would do 1 whole lesson in both books in one day, but this can be too much for some kids. My daughter did a whole lesson at first because she was really eager. But now it's gotten more challenging, she usually does half a lesson a day. We are finishing a set of books in about a months time.
We started in August and my daughter has just finished books 3. She will be done soon and we are going to move into CLE Learning To Read. It has just started introducing beginning reading, like words dad, sad, big...but my dd was ready to go ahead and get more into reading. I got Hooked On Phonics for her and she is reading! I think HOP goes very well with this curriculum.
This curriculum would work well for preschool also, but I would take it slow. I think the hardest part for this age level would be the writing, there is quite a bit.
- Reviewed on Friday, April 11, 2014
- Grades Used: 2nd-5th
- Dates used: 2009-2014
I'm so thankful for this curriculum. I only use the Language and Mathematics LightUnits so I can only attest to those subjects. My daughter did Teaching Textbooks for grade 3 math. She was NOT prepared at all for her end of the year test (we used Terra Nova that year). It was devastating to her. Teaching Textbooks was so far behind and I was naive to think that I could place her in front of a computer and expect her to learn without any involvement from me. I ditched the TT and went with CLE but had to start her a year behind. We just finished our testing (she took the 4th grade Terra Nova) and ACED math! I was sooooo surprised, seeing as how we were a whole year behind. CLE continuously reinforces the concepts. This is done with small amounts of review so it's not drudgery to the student. CLE has been less teacher intensive that I had expected also.
- Reviewed on Tuesday, February 11, 2014
- Grades Used: pK, K, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8
- Dates used: 2008-2013
This is truly the best curriculum ever. You cannot get a better deal at such a rigorous level.
We have tried everything with my eldest son. He did the second grade, the fourth grade, and the sixth grade Light Units for Christian Light. While he enjoyed it, and his test scores proved he mastering a lot of skills, for some reason I believed there was something better when I read the homeschool ads a articles. We tried other things, but always come back to CLE. We are not going to waver from it again.
My eldest son just finished the Language Arts grade 7 from Calvert in about 2-3 months, and he turned around and said, this is too easy, the only hope is Christian Light. So he is back in the Language Arts for grade 8. Of course he loves Grammar, and CLE provides a thorough study of that, it makes him happy. His math isn't working out well with Aleks so we are going to get him the math from CLE as well tomorrow.
My youngest used the preschool curriculum which is actually Rod and Staff's I believe. He then used the preliminary Kindergarten II. He responded so well to it and wanted to do more than one lesson a day. I took a break from CLE to see what else was out there for him, we belong to a Charter School that will let us try different material. Oak Meadow (a joke), Calvert, the Well Trained Mind language materials, but he didn't have the same drive as he did when you set him down with his CLE workbooks. Unfortunately the charter school won't buy CLE because it is Christian. Boo!
He is now on the First Grade material and loves it. It surprises me the challenges they present to the children, and they respond so well. I think, oh, he can't learn this yet, he is only 5, but then he turns around and scores perfectly on their tests and quizzes showing mastery. And the whole time it is done in such a simple and gentle manner, it is shocking how wonderful this humble curriculum is. You don't realize what you have until you walk away.
I love the light units, the way they are laid out are so simple, direct, no twaddle. It is easy to pick it up and go without much preparation. I think the writing aspect could be fleshed out a bit more however. I also think they could make the science a bit more challenging. But perhaps you should not mess with their gently approach as it seems to work so well. We typically stick with Apologia for extra science though. Again another Christian curriculum that can't compare to the secular ones.
Also Mennonites are strong pacifists, and it shows in the History textbooks, I think it was grade 6. We are not pacifists. But, we were able to talk about it from our point of view, we don't see the justice in letting evil people continuing to commit heinous crimes, if we let that happen then we are just as guilty. Although I get that they depend on God to win in a fight for them....
The only thing is that we aren't Christian. I don't see this as a problem though. We are monotheistic We believe in God the Father, and do read the Bible because it is the greatest story ever told, but we aren't "religious". We are okay with that. It teaches the kids in ways that we normally wouldn't and sparks great conversations. I greatly respect the Mennonite community as I used to live near one in PA. I don't see how it would harm you in any way to use this curriculum if you were not looking for religious material. It has a strong foundations in training character, who doesn't need that, especially in today's world. I also like that it is so innocent. I don't have to worry about politically correct propaganda, it is so hard to find material without that.
I hope this was helpful in giving a review that wasn't Christian.