Christian Light Education - Language Arts

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  • Reviewed on Sunday, January 20, 2013
  • Grades Used: 1st and 2nd
  • Dates used: 2011/2012
I liked this program for the 1st grade year. All though by the end of the year my son was bored with all of the review. I ordered it for the 2nd grade year and felt we were so weighed down by the rules and the ton of writing that it became harder and harder to get through. I found myself hating LA as much as my son did. We would both groan when that time of day came. I switched to Serl's Primary Lessons and that worked much better for my son. This is a good LA program it just didn't work for us as all. It would be great for a child that likes to write and likes the workbook style. I would say it is great for the 1st grade year as a good foundation.


  • Reviewed on Thursday, October 4, 2012
  • Grades Used: 1st--3rd
  • Dates used: 2009--2012
CLE's L.A. is an excellent alternative to A.C.E. (Paces). The books are in workbook format, and is largely self-taught. If you are against the workbook/textbook approach, then these books are not for you! However, for my family, they are invaluable. There are a few rules (pronunciations, etc) that some find over-kill. I will, occasionally, have my child skip certain sections.

*Clean, spacious page layout
*Clear, daily lessons
*Lots of review, without being redundant
*Easy Record Keeping (two quizzes and one test per Light Unit)
*Lessons are short, but very well written (my children understand them very easily
*Very biblically based
*All Scripture quotes are taken from the KJB
*Illustrations are minimal and tastefully done

*The reading program (a spererate subject in CLE) is very redundant if you are using the L.A. program. There is too much repetition. In the past I have had my kids read the lesson of the day, answer the comprehension questions, and skip the phonics questions.
*The kids learn the self-checking method in 2nd or 3rd grade. I do not allow this (too much room for temptation, and discourages real learning, in my opinion). We skip that section, and adjust the test scores accordingly.
*Mennonite-based. This is not a "con" for us, but for some it would be. I did not appreciate the foolishness I found in A Beka's L.A. The sense of humor (riddles, clues, etc) didn't make sense to my kids, and seemed pointless to them. So for us, the simple approach was better. I also did not understand some of the attire found in their illustrations. After attending the college that produces this curriculum, I expected better. If you're against your kids' books being illustrated with women wearing head coverings and long dresses (I'm not!) then you will not like this. We are not mennonite, but have no problems with those who are.

Bottom Line:
We love this curriculum! I will be using their L.A./English program through high school. We tried A Beka 4th grade (something I did not want to do, but was talked into)--BIG mistake!! We're 25 days into the school year, and none of us can wait until next year when we can return to CLE.


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, February 29, 2012
  • Grades Used: 1st-3rd
  • Dates used: 2009-2012
We started out using the entire curriculum for my oldest in 1st grade and loved it. We chose to use it for 2nd and it didn't start out too bad. After purchasing all of the LA, Math, and Reading for third grade, ahead of time, we found that my daughter's reading grades were going down. She can be somewhat of a lazy reader, skipping over big words, rather than ask for help or try to sound them out. I didn't order the TM for the second half of the year and had to read the stories to check her answers. I found them so uninteresting and dry, that I figured out why she wasn't doing as well. She had started out a fabulous reader.

Now, I am reading reviews of different LA programs for next year. We will finish the light units that we have, but only begrudgingly. There are tons of tedious rules that seem to serve only to confuse and/or bore. With all of these rules, my daughter can't keep them all straight and her spelling has gone down hill, as well. She does great on the spelling tests, but when writing a paragraph, her confusion really shows.

I will say, however, that CLE has a very solid math program. It is well put together, easy to understand, and most of it is self taught without any issues. My daughter has excelled far beyond what I expected at her age.


  • Reviewed on Saturday, February 18, 2012
  • Grades Used: 1, 3
  • Dates used: 2011-2012
I will not be using CLE LA in the future.

What I love: The 3rd grade LA is all-inclusive. You get spelling, penmanship, grammar, punctuation, phonetics, all in one. A little Bible thrown in there too. The 1st grade LA is light and breezy, one-page lessons (front and back). You present the information in the lesson and then set the child free to complete the work on his/her own. The teacher's guide is very explicit and full of ideas on how to make the material "click" with the child. Example sentences for spelling tests in the 3rd grade LA. The customer service at CLE is OUTSTANDING! Very helpful, knowledgeable and friendly staff.

What I dislike: Both of my children found this to be quite dull. The 3rd grade lessons are quite lengthy and if you have a child who doesn't particular enjoy LA (like mine), then this becomes a bothersome chore. Learning to write and speak one's own language well shouldn't be so unpleasant. The 1st grade lessons contain many (what I believe to be) weird language "rules" that are probably not particularly necessary for a 1st grader to know (particularly if you have a 1st grader who is already reading well). Also, the child will be expected to correctly spell (using said rules) certain words, based on given pictures. (Note: There is no list of spelling words; you have to guess what CLE wants you to write, and then spell it correctly using the rules found in the lesson.) If your child has a hard time figuring out what the picture shows (in one instance, there was an illustration of a valley between to hills, with the sun shining high in the sky; the word my child was expected to write was "day" - could've been hill, or sun, or...??), then this could be frustrating. Also, while we're on the topic of spelling, I didn't find the spelling component of either grade level to be particularly challenging, or intuitive.

Also, let me say that I am drowning in workbooks and teacher's guides. Each grade level has 5-10 workbooks (called "Light Units") that the child is to complete within a given school year. He finishes one, you move right on to the next one. I am teaching two grade levels, we are about halfway through the curriculum, and I up to my eyeballs in Light Units! In addition, the teacher's guides are MONSTROUS!

We used Emma Serl's PLL last year, and it bored my ds to tears. Also, I was looking for something with a little more structure. We went with CLE, but want to back to the "Charlotte Mason" style of doing things. We have decided to start using Sandi Queen's Language for Little Ones when we run out of Light Units that we have on hand...I can't wait to be out from underneath them! :D

Aside: We have also been using CLE's reading program, and are actually enjoying that quite well. My 1st grader and I like to snuggle up with the stories, and then after some discussion, I can turn her loose with the lesson. My 3rd grader prefers to do the entire lesson completely on his own. He enjoys the stories and finds them interesting. I like them too, for their readability and wholesome quality. Scripture verses tie in with the stories, which the child can memorize.