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Learning Language Arts Through Literature Reviews

According to the publisher, Learning Language Arts Through Literature “is a fully integrated language arts program that teaches grammar, reading, spelling, vocabulary, writing mechanics, creative writing, thinking skills and more. For example, a basal program may teach adjectives separately from other skills. The student may be asked to fill in blanks with adjectives and circle them in a paragraph. This may give your student a clue about adjectives, but does not translate into his practical use of adjectives in his writing.” There are 36 weekly lessons at each level and the lessons require no teacher preparation. The lessons include texts, workbooks, teacher’s guides and supplemental materials.

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(18 Reviews)

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  1. Learning Language Arts Through Literature Review by Kimberly Seitzinger
    Pros: Great Literature, good all around program
    Cons: typos - they need better editing

    Grades Used: 1st,2nd,3rd,4th,5th,6th

    We really liked this program. I used it with my youngest two out of 5 homeschoolers. My children really seemed to pick up the grammar concepts much better using this program than with some of the other programs. They enjoyed the literature selections, which got them reading more overall as well as what I consider better literature choices. Once we hit 5th grade I did add an additional writing program (EIW). Other than 1st and 2nd grade most sections are able to be done independently, or with little teacher involvement. I was around to answer any questions or explain a harder concept. I would look through the week as I was writing out schedules and we would occasionally skip a part now and then if i thought we had already gone over it or it was not something we needed.

    My only fault with this is the multiple typos, as well as some things seem to be more outdated (define the word garbed), but really that only stretches their mind. Some of those things we just skipped.

    Over all we found this to be a great program, especially for my slow learner.

  2. Learning Language Arts Through Literature Review by Naomi Pautz
    Pros: Gentle, student can be mostly independent, no overwhelming portions each day
    Cons: Very light, no composition or grammar, too easy for the grade level, their book choices, no transition from Blue to Red

    Grades Used: 4th, 1st, K

    This program was easy to use, gentle, and great for kids who might struggle with language arts. While we had a good year using this, we probably will not go back to it.

    My 4th grader could do most of the work on his own, with minimal help from me. This was ideal with two younger students who needed me around. My son enjoyed it, and it was broken down into daily tasks that were not overwhelming for him. He used the Orange Book, and while he enjoyed the work, it was way too easy for him (he was struggling reader up until this year. It took a reading tutor to catch him up). He really disliked the book selections. I forced him to do two of them, and while he said he appreciated having to read something different, he felt they were all very boring. To me, this was sad, as he will sit down and study a zoology book. It doesn’t get more dry than that! I also felt like we needed to supplement grammar and composition. There is so little of these areas included. I really wanted to be able to find everything in one place, rather than have to piece together several different curricula. The Orange Book is 4th grade, and he already knew all of the few grammar lessons presented. There was virtually no composition at all.

    The Blue book is gentle and nice for beginning readers. It uses phonics and sight words, which I find to be a good approach. However, it ends somewhat abruptly. There is really no transition into the Red book, and so my two younger kids have had to go to a different phonics program. We were unable to go from Blue to Red without doing quite a bit extra. This was disappointing, because they were able to easily read all of the readers from the Blue by the end of the book, with very little help from me. However, the Red book starts out way ahead, and my two younger kids were unable to make the leap.

    Overall, I would say to skip the Blue Book all together and use a different a different phonics approach. I would then say that if your child needs a nice gentle approach and to not feel overwhelmed, this is a good program. They did a good job keeping it Charlotte Mason inspired, but it is a little lighter than what I hoped for.

  3. Learning Language Arts Through Literature Review by Elaine
    Pros: covers many areas of language arts, good books
    Cons: N/A

    Grades Used: 5th

    I love that grammar, spelling, vocab, and reading comprehension are all covered here, plus having good book selections to break my son out of his usual fare of ‘humorous fiction’ books. While he says it’s ‘too easy’, the exercises certainly cover areas he is NOT strong in, so maybe it’s good he thinks it is easy, so he doesn’t balk at doing it, yet at the same time, he’s learning and practicing skills he needs, since he normally is pretty negligent when it comes to grammar and spelling. We use a separate curriculum for writing though, so this does not cover writing. My son uses the student book on his own, and I don’t use the teacher book at all. I know this is not the recommended use of it, but it works for us, as I can’t sit with him to do the lessons all the time. If he has questions, I just explain when necessary.

  4. Learning Language Arts Through Literature Review by Lynn E.
    Pros: Total English integration, no need for supplements.
    Cons: Occasional editing mistakes, Teacher book could be more comprehensive.

    Grades Used: 3-8

    I love how this curriculum uses classic literature as it’s basis for teaching and has an all-in-one approach. I’ve rarely ever needed any additional resources. Teaching from the classic literature excerpts gets my children interested in reading the actual books, which we usually end up getting on kindle or the library. This curriculum really does well covering all aspects of English so that you do not have many sperate things to do. We have used the curriculum for 4 years with both children and they both really enjoy their books. They are nice, short to medium length exercises each day that don’t wear them down. Typically, they are able to do their LLATL assignment in 15-20 minutes each day. Some activities are longer however. Such as research units, essay units, and the book studies.

    The only things I have had problems with are the errors we have encountered in the books at times. I rely on the teacher books to check work and there have been several errors in them listing wrong answers or not having all of the answers that my children have found. My children have learned to question my telling them they are incorrect because of these errors, and luckily, they are usually correct in doing so. I find it very frustrating for both of us when I am having them redo concepts that were already correct but the teacher book had an incorrect answer for. I’ve found myself checking more from my judgment than from the teacher book. I’ve contacted the publishers about the issues and was offered a free book in return for my keeping up with what errors I find, but I really wish they could just be more diligent in editing their own books before publishing.

  5. Learning Language Arts Through Literature Review by Laurie
    Pros: none
    Cons: vague, confusing,

    Grades Used: 6 and 7

    Too much flipping. Too many 1,2,3, a,b,c difficult to find your place. Not enough explaination for answers. Too many answer varies. Not enough review to get info to stick. Not for dysgraphia students, nor teachers who are weak in grammar because I as a teacher didn’t understand the reasoning. Typos, and very little the child could do independently without constant help.

  6. Learning Language Arts Through Literature Review by Sheri Vincent
    Pros: Inexpensive, includes all facets of LA
    Cons: Not enough concept repetition, too easy at higher levels, stuck with the lit books they choose

    Grades Used: 3, 6

    On the surface I thought we would love LLAL, but it was not to be… I love that they don’t overdo the grammar, and that the learning is based on literature, but at the younger level there was not enough repetition for concepts to be retained and at the higher level it was way too easy. We gave up part way through the year.

  7. Learning Language Arts Through Literature Review by Sara
    Pros: easy, inexpensive, great for newbies
    Cons: could not always find recommended reading material

    Grades Used: 1st-5th

    I used this for my children during their first several years. We also used a Unit Study program and using LLATL along with that, gave the children a great start in grammar, narration, composing poetry. My daughter tended to prefer to draw or express some parts of her lesson verbally, which worked well.

    They were encouraged to journal and later, notebooking.

  8. Learning Language Arts Through Literature Review by Lillian Gimmelli
    Pros: great reading comprehension sections
    Cons: none

    Grades Used: 5th

    Learning Language Arts through Literature was used for my son in 5th grade who has a delay in reading comprehension and it really helped him. He enjoyed it and felt like he was able to understand what he was reading without so much difficulty. Thank you.

  9. Learning Language Arts Through Literature Review by Amanda Greer
    Pros: All-in-one Language Arts solution
    Cons: Weak in composition, limited to their book selections

    Grades Used: 1-5

    I love that LLATL uses Ruth Beechick principles of whole to part language lessons, but I prefer the older books that do the lessons in a much more flexible and versatile way that can be applied to any book you’re currently reading. We don’t like the new workbooks as much so we only use them here and there when we are reading the books they’ve chosen. I really like it for everything except composition.

  10. Learning Language Arts Through Literature Review by Shera DeMay
    Pros: easy to use; not so much repetative writing
    Cons: you may have to order a book if your library doesn't have it, but they seem to be pretty inexpensive when this happens

    Grades Used: 4, 8

    We have just begun to use LLATL this year, and my children no longer complain about their grammar assignments. This does not seem to have so much of the repetative writing that my children didn’t like, so they tend to take more from the lesson since they are not as bored. My oldest two girls are looking forward to studying the British authors which is one of the high school courses.

  11. Learning Language Arts Through Literature Review by Ruth Stroup

    We have used this curriculum for a couple of years and find it very helpful. The assignments are varied so that it is not the same old thing all of the time. Some days are especially easy while others take them a long time to complete. My son who struggles in this area of study finds it difficult, while my other son who finds reading easy doesn’t struggle as much. I have moved one down a grade and one up a grade so that helps with the challenge of it. My boys both don’t like to write very much so I have found it nice this year in the Purple book. They are currently having them write a short story and have broken it down into steps. I am looking forward to seeing the finished product. It doesn’t have very much for spelling, just 5 words a week so some may feel the need to suppliment that area.
    I am glad that we found this curriculum.

  12. Learning Language Arts Through Literature Review by Leslie
    Pros: inexpensive, comprehensive, fun
    Cons: may need to bump up a grade for some

    Grades Used: 4th, 6th, 7th

    We really enjoy LLATL as our main language arts curriculum. These are extremely self-paced, with only supervisory steps from parent in some cases. You may want to consider bumping up a grade level for children who are advanced in vocabulary and reading level as these seem to be behind a bit in both areas. Otherwise a very good solid language arts option. Very affordable too.

  13. Learning Language Arts Through Literature Review by Kim McCready
    Pros: All in one book
    Grades Used: 2, 5,& 7

    We started using LLATL this year and we love it. My children are learning more about grammar than they have in the past.

  14. Learning Language Arts Through Literature Review by Karen
    Pros: quick & easy
    Cons: not enough depth in some areas

    Grades Used: 3rd & 7th

    This is a great resource for new homeschoolers. The instructions are easy to follow and preparation time is minimal. My children like the variety in that we can explore different aspects of Language Arts on different days. I would supplement with more reading than is assigned with this program.

  15. Learning Language Arts Through Literature Review by Pat Forsythe
    Pros: all in one book, except for library books needed for lit
    Cons: library sometimes didn't carry a book needed; not as deep as other curricula

    Grades Used: 2-6

    We enjoyed this series when we used it. It is easy to use, set up with 36 weeks of lessons. The strands of LA are intermingled. The course is weak on writing/composition, with much of the composition left as a suggestion (write a paragraph about …)rather than incorporated throughout the week as an integral part of the curriculum. Most of the writing is answering questions about the reading for the week. We did enjoy the books and novels used, as most of it is classical and usually Caldecott or Newbury winning books. We found a book or two out of print and unavailable to us when we did this curricula, and no suggestion was given for a replacement. We, too, skipped the acting out a story part as my children didn’t like that part.

  16. Learning Language Arts Through Literature Review by Julie Scott
    Pros: easy, varied, fun
    Cons: sometimes a little too easy, too much stuff to do

    Grades Used: Red thru Orange books so far

    My daughters all picked up reading rather quickly, so the readers for these are a bit on the easy side (but they still enjoy them and the extra literature recommended, but we didn’t bother with the reading chart at all). But they are full of varied, interesting things to do to cover all the LA basics. There seems to be a lot of cutting & my 2nd daughter esp. doesn’t enjoy that, so we find other ways to complete the assignments. And sometimes we skip portions (eg. act out a segment of the story, or make a diorama). Both my older daughters have disliked penmanship, so sometimes I’ll let them dictate (as it suggests for younger students) or even let them do it orally. Overall I think they enjoy it and I think it’s a good program. I do not have to do any prep ahead of time, so that’s nice. And once you get to the orange book, 85-90% can be done by the student alone. *Altho* I must say, as yet (Orange book) I am feeling that for the name (Learning LA *Thru Literature*) that it’s a bit light on the literature part. We do a *lot* of reading otherwise and I suspect my girls are learning a good portion of their LA just from that (familiarity with good grammar, etc.) (as I did).

  17. Learning Language Arts Through Literature Review by Helen Schlessinger
    Pros: Very Little Prep
    Cons: Doesn't challenge in higher levels

    Grades Used: 1-6th grades

    I have loved using this program with my kids. The reading lists helped to build our home library. Every one of my boys got the reading bug upon completion of the Red Level. Readers included with the Blue and Red levels are unique in that they expand with the students ability to read. Starting with short vowel sounds and progressively becoming more difficult. The included chart to track what has been read can be a good motivator. My boys chose a fun day trip for each bookshelf completed. All of my kids could recognize letters and knew most sounds before beginning the blue book.

    The program does not challenge much beyond the Orange book. I always supplemented spelling, grammar and writing because these are so important. I continue to use LLATL after the Orange level but feel it is more the supplement by that point.

  18. Learning Language Arts Through Literature Review by Shannon Sanford

    We have really enjoyed using LLATL for several years now. It is very easy to use and covers a wide variety of literature.

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