I have been homeschooling since 1994 and I can honestly say that after using numerous phonics/language arts programs, Logic of English is by far my favorite. When I was offered to review their second edition, I begged. Seriously. Do you remember when I was first introduced to Logic of English and did a review of their Foundations A program? It was so wonderful that I purchased Essentials to continue with as a remedial course for my older son. I honestly did not think that they could improve Essentials, but they have.
Highlights of Essentials:
- One curriculum covers reading, spelling, vocabulary and grammar.
- Multi-Level instructions included, with three levels of difficulty.
- Easily adaptable to classroom, one-on-one tutoring or homeschool setting.
- Ideal for ages 8 and up, as introduction or remedial for a struggling student or a student that suffers from dyslexia, working memory deficits, weak visual memory or processing issues. (My youngest is now 9 and has gone through Foundations A and we were working in the first edition of Essentials. My older son used the first edition as well as a remedial course.)
- Tons of teacher tips included.
- Placement test ensures student starts at the correct level and assessments ensures that student is progressing.
- Lessons are easy to teach – lists materials needed and scripted.
What’s New in 2nd Edition:
- Twice as much information. There are now two volumes. Volume 1 with lessons 1 through 15 covers one semester. Volume 2 (which will be available January 2017) will cover lessons 16 through 30 and will wrap up the second semester.
- Three distinct levels for spelling, vocabulary and grammar. This also allows you to use the course again with a new set of challenge words if your student needs more remedial work.
What You Will Need
I would highly suggest purchasing the complete set. It will contain everything you need to take full advantage of this curriculum. If you are teaching more than one student, you should purchase additional workbook and spelling journal at least, since those are consumable. The complete set includes:
- Teacher’s Guide
- Student Workbook
- Spelling Journal
- Morpheme Cards
- 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
*When Volume 2 is available, you will need the teacher’s guide, student workbook, and more morpheme cards that are all for that volume.
What a Typical Week Looks Like:
Before you begin the lessons, you need to organize the materials. I have found that the best way to keep up with all of the flash cards is to use these book rings. I have all of the flashcards stored in a photo box and separate the ones that are mastered from the ones we are still working on. Then you are ready to begin.
The lessons are designed to cover one week. This is how I used the program with my youngest son and I sped up the lessons with my oldest since it was remedial for him.
Day 1: Essential Concepts. Using the scripted lesson and the phonogram flash cards, new phonograms are taught
and others are reviewed to ensure mastery. Then we cover spelling. This is done by teaching sounds and then covering the spelling rule.
Day 2: Building Words. Review phonograms and spelling rules by using games and hands-on activities along with the student worksheets. Review sounds and update spelling journal. Using whichever level your student tested at, use those given words for this week’s spelling words.
Day 3: Words in Context. Again, the day starts with reviewing phonograms and spelling rules. Grammar is covered using worksheets, grammar flash cards and using the spelling words for the week. Dictation is used to help apply what is learned.
Day 4: Words in Action. Today’s review covers phonograms, spelling and also grammar. This day we add vocabulary based on which level you are using with your student. Vocabulary words are not just random words that is learned; root words are learned (Latin, Greek, French, Old English) which will also help the student to be able to decipher meanings of words throughout the rest of their life. This skill is especially helpful in testing!! The day ends with a
little dictation, composition and reading. (You can use your own grade-level reading material or The Essentials Reader.)
Day 5: Review. This final day of the week is for an in-depth review of everything that has been taught so far. You will cover phonograms, grammar, and spelling.
I cannot recommend any of the Logic of English products enough. When I taught my oldest to read, we tried four different programs before she grasped reading and spelling. It was so frustrating. I only wish that this program would have been available then!!! If you have a student that is struggling or if you simply want to ensure mastery of the English language, this program is not only very thorough but it is very easy to use. I have noticed that it really helped with my son’s language. When I first started Foundations, I was debating on whether I should consult a speech therapist or not. I had to take my oldest son to a speech therapist so I already knew what to look for and some of the exercises that I had to practice with him. The way Logic of English presents the sounds is very similar to the exercises that we did. After only using the program for a month, there was so much progress that my son no longer needed assistance. (I know there are many reasons why a child might need speech therapy and I am not suggesting that this will always replace that need, I am only stating that using the activities to learn how to properly make the sounds helped my son enough.) The numerous hands-on activities and games that are used keeps the lessons fun and engages even the active little ones. There is the right mix of fun activities, oral exercises and worksheets to keep my student’s attention.
You can read more details of this curriculum at the website which also gives various sample pages to view.
In accordance to FTC disclosure, I received Essentials 2nd edition Volume 1 and the needed supplements in exchange for this review. All opinions stated are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy.