CLE math grade 4. Help!

I just got my CLE order in the mail. I am overwhelmed at many pages are in each light unit. Are my kids really supposed to go through 600 pages of math in one grade? We are coming from Abeka which we have done well with. For the last 2 years we have done Teaching Textbooks 3 & 4 along with one page in their Abeka book. I did both because I felt like TT was a little slow at introducing topics but my kids like TT and never complain about it. I decided to try CLE because of all the wonderful reviews and because it’s supposed to teach to the student so they can do it somewhat independently. Well, the first book 401 doesn’t have any instructions in it at all and it looks like material that my kids might not know too well yet. I want to here from some users of this curriculum. I am tempted to send the whole box back and just go back with Abeka but I would like to give it a try if the reviews are really correct?? Help!

We just finished first grade CLE math. I was overwhelmed a bit. We had 3 pages plus drills. I took a deep breath and realized, I don’t have to do it all. Now, because it does teach spirally, if my daughter understands a topic we might do one or two problems in that area, if she had problems with it- I had her do the whole section. I also liked they had the quizzes, so you could see how your child is doing with the material. With the drills, we did them orally, or I wrote them on the board to solve, or we did a drill sort activity. The TM is needed to work with the light units, and in there you will address the hows and whys of the lesson then allow your student to work on their own. CLE also has placement tests for their program, you might check into that as well, if you are uncertain of starting with 4th grade material. My 7 year old daughter loves this math program.

Thanks for the reply. I think I will try it out. The main thing I didn’t like about Abeka math is that the TM was really geared for a classroom and hard to navigate. Do you think I need to order the flash cards too?

No, I did not order the flash cards. Did consider ordering them though. We just took index cards and made our own. The TM is not hard to navigate in CLE. I relied heavily on it at first, but then as you get into it -your own rhythm starts to kick in.

I have done CLE for a few years now and I kept having moments where I wanted to switch because of all the flashcards etc… in the first year and then I just found it a little dry in the second year. I wanted to switch to TT but funnily enough in our 3rd year my children started to LOVE CLE because if I was busy they could still get on and do a lesson and each Light Unit feels like an accomplishment to them. Sometimes I am able to double up lessons if the new concept is easy for them and it is a solid program. They are learning quickly with CLE I looked at TT and found it a little too simple in comparison. My children and definitely becoming independent learners using CLE and I love that as it frees me up to teach my younger ones so I will not be switching anytime soon. I used Abeka for K4 and it also seems like a solid program, I don’t know how Abeka progresses as far as independence, but my children found the pictures and the colour too distracting and having one book rather than the 10 LU’s really made us question how much longer we would have to go in Math whereas the LU’s are done every 3 weeks I believe, So every 3 weeks they felt proud of how much they had done.

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I really love TT BUT I am just not sure how much they are learning or retaining. They enjoy it but I just asked them the other day to compare Abeka and TT and they both said they learn more from Abeka.
After sitting down and really going through the Teachers guide for CLE and the first 2 light units I think I am going to stick with it this year. The TM for Abeka is just sooooo overwhelming I just cringe thinking about it.
I really couldn’t find a negative review for CLE math.


I hope you end up enjoying your CLE year. It’s definitely less expensive in the long run than other curriculum and as I said it’s solid. I know it can be nerve wracking when you have been doing something for a while and then you switch to something new.

Since you have it. I would definitely give it a try for a couple of months. CLE is a great program.

Thank you all for replying. I am definitely keeping it now. I actually went through everything and put all the lessons in my planner. By the end of next year we will have one LU left which is fine because I make my kids do math during the summers. So far, I really like what I’ve seen. I think I was just overwhelmed at something foreign. I am happy with my purchase so far!
Thanks again!!


Just to let you know the first book LU401 is more of a review and can probably be done much faster than 1 lesson per day if your child knows everything. One of the ways we did it this time was to do the test first and if they passed the test we would begin book 2 but if they didn’t pass we would work our way through the first book. It has pretests and if they pass the pretest you move onto the next pretest. If they fail the pretest you go through the lesson. This causes us to get through the first book much faster, which could leave you with 0 books at the end of the year on your lesson plan. Hope this helps.

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I’m glad you’ve decided to try it! I used CLE grade 2 this year for math after trying Horizons and Math U See in previous years. My daughter LOVES CLE. Some of the lessons do take quite a while, but if she’s already mastered something, I cross it off and she doesn’t have to do it. That’s great motivation for her to really dig in and learn. We do one lesson per day. The accomplishment she feels from completing a light unit is awesome. She loves being able to put a book away and see her stack of Light Units get smaller and smaller as the year goes by. I love the daily drills because she really needs that review as she is still a “finger counter” and just hasn’t gotten the hang of mental adding and subtracting (although she’s mastering mental multiplication much better than +/-). Next year, if she masters it, I may just have her do drills 2 days a week or something. It’s pretty easy to tweak. I think you will really enjoy it! I contemplated switching to Teaching Textbooks this coming year, just because it’s virtually all independent and I’ll have a Kindergartener, 3 year old, and a newborn coming in August and it’s one less thing to “teach” as much…but, she really loves CLE and asked me not to switch! :smile: Good luck next year!

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I realized that after I posted and I am hoping to go through that book much quicker! Thanks!!

I can understand your load! I have 2 third graders, and preK, a 2 and 1/2 yr old and a 6 month old!! It gets crazy during school time. I think Teaching Textbooks would work wonderful for us IF I wasn’t afraid they were missing something and then I make them also do 2 Abeka math worksheets also. So, we were doubling up! This yr I am only going to do CLE. Curriculumn decisions are so tough for me!! Thanks for you reply.

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How did your year go with CLE?

Hey Proverbs31,
Sorry it has taken me so long to respond!! March is crazy time at my house. We have a lot of birthdays and parties this time of year. CLE has been okay. I think it is a great curriculum. I ended up buying TT5 for my son to use but my daughter wanted to continue with CLE. Which actually works out better for us. I do notice that I still have to help her and explain new concepts to her and help her remember old concepts when they come up. My main complaint with CLE and maybe with most math Textbooks is that it seems like so much work for each day. It’s easy to get burnt out. We are not going to nearly finish this years worth of books for 4th grade. I am thinking of making them do math over the summer but then I hate that because we seriously need several weeks where we don’t pick up a school book!!! I am also considering just letting them continue where they leave off. I guess we’ll just be continually behind :weary::frowning:
I just hate that we never seem to have the time for the stuff we want to do: art and projects. I mean we never get around to them.
Thanks for checking on me. How has your year gone??
BTW. I am in no way giving CLE a bad review. It’s a good curriculum. I think I am also just burnt out on school too!! Thanks!

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Hi khollow,

Yes I totally understand how you feel about math. I am thinking of trying either MUS or TT5 this year also. I will be doing a lot of curriculum where I am 100% involved with school, so wanted some topics where I don’t really have to do much teaching! I was in the same position as you where we never had time for the things we wanted to do. That’s part of the reason why I spent this year reviewing what we are doing and decided to completely change our approach to school. We are trying to finish up the year and then we will plunge into our new stuff.
How have you scheduled your year to this point? We have been doing 6 weeks on 1 week off (year round schedule) and we are still left with some weeks to play with. So we can skip some weeks of school in the summer for camps etc… Another idea I have heard a lot of people mention which I am thinking of trying if we end up with CLE is to maybe do every other question in a section and if your daughter doesn’t get them all right she can do the whole section. If she understands the concepts in the review section she can skip the whole section and so on…?

We did the 6 weeks on 1 week off at the beginning of the year and I LOVED it. My only trouble it then we like to take several weeks off at Christmas which is awesome! But now it’s catch-up time. My problem is also that I have 5 kids ranging from 10 down to a very needy 16 month old. I know this season won’t last long so I do try to enjoy it but I would like to be able to more of the things we enjoy next year. I am really thinking of what I can do differently this next year! For the first time, I will be using Heart of Dakota with my 2 oldest so I will also see how that goes! Thanks for you reply. If you come up with any tips of how you are changing this coming year I would love to hear them! I love to talk homeschool with other Mamas!!

Funnily enough I find our 7th week happens to fall on a week there is a holiday or on a week where someone doesn’t feel well, so our week off is always in perfect timing lol. We have 4 children ranging from soon to be 10 to soon to be 3 so I know how busy that can be! We used HOD for the first time this year and I must say I absolutely LOVED it, it was what we needed this year, however I knew we still needed more. So I went with the Heart of Wisdom approach and Diana Waring’s History Alive! series happens to fall in line with that approach completely. I will be doing more group studies with the children, group Science, group History and Diana Waring includes art etc… in the curriculum. We will be a little more delight-directed which is good for them but also nice for me to allow them to study what they are interested in outside of school time. I’m hoping we will have more time as we do more subjects together, and hopefully Math, Language and Foreign languages they can be done independently. I guess we will see how the year goes but I am VERY excited.