For the past several weeks, we have been working through the Essentials 2nd Edition from Logic of English. This program teaches phonograms and the rules of the English language which has really been helping B as he struggles in this area. This English curriculum is designed to teach reading, spelling, grammar and vocabulary to students age 7 to adult.
The aim of Logic of English is to improve English literacy worldwide though their amazing curriculum, using methods that relate to all the learning styles. Based on 74 basic phonograms and 31 spelling rules, concentrating on teaching why the words are read and spelled the way they are without the use of sight words.
We received Volume 1 of 2 volumes (the 2nd is expected to be released in January 2017). Each volume contains 15 lessons and is designed to take one semester to complete.
Included in this Volume 1 pack, we received:
- Essentials Teacher’s Guide, Volume 1
- Essentials Student Workbook, Volume 1
- Spelling Journal
- Morpheme Cards, Set 1, Levels A B C
- Basic Phonogram Flash Cards
- Spelling Rule Flash Cards
- Grammar Flash Cards
- Advanced Phonogram Flash Cards
- Phonogram Game Cards: Bookface
- Phonogram Game Cards: Manuscript or Cursive
- Phonogram Game Tiles
- Spelling Analysis Card
- Phonogram and Spelling Rule Quick Reference
I also received the Optional Essentials Reader Set, which were downloadable files. These are separate when purchasing Volume 1 and are not necessary to complete the Essentials program. This package included:
- Essential Reader
- EssRead Teachers Guide
- EssRead Student Activity Book
The Essential Reader program is recommended for children aged 8 or 9 and above. It is used alongside the Essentials program to help strengthen reading skills and help children learn how written English works.
How did we go?
First, I chose to organise the materials. I used coloured clips that matched the colours of the cards and I placed some magnetic tape to the back of the Phonogram Game Tiles.
Then I sat down to read the Teacher’s Guide. This is essential as it tells you how to use the program, supplies that are needed how to teach the program. I chose to use this program with B as he needs a bit more help in this subject area, though R sat in on the lessons and played the games with us too. He also answered the questions alongside in a notebook.
First I went through the placement test and pre-lessons A-J with B before starting the 5 day schedule.
- Day 1: Essential Concepts
- Day 2: Building Words
- Day 3: Words in Context
- Day 4: Words in Action
- Day 5: Check Your Understanding
Each lesson includes three levels: A, B, C. To help reinforce the concepts that were being taught, we completed the first two levels with our youngest boy while our oldest boy had a go at Level C. It did mean we spent more time each day completing the curriculum, but it was well worth it.
Day 1 – On day one of each lesson, new phonograms are introduced and old ones are reviewed. I love how these lessons were fully scripted in the Teacher’s Guide.
Day 2 – This day involves phonogram review, which always includes a fun game, followed by some writing activities in the spelling journal. This is then followed by a spelling list activity which is completed in the Student Workbook. This is where you can choose which level, A, B, C you want to use.
Day 3 – Today is for concentrating on review. First phonograms, then spelling and spelling rules, then grammar.
Day 4 – Day 4 is more review, concentrating on vocabulary. At the end of Day 4, you have the option of incorporating The Essential Reader lessons. These are the lessons we received in a downloadable pdf format, which I printed out and clipped together. This extra work didn’t take our boys long to complete, and they really enjoyed the fun quips. These lessons consist of a pre-reading activity which requires children to read words from a list; a reading activity which includes reading, writing and sometimes fun drawing activities; a post-reading activity in which children have fun digging deeper into the quips they have read. After this is some handwriting practice and composition work. This is where your child reads a passage and then writes it out in either cursive or manuscript, writing as neatly as they can.
Day 5 – This day starts with a review using the Grammar flashcards. This is followed by some vocabulary work before time is spent checking their understanding of the work they have completed during the week.
At first, when I received the package in the mail for this curriculum, I can honestly say I was overwhelmed and wondering what I had gotten myself in for. There were so many different cards and books it was amazing. Then I noticed the Teacher’s Manual. A colourful, but massive hard cover book containing over 630 pages! I admit, I was freaked out, but after reading the manual and organising the cards, I was quickly put at ease. The teacher’s manual lays out everything for you and, at the start of each lesson, tells you what materials you are going to need for that days work. Once I got into the swing of it, I was able to quickly set-up each lesson before diving straight in with the boys.
I love the clean layout in all the books. This helps with doodling distractions and makes them very easy to navigate. A great thing about this curriculum is that, though our boys are on two different levels, I was able to teach them both, at their own level from the one teacher’s guide. For our boys, their favourite parts were the games and having the all the flash cards available for them to review when they wanted.
Overall, I have found this to be a solid curriculum, thorough curriculum. In depth and very detailed, consisting of very high quality products. The games are a wonderful addition to help reinforce the concepts that have been taught. I love how, if your child is struggling with a concept, you can slow down and spend more time working on it, but then if you child is doing really well, you can continue on as you wish.
Also, while poking around on their website, I found these very useful free resources. You can download handwriting paper, spelling lists and charts, phonogram charts and more.