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HELP! I've narrowed down my LA choices, but can't quite decide...


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  #1  
June 7th, 2009, 09:42 PM
ragmama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Anyone want to offer some input? I'm pretty sure of everything we're using next year except for language arts, and I need to make a decision. My NOI is printed out and ready to mail except for disclosing the LA curriculum we'll be using...and I'm itching to mail that thing!!

A little background on Rachael that might help you help me...we're doing first grade this year, but she's definitely ahead of the game in her reading. She LOVES to read, so I thought a literature based LA program might work best for her. From the samples I've read online, I guess we're looking at a 2nd grade curriculum for this year. We already have spelling covered (Natural Speller) and I'm thinking we'll do Handwriting Without Tears, if we need extra handwriting with whatever LA we go with. Maybe some Explode the Code books, if we need more phonics. So I guess we pretty much need reading and grammar?

Now, I've narrowed down our choices to...

ACE - I'm sure she'd like the workbooks, but holy expensive, Batman.

BJU English - I've heard good things about BJU, but honestly can't tell exactly what all is covered here. Read some okay reviews.

LLATL (red) - I was in love with the idea of this one for a while, but the reviews I've read aren't so great. It's the second most pricey that I'm considering, and I really can't justify the cost unless I'm *sure* it's good...

Rod & Staff - I'm leaning the most toward this one at the moment. Anyone have personal experiences with it?

Easy Grammar - heard good things about this one around JMs too. But would she even need this combined with one of the others?

Thanks for your help, ladies! I'm so ready to have these decisions made so I can start buying and planning!
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  #2  
June 8th, 2009, 05:28 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
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I've only done Rod and Staff of those and while it is solid and thorough, it is horribly dry and can kill love of learning.
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  #3  
June 8th, 2009, 06:10 AM
ragmama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Ew. That doesn't sound good.
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  #4  
June 8th, 2009, 06:14 AM
Jenneve's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I looked at Rod & Staff, and to me it looked so BORING! No personal experience though.

BJU English was TORTURE for us. For some reason it just was not a good fit for us at all. Any of us!

We love LLATL here. My oldest has used the Orange book, and will be moving on to the purple book. My middle used the last half of the blue book & has started on the red book. He absolutely LOVES it!!! He gets very excited to do his LA and usually asks to do this first. Alot of people feel it's light on the grammar, but it's a good fit for us. Anything else we've used has been too heavy & my oldes was overwhelmed. He just couldn't remember anything he was "learning" because it was just too much for him. Once we started using LLATL, he's understanding & retaining. Personally, I think if it takes a "light" program to get him to learn it and remember it, that's more important than getting a more "solid" program that he's not going to retain anything from. JMO

I have no experience with the others. Good luck making your decision.
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  #5  
June 8th, 2009, 10:59 AM
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We use LLATL here.. I have one in Blue and one finishing up red and moving onto yellow..they both LOVE it!
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  #6  
June 8th, 2009, 11:13 AM
ragmama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Okay, LLATL people...can you help me figure out which one I would need for Rachael? I'm thinking red...not sure exactly what level she's reading on, but she can read American Girl books and Berenstein Bears chapter books by herself. It's kind of slow going, but she doesn't mind. But I don't want to skip too far ahead in *whatever* we go with and miss out on the grammar, vocabulary, etc. that might be covered in lower lessons.

AUGH, too many choices!!!
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  #7  
June 8th, 2009, 04:40 PM
~InHisHands~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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For what it's worth, the other homeschooling family here that I have been working with to come up with my curriculum LOVES easy grammar & apparently the private school that my church runs uses easy grammar too. Actually right now I'm torn between Easy Grammar & LLATL for Austin for 8th grade.
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  #8  
June 9th, 2009, 05:44 AM
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We used LLATL Red for Reilly for second grade, and we really liked it! At that level, the readers are incorporated into the lessons and, while they're easier books to read, it makes it kind of fun to have the lessons kind of revolve around what they've just read. It is a little light on the grammar/writing side, but that didn't matter to us in second grade. We just started supplementing with Shurley English in third grade and that worked well. One of the things that I love about LLATL is that is really incorporates lots of different types of activities to learn - cutting and pasting, drawing pictures, things like that.
I'll be using Red Book when Declan gets to second grade, but we're skipping the first grade level curriculum.
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  #9  
June 9th, 2009, 09:37 AM
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Here are some sample assessments from the red (2nd grade) book and the yellow (3rd grade) book. It's the 1st & last assessments from each book. You can have her do each one & that should give you an idea of where to start her.

Red Book Assessments
Yellow Book Assessments

Hope that helps a little.
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  #10  
June 9th, 2009, 10:51 AM
ragmama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thanks, Jenn! I think red would be the one for us. Looking at the assessments...I think she COULD do the first one for yellow, but it would take quite a bit of prompting. Those links were great!

Okay, so I think I'm back to leaning toward LLATL now. Unless someone has other suggestions that I didn't mention?

Thank goodness ALL of the subjects weren't this hard to decide on!
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  #11  
June 9th, 2009, 12:21 PM
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We're using LLATL Blue right now and really love it!
I've never used Rod and Staff but someone told me that if you want a quick and dirty, no frills language arts program that they were the way to go.

Hope that helps!
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  #12  
June 9th, 2009, 04:42 PM
4boys
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I have heard a lot of great things about Rod and Staff, especially their English program. I am planning on using it in a few years. I think a lot of people use it orally, otherwise it is too much writing for young children. And it is inexpensive.

I've looked at LLATL many times and have been very tempted by it, so I'm sure it's a good choice too!

The others I have no experience with. I hope you find something you like!
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  #13  
June 10th, 2009, 07:02 AM
ragmama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I think I'm just going to flip a coin!
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  #14  
June 10th, 2009, 12:11 PM
4boys
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Well, you can always try one and if it doesn't work out, try another. Sometimes it's so hard to make a decision with just a few online sample pages to look at. At times I have to resort to trial and error!
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  #15  
June 10th, 2009, 02:15 PM
ragmama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4boys View Post
Well, you can always try one and if it doesn't work out, try another.
I wish it were that easy, but we're really scrimping and pinching right now just to afford our basic curriculum. Not sure we could just buy a new one and hope we like it if the first one doesn't work out. I'd probably just have to make do for this 'school year'.
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  #16  
June 10th, 2009, 02:40 PM
~hsingtreehouse~
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Have you looked at CLE? We absolutely ADORE CLE and actually switched from LLATL orange and Red to CLE LA 1 and 3. CLE does grammar and spelling. They have a CLE Reading program too and you really have to add in writing when the child is ready. For Bryce, we use CLE LA 3 (went back a level...he was totally NOT getting grammar past nouns, verbs, and pronouns with LLATL and GWG which is what we used before CLE. Now he "gets" it!), Writing with Ease, and Drawn into the Heart of Reading for a Reading program. It is working beautifully. We use CLE for math too and I just can't say enough good stuff about it.

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  #17  
June 10th, 2009, 06:22 PM
~InHisHands~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragmama View Post
I wish it were that easy, but we're really scrimping and pinching right now just to afford our basic curriculum. Not sure we could just buy a new one and hope we like it if the first one doesn't work out. I'd probably just have to make do for this 'school year'.
Local Christian bookstores around here carry some of the titles you are looking at & they allow you to open & look at HSing material before you purchase it. Are there any local stores in your area that you might be able to go see the actual books you wanna get... that way you can make a little more of an informed decision.
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  #18  
June 10th, 2009, 10:08 PM
ragmama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thanks, Amanda - I hadn't heard of CLE but I'll definitely take a look before making up my mind!

We only have one Christian book store in the area, and it's pretty small...I've never considered that they might have hs'ing materials, but it wouldn't hurt to stop in and look. If nothing else, there's a larger one near where my mom lives, I can send her to check as well.
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