Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Logic Of English Essentials ~ A Review

My children have been working their way through Essentials 2nd Edition from Logic of English.

We were supplied with the complete 2nd edition in order to write this review. This is a lengthy review. It is a large piece of curriculum and to truly understand this product it takes a look at as many components of it as possible.

What Is Essentials From Logic Of English

The Essentials program is a multi level reading, spelling, grammar and vocabulary curriculum. This one piece of curriculum covers it all and in three distinct levels, making it easy to use with children of varying ages simultaneously and to reuse the program over several years.

Logic of English Essentials 2 Product Review
The entire Essentials 2nd Edition

There are several pieces to this program and receiving it to review has been such a blessing to us. Have a look at the huge pile we received. This is the complete set. It includes:

  •     Essentials Teacher's Guide
  •     Essentials 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

All of these materials will be all I will ever need to teach reading and spelling to my children that are 7+ years old. For younger children they recommend to begin with their Foundations curriculum.

I own several levels of a different, well known home school spelling and reading curriculum and one of the reasons why I would choose Logic of English is because of the one off purchase. One order only and I have everything, I don't need to go back year after. Essentials does utilise many cards, however I can easily keep these all together in one place.

Essentials provides linguistically accurate phonics instruction and explains it all so clearly in the teachers manual. Teaching our children to read has got to be the number one thing most homeschooling parents agonise. Phonics, phonograms, morphemes, grammar, vocabulary, spelling it really can get all very confusing for a homeschool parent. Essentials holds your hand and walks you through every step and gives you all the background information on why!

Essentials 2nd Edition Teacher Manual

The teacher manual is quite an edition. It is a hardcover, 630+ page, colourful, well laid out manual. The first 40 odd pages outline, the Essentials program, including the scope and sequence, how to use and teach the program, spelling analysis, teacher tips and more.

There's a lot to this and it isn't a program that arrives in the post, you open the box and begin using it. You really need to spend some time familiarising yourself with everything about the program before you begin with your students.

After the introduction you have a complete section on placement tests and pre-lessons. This is where you can easily determine what level of the program your child should begin with, A, B or C. I have one child in each level of the program.

Essentials 2nd Edition Homeschool Curriculum
A peek inside the teacher manual and at the phonogram cards.

The teacher manual then moves into the actual lessons. Each lesson is set out in days with more than enough content to cover five days of instruction, completing one full lesson in a week.

For us though we find that too much and are taking things much much slower than is laid out in the teachers manual. I have broken down a lesson for you so you can see just exactly how much is in this program.

Lesson Structure

Lesson outline

The beginning of each lesson always outlines what will be covered and what materials are required. This really helps with preparing for the lesson.

Day 1 - Essential Concepts

Here is where we review learned phonograms, introduce new phonograms and advanced phonograms. Each part of the lesson is fully scripted, with teacher tip boxes along the edges of the page.

Day 1 cont - Exploring Sounds

Here you discuss, play with and possibly complete a worksheet from the student book in reference to any new sounds being learned.

Day 1 cont - Spelling Rule

The new spelling rule is introduced, once again with lots of instruction on how to introduce, why the spelling rule is in place, examples of the rule in action and generally a worksheet to go along with this portion of the lesson.

Day 2 - Building Words

Here the lesson plays with the new phonograms, possibly with a card game and some spelling activities. It also introduces vocabulary with morpheme cards.

Day 2 - Spelling Journal

Students create their own spelling journals and will add to them as the program progresses.

Day 2 - Spelling Analysis Review

Here you will review the learned phonograms and move into the spelling lists. Each lesson contains 3 lists each at different levels (A, B, C) the list you use is determined by the level you chose during the placement tests

Day 3 - Words In Context

Again, review is constantly built into the program. This section also includes the grammar component, which begins at an easy level of grammar basics and moves up in difficulty with each lesson.  Day 3 also includes a dictation exercise.

Day 4 - Words In Action

Here we are running through a quick review of everything learned over the past 3 days. Then it moves into Vocabulary work and offers options at all 3 levels (A, B, C). Then we have another dictation exercise, a reading exercise and a composition exercise.

Day 5 - Check Your Understanding

Final review day for everything learned this week, including worksheets, dictation exercises and grammar activities.

Playing one of the many games that are built into the program

I used Lesson 2 as my guideline for this lesson outline, it is 30 pages in total, in the teacher manual, not including the student sheets, game cards and phonogram cards. These lessons are so thorough.

How We Have Used The Program

We've used Essentials exactly as laid out in the teacher manual. We all work together and this is the very first thing we do each day, when everyone is fresh and attention spans are generally at their best. I have 3 children and each of them are all in different levels, but working together means I'm not repeating the lessons 3 times over.

The Essentials Reader

I was also sent the PDF download for the Essentials Reader, the Essentials Reader Student Activity Book and the Essentials Reader Teachers Guide.

Whilst not necessary to the program itself I personally feel that this is a great addition to it and a wonderful way to work more on the skills learned through the lessons.

The lessons in the reader and teachers guide work with the main Essentials program.

Here my daughter is completing a copywork page, rewriting some of the sentences from the reader passage she has just read on the screen.

What We Didn't Like

I actually can't find anything that I don't like about this program. Admittedly at first it can seem quite overwhelming, but once you have a good read of the Teacher Manual and actually get started with the lessons it is really easy to follow.

Essentials is not student directed, this program needs a teacher/adult with the student for each lesson so it could, for some, be a little time consuming, but we simply do 15 - 30 minutes each day together.

What We Did Like

I love that I can work on a language arts program with all of my children at once. I don't think I've come across anything as yet that I can do that with.

My eldest reads above grade level but he still needs work with spelling, which is why I chose to include him in this and he is learning a great deal already.

I like that absolutely everything to teach reading, spelling, grammar and vocabulary is all included in this program.

It is multi-sensory, includes games and various activities to appeal to most learners. Whilst the lessons are jam packed, you can easily take things at your own pace.

Looking Ahead

We will absolutely be continuing to move forward with Essentials. It is now a regular part of our week.

 photo Logic of English Logo small_zpsbttgcgd2.png

Pricing & Details

Visit the Logic Of English web store to view all of the Essentials materials.

To see more from Logic Of English visit them via your favourite social media outlet


I hope you found this review helpful. If you would like to see further reviews of Essentials 2nd Edition or Logic Of English Foundations program for younger learners, from members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, please visit this link.

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annette @ A net in time said...

excellent walk through of what each lesson entails from day to day.

Unknown said...

Hi Kylie!
Have already decided to buy this and was working out if I could buy this locally and stumbled across your review.. So had to read. You are a homeschool queen and I love tapping in to your amazing wisdom :) thanks for everything you do on the Gold Coast and beyond, luv kylieanne

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