Common Sense Press Homeschool Product Review

Common Sense Press






Common Sense Press Product Review


  • Grades: Various
  • Subjects: Language Arts, Math, Science, Bible History
  • Category: Religious
  • Format: Traditional
  • Price: $8 – $100

How to Use Common Sense Press

Learning Language Arts Through Literature
LLATL is simple for the teacher to use and very effective for the student. Research indicates teaching language arts skills in an isolated format is not as effective as an integrated approach. A student may be able to complete a workbook page on punctuation but not include correct punctuation in his own daily writing. When the skills are kept in the context of literature and writing they take on new meaning for the student. This method not only gives the student more understanding for the skills, but also adds to the retention of them. Our mail indicates that students who once disliked language arts when using a basal program, decided it was their favorite subject when they used Learning Language Arts Through Literature.
Great Science Adventures
The Great Science Adventures is a full science curriculum, not just a supplement. We recommend one book from each of the three areas of study (Earth, Life, and Physical) for a complete year of curriculum.How can a book cover K-8?
Through our unique format, each book has materials and learning activities geared for the different grade levels. We use pencil icons or pictures to show the teacher which tasks to do with a particular age group. One pencil is for K-2, two pencils for grades 3 – 5, and three pencils for grades 6 – 8.
For fourth grade skills and up, the Wordsmith series is the perfect companion to Learning Language Arts Through Literature. Young people will find easy, step-by-step instructions to improve their writing skills. The series provides a brief review of grammar followed by instruction on building stronger sentences, exercises in writing descriptive, narrative, persuasive, and expository essays, creating dialogue, story writing, notetaking, and more. Plus, students build the essential skills of every good writer: practice in proofreading and revising.
Common Sense Press Homeschooling Product Review

Common Sense Press Program Features

In 1989, Susan Simpson and Diane Welch published the first Learning Language Arts Through Literature book that launched Common Sense Press.  When Susan retired in 2016, John and Diane Welch took over operations.  Common Sense Press continues to add curricula designed for homeschoolers, traditional schools, and parents who want to enrich their children’s education. With Common Sense Press products, meaningful hands-on activities replace textbook methods that are often detached from the learning process.  For example,  Learning Language Arts through Literature series incorporates spelling, reading, vocabulary, grammar, writing, penmanship, and phonics in the same lesson. Research shows that language arts taught in this way is much more effective than when taught in the traditional isolated and fragmented manner.

Before being published, all products must pass two tests. First, they publish materials that are complete and require a minimum of planning. Second, they believe that education is more than just getting the right answer on a multiple-choice test. Learning should be meaningful, comprehensive, and stimulating to the student.

​Their products can be ordered from their online store.

The Common Sense Press curriculum offers:

  • Religious world views
  • Print or eBook formats
  • Flexible lesson plans

Common Sense Press Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
  • Easily individualized curriculum.
  • Affordable single textbooks.
  • Several options for a customized education.
  • Parents must mix & match books for a complete curriculum.
  • Costs may add up with multiple books.
  • Parents may find the various options difficult to choose between.

Common Sense Press Pricing Information

For this curriculum, pricing varies per product choice.  Each book, whether a student text or answer key, is individually priced.


If a student has been using a traditional workbook program, how do I know where to place him in the LLATL series? Will the student be missing important skills by not completing prior books in the series?
Since each book in the series is grade based, it isn’t necessary to complete all the prior books in the series. You can determine the best level in LLATL for your student by using the Placement TestsScope and Sequences, and Sample Lessons. Your goal is to challenge the student without frustrating him, so keep that in mind as you choose the grade level. Writing and grammar skills are usually reviewed at each level, so the student can successfully enter the series after assessing his current skill level.
Does each book cover a full year of language arts study?
Each book is designed for a 180-day school year. The 36 lessons are divided into five days of activities. For example, for each lesson you will find Day 1 followed by a, b, c, etc. These are all the activities you would expect your student to complete on Monday. Then you will see Day 2 followed by a, b, c, etc. These are the activities for Tuesday. A review follows each lesson to be used at your discretion. Usually each day’s work will take the student approximately 30 to 45 minutes to complete.

The Yellow Book (3rd grade) contains a total of 36 lessons which include four Literature Links. The Green Book (7th grade) and The Gray Book (8th grade) contain 36 lessons which include four Book Studies.  The Purple Book (5th grade) and Tan Book (6th grade) contain 36 lessons plus four additional Book Studies.

This schedule is offered as a guideline to provide the teacher structure for lesson planning yet allowing flexibility to adjust the suggested schedule to meet the needs of each student.
For example, we have many families who group the activities into a four day schedule, leaving the fifth day free for outside activities, service activities, etc.

How do I grade my student’s work using the LLATL program?
LLATL provides lesson reviews and assessments which may be used in grading the student. In addition, grades and evaluations may be based upon writing assignments, daily work, and dictation exercises. When the students reach the high school level and grades for transcripts become more important, additional test booklets which include course notes, unit tests, and answer keys are available to assist you, as well as a writing assessment service.