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Character Quality Language Arts (CQLA) is a comprehensive multi-level approach to language arts in which its concepts, text, essays, practice sentences, reading assignments, etc., correspond to monthly character qualities. CQLA has four levels: Level Pre A (2nd-3rd grade), Level A (4th-5th grade), Level B (6th-8th grade), and Level C (high school). All four levels focus on a certain character quality each month that uses character, biblical, historical, and biographical resources in the instruction, samples, practice sentences, and writings to develop excellent, God-honoring communication skills.
CQLA was modeled after the best parts of some of the finest home-schooling materials available, as follows:
Note: If you like the above programs---and want to teach using godly content with step-by-step instructions -- you will love CQLA! Product reviewer Cathy Duffy writes: “Most of these resources are among my 100 Top Picks, so I think [author] Reish has done an excellent job of identifying and adapting the best techniques from the best resources.” --- Cathy Duffy
The CQLA program was designed so that you would not need to supplement with other spelling, vocabulary, composition, or grammar books to academically complete all language arts requirements. (However, we recommend having an English handbook, dictionary, and thesaurus on hand as your children get older.) Other than that, everything needed to complete this program is located in one consumable book to make it easier for you and your student(s).
Because the weekly lessons at all four levels begin the same, and have the same basic layout (vocabulary on the first day of the week, spelling test on the last day of the week, etc.), this avoids having to learn a new program for each child. The difference between the levels is reflected in the increased academic difficulty from one to the next. For students who need a faster pace, more challenging extension exercises are offered; children who need a slower pace may skip some lessons because of the amount of repetition involved in each level.
A year of language arts learning is contained within each CQLA book, which is broken down into eight monthly units with four weekly lessons each month. (There is also an optional week at the end of each month for families who must keep strict records of a 180-day school year.) If your student completes any CQLA book, he has fulfilled a year of English in terms of academic completion. After completing several years of CQLA, your students will have learned all the language skills that are necessary for excellent communication. An added bonus is that they will also be fully equipped to teach their own children language arts someday, which is a purposed generational benefit of this program.
What is the best way to learn the CQLA program? The CQLA Teacher’s Guide, a 300-page spiral bound book, is an inexpensive guide that will show you how to use the Character Quality Language Arts program. It is not specific to any one level or any one CQLA book. (Those items are in the Teacher’s Helps and Answer Keys at the end of each unit.) At only $25.00, it is a great way to learn more about CQLA with a minimum investment for those considering making a switch from several other curriculum materials to the all-in-one Character Quality Language Arts. It truly is a writing/grammar handbook, so you can't go wrong with this item!
The CQLA Teacher’s Guide contains an overview of the entire program. It includes a:
Important Teaching Tip: New users of this program should consider the first several weeks of using CQLA as a “learning curve” (which is true for most any new curriculum---including Christ-Centered Phonics and Christ-Centered Math). After completing the first month, you will discover the consistency and user friendliness of the program. The next month you will enjoy the ease of using CQLA and the fruit of your children becoming better communicators. By the end of the third month, any frustrations with learning a new program will be gone, and you will be excited about using CQLA for all of your language arts studies for many years.
In CQLA, it does not matter which color you begin with. The three color series---Red, Blue, and Green---are just the way the character qualities are divided. Choose the academic level according to each student's language arts abilities: Level Pre A (2nd-3rd grades), Level A (4th- 5th grades), Level B (6th-8th grades), Level C (high school)---and then select the color series having the character qualities you wish to study that year as a family.
Note: Be sure to order the same color series (set of character qualities) for every language arts student in your family so that they are all studying the identical character quality at the same time.
Note: Because all four levels of CQLA cover two or three years each, the size of the books may seem intimidating at first. However, this can be easily remedied by splitting the hole-punched pages into separate binders so that your student has only one monthly unit at a time. Because the books are mostly complete in themselves, you don’t have to switch back and forth to separate books; answer keys are also included but, if desired, can be put into a separate teacher binder.
CQLA Level Pre A---Red Series, Blue Series, or Green Series
These 800-1000 page worktexts contain all of the 2nd and 3rd grade language arts subjects for one year. A gentle, yet thorough introduction to English, with the emphasis on learning to write correct sentences and paragraphs, reviewing phonetic sounds for spelling, learning to take dictation, and organizing information for writing. Working with your child one-on-one should take about 20 to 30 minutes per day. Specify Red Series, Blue Series, or Green Series, according to whether you have done any color prior to this and what character qualities you desire to study.
CQLA LEVEL A---Red Series, Blue Series, or Green Series
These 800-1000 page worktexts contain all of the 3rd through 5th grade (depending on your child’s abilities) language arts subjects for one year. Continued emphasis on writing with longer original essays including step-by-step instructions, adding more revisions to their essays, and applying their grammar learning to writing. At this level, a lesson usually takes about 30 to 40 minutes, but a student can normally work independently half that time. Specify Red Series, Blue Series, or Green Series, according to whether you have done any color prior to this and what character qualities you desire to study. Click here for one month free sample.
CQLA LEVEL B---Red Series, Blue Series, or Green Series
The CQLA approach continues with 800-1100 pages of lessons in each of these Level B work texts. Your middle school students (grades 6th-8th) will continue to learn excellent communication skills in the same formats as the previous books, with more challenging grammar and composition assignments, the making of grammar cards, and advanced sentence structure usage in their essays. A lesson at this more advanced level requires about 45 to 60 minutes per day, but only 10-15 minutes of one-on-one instruction. Specify Red Series, Blue Series, or Green Series, according to whether you have done any color prior to this and what character qualities you desire to study. Click here for one month free sample.
CQLA LEVEL C---Red Series, Blue Series, or Green Series
Your high school student will be challenged in this final level of CQLA with 800-1200 pages of lessons in each worktext. Following the same format and approach as the earlier levels, directed essays of six to twelve paragraphs, advanced grammar lessons with more essay applications, and complex sentence structures are added in this level. Level C students will normally spend an hour or so per day on their lesson, and only need help periodically. Specify Red Series, Blue Series, or Green Series, according to whether you have done any color series prior to this and what character qualities you desire to study. Click here for one month free sample.
ALSO RECOMMENDED---CQLA Spelling Notebook
Note: The Spelling Notebook was originally written for the Advanced Training Institute (ATI) to correlate with Wisdom Booklet Language Arts (WBLA)---the sister curriculum to CQLA. It is now being made available to non-ATI families who use CQLA or just desire a spelling categorization system.
The Spelling Notebook (SN) is a separate book that correlates with CQLA. Over ninety spelling rules that cover 2nd-12th grades are included in the Spelling Notebook, and each page contains a Teacher’s Tip that explains that page’s rule. As part of each week’s spelling lesson, the student will be instructed to turn to certain pages of the SN which contain that week’s rule(s), and then record spelling words in the correct column (g says guh; g says juh, etc.). One Spelling Notebook is needed per student.