Encouragement, tips, and practical helps for homeschool moms
Christian Light Education is a complete curriculum from grades 1 through 12, including teacher material, support items, and an extensive line of high school electives.
I started using CLE with my oldest daughter in the 1980s. Now that I have a second set of children, we went to CLE after trying different combinations of courses-Saxon, Teaching Textbooks, Trail Guide to Learning.
What we love…this is truly the most inexpensive premade program we’ve found, and we really like being able to buy any combination of LightUnits at a time. This comes in handy when a student is halfway through a course that we started with another program. What I like most is that I don’t have to worry that my advanced child is given books to read that are in his grade level but above his maturity level. (In another program, our 12 year old was assigned Lolita because she was taking 10th grade classes.) We have another child who is 11 but in 8th grade, and we know that he will be reading wholesome literature throughout high school.
The math is back to basics but thorough, but the science is not as indepth as we would like.
We went on a 6-month mission to Ecuador and were able to take just the Lightunits we needed, and we didn’t have to have an internet connection (which we didn’t have). This is a great program for missionary families.
I started both my boys in CLE math and LA in August, and math is working for my 6th grader but not my 4th grader. He’s had problems staying focused and has had difficulty memorizing his times tables. This spiral approach to math is great, but didn’t give him enough confidence in mastering a new concept before introducing a new one the next day. It was overwhelming for him. We were already on division before he’d been able to master multiplication. It is perfect for my more motivated 6th grader and he’s doing very well in it. I wish it would give more practice with new concepts before moving on and then it would be perfect!
I started using Christian Light math with our oldest son and it was just what he needed! The lessons are short and in bite sized pieces. It was confidence building for him to finally ‘get’ concepts. The teacher guides proved so helpful for me and I finally understand percents better than ever!
The workbooks are written in black/white or green/white and have some illustrations, but they aren’t distracting for my distractable son. Each workbook has a theme relating to real life; the story problems also relate to the theme.
We have really enjoyed his programnd I have just started our youngest in the 1st grade math.
We also use the lanhuage arts, reading, and have used the Bible as well.
First of all, I want to correct Sophia’s post that stated: “their Bible curriculum is based on the Armenian doctrine, so be aware of that before purchase.” Christian Light’s makers are Mennonite. They quote the bible in the King James Version and are very scripture based.
I love this curriculum, like most. I’ve researched other curriculums for first grade and always come back to loving the simplicity and soundness of CLE. I also love Rod and Staff’s children’s books (good morals, also Mennonite). I have read very good reviews about their math but have already begun RightStart, very hands on (95% understood and 5% memorized). If it doesn’t work out CLE is my go-to. Thanks CLE for your service!
I used this years ago with 3 children.Now,years later,with a grandbaby to school,I am comming back to CL. I need something that the schoolboard appoves and is accredided.CL has a training pack for their curriculum and also the Learning to REad program.This includes a handbook for your school to help you in all areas.You take the training and send back to them to be graded and you get your certificate.This inables you to order their CAT tests to administer to your children and you are safe with the county you live in because CL is on their list of approved curriculums and schools.I ordered the Preschool and kindergarten and 1st grade.The Learning To read program is wonderful.I highly recommend CL to those looking for Bible based curriculum.The ease is wonderful and you can order as little or as much as you need.This helps greatly.No,there are no fancy stuff here-but the goals are met.Wonderful education w/o high priced prices.
We have only used the flaws cards & miscellaneous resources, not the full curriculum, but we have loved what we have used. The math flaws cards are the best I have ever seen & that alone has been worth the 5 stars! Good resources, but the curriculum is a bit plain for us.
I got CLE math this year to use with my girl who loves math, because I’d heard such good things about it. I love the way it’s laid out and how it teaches math. She’s doing very well with it, but has asked to try Life of Fred with her sister. 🙂 I will definitely let her do that alongside CLE. I love the Light Units because she can see that she’s really progressing, and feels accomplishment when she finishes one and starts a new book. I will say that it’s been challenging for me now and then, when they teach something I’ve not seen before, but we’re learning together, and we both enjoy that.
We used CLE math for my 9 year old this year. It is very well laid out and easy for me to keep up with. Each day introduces something new but also includes plenty of review. It also includes some mental math and plenty of math fact practice. Overall, I am very happy with it and will probably switch my other daughter to CLE next year too.
We are 4 months into using this curriculum for 8th Bible; 5th Bible elective; 1st grade Reading/2nd grade Science. My 1st grader has absolutely loved this curriculum. She loves the self-tests and knowing right away how she did. My older kids have learned a ton from their Bible curriculums w/ CLE. Even though the doctrine is a bit different from ours, it opens up much discussion between my kids and me. That is a blessing. I plan to use again and add a few high school courses in next year. This is an excellent value. It is easy to use and can be used right out of the box. Very pleased.
My Mom put me in CLE when I was a freshman in highschool and I first I was so mad her for doing it. It did not take long for me to be thrilled with what I was doing. I had so much freedom to explore topic I was interested in with more depth. I went on to do very well at college, carrying a 4.0 GPA! When my daughter was begining Kindergarten I was appalled at the public school and pulled her out to use CLE with her. As if overnight she blossomed and she loved learning. The text made it easy for her to learn and fun as well. She is actually in 9th grade now and we have decided it is best to place her back in the CLE curriculum.
We have been homeschooling for 5 years and I think I have used nearly every different type of curriculum sold for LA and Math. I bought CLP because I wasn’t happy with our previous LA and I have not been disappointed. It is the best and most comprehensive curriculum I have ever used. Spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and writing are all included in LA and the student can complete much of it without mom’s help. It teaches them to follow directions very closely and to check and recheck their work. The readers offer a lot of different genre’s and skills and have a heavy component of comprehension. I finally feel like my kids are getting a great education without the gaps. We are totally sold on it and I recommend it to everyone I know.
We are using the 3rd grade math with my son and it is comparable to Saxon 54, yet it takes half the time.
I highly recommend LA, reading, and Math, however their Bible curriculum is based on the Armenian doctrine, so be aware of that before purchase.
I really love CLE!
I’ve used the Reading grades 1-8. I like that Scripture memory is incorporated with it, and that the Bible verses share a theme with the story, not stuck in randomly. Between the learning materials and the story, the Bible verse is explained very well for even younger children to be able to apply it to their own lives. The upper grades do an excellent job of explaining literary analysis and terms — things I didn’t get until high school. Overall, CLE has given me a whole new appreciation for poetry! I really like how the story books don’t have the instruction or comprehension questions in them, so that they can be kept and read again and again, not just for reading class. The stories portray fact, realistic fiction, historical fiction, or come directly from the Bible. My students have not found the stories to “talk down” to them, even those who were reading below level, and several times upper grades students have decided independently to go to the library to find the original whole work a chapter was excerpted from, because they found it so interesting. The comprehension questions require actual thinking skills, not focusing on simple details. In the 7th and 8th grades, the TM contains suggested “writing opportunities” such as to compare/contrast two characters or selections.
I have used the LA 1-7 grades. Like math, it is built on an incremental spiral, with a little new lesson followed by distributed practice of previous skills. Creative writing is incorporated toward the end of first grade, and continues in second grade. In third grade and above, two days per unit are allowed for, for teacher-assigned writing assignments. Within the units, composition is also taught, from sentences to research papers, including newspaper stories from interviews, outlining, personal narratives, book reports, and how to construct a paragraph in several different ways. One entire unit of fifth grade and one entire unit of eighth grade are dedicated wholly to writing a research paper, “holding the student’s hand” all the way through from picking a topic through the completed paper with bibliography. The diagramming of sentences is taught and reviewed throughout, starting in second grade.
One of my students (I currently school Other People’s Kids) used CLE LA 300-700 in the 4th-8th grades, then transferred to an all-Abeka school for high school, and has been totally prepared to step into Abeka in handwriting, composition, research skills, spelling, and grammar and usage. She’s currently making straight A’s.
CLE Math (I have used gr 1-7 so far) is in an incremental spiral, which is somewhat like the Saxon approach (Math 54 and up), but I find CLE’s explanations and examples to be much clearer. The first unit of each level (gr 2 and up) is a review of the “high points” of the previous year’s math skills. My students have always scored at or above their grade level on annual standardized tests, even those working a level below their grade.
Thus far, I have only used grades 1 & 2 for Bible, Science, and Social studies. However, I have used 5th grade science, and won’t use it again until they have rewritten the text and lightunits into the Sunrise Edition. I have also used the 5th grade social studies, and while I liked the big, attractive book, my students were less than thrilled. I liked using it study-by-textbook, but my students preferred using study-by-lightunits which are the study guides and include quizzes in between chapter/unit tests.
The CLE courses which have not yet been rewritten into Sunrise Edition [Bible 5th and up; science 3rd, 4th, 6th and up; social studies 8th and up] are NOT terrible, just a little less convenient because they’re not divided up into daily lessons.
My daughter just loves it
COuld not find anything better.
Easy to use
My children enjoy using the ArtPac book. We have God’s rainbows and other beautiful creations hanging all around us from this book! It is easy for me to pull out a page and toss it in their workbox. Some of the directions in the 3rd grade book are wordy and get confusing, even when I read them. I would like it better if it had the materials listed on a full sheet page, but instead the materials needed are at the top of each art sheet — this makes it a little harder to plan ahead.
I chose CLE for my older kids last year as I needed them to work independently as I spent a lot of time with my 1st grader. 1st grade CLE definitely needed a lot of parent involvement initially, for the 1st half of the year until reading was solid. 1st grader used CLE for math, reading and LA. She went back to PS this year and was beyond where she needed to be, having come out of K behind where she needed to be, so I was happy that CLE gave her a very solid foundation.
The older two are at home again this year and we have stayed with CLE for math and reading. We participate in Classical Conversations Essentials program and that takes care of the LA for us! We all are huge fans of the math. It is extremely clear, lays everything out very well and gives good examples. It is spiral-based and as such, constantly reviews. However, we do not find it to be overly repetitive. My 6th grader can get through a lesson quite easily in half an hour, my 4th grader is slower to grasp concepts and a typical lesson can take her over an hour.
The reading is tougher than PS and my 6th grader definitely finds it extremely challenging. However from 4th grade on, the curriculum only covers half a year (5 light units), so we just use it for 3 days a week and supplement with ‘fun’ reading, which helps them stay focused and not too bogged down. I am glad that they are exposed to bible stories, poetry, numerous grammar terms and are required to ‘infer’.
CLE math uses a spiral approach to teaching math. Each year of math is divided into 10 workbooks called light units. They are numbered according to grade level – 201 to 210 for 2nd grade. All explanantions of new concepts are in the student workbooks – so children can work independantly once they can read well. This works well for my 2 oldest children. But my special needs child does better with a mastery approach. Something to consider when picking a math curriculum – which method will work best for your child.
We use the Art With A Purpose Art Paks. It makes teaching art very easy, however for building upon skills and explaining them, it does a poor job as a stand alone component. I have unded up using it as a supplement to our art program – for use on those weeks that the co-op isn’t teaching art.
We went with CLE when we switched from public to homeschooling last February. It really did help me to make the transition smooth for the kids & myself. Everything came in a box all ready to go. My 6th grader had a very hard time moving through their Language Arts program as it is more advanced than PS. The Social Studies program for 6th grade was all on Latin America. While the book & workbook flowed fairly well, the information was pretty mundane. That being said, my 2nd (now 3rd) grader has done very well with all the subjects. Math, LA, Science, Social Studies – I have zero complaints! I went to the HEAV conference last May & spoke with the CLE people. I told them the problems my 6th grader was having & they said that it is much harder to move into the CLE curriculum at the higher grade levels.
I am not a fan of their Reading. The stories, while very sweet, were very dull. My 6th grader was not into it at all & neither was my 2nd grader.
So this year we are using Math 3, LA 3 & Home Ec. I do still love their Science & SS, but decided to go with a different curriculum for those.
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