All I can say is wow! And the team did a super great job in the revisions and additions they brought to Essentials.
What is the Logic of English?
The Logic of English is a comprehensive Language Arts Curriculum. It is primarily a phonic-based reading and spelling program that also covers grammar and vocabulary.
The full program - which is what we received - is composed of:
Yes, this is a lot! At first you feel rather overwhelmed but I assure you it all works together very smoothly. It is teacher's intensive as you have to teach the material, but it is a very engaging program requiring feedback from the students and incorporating lots of games.
This program is meant to teach you and your kids the why of English sounds and spelling. And it does it so very well. It is geared toward students ages 7+ , but is very useful for struggling readers and spellers, as well as adults struggling with the rules of English spelling and pronunciations. When I first used it, English not being my first language, it really helped me in a lot of ways in my spelling and speaking.
I used this program as a reinforcement/review for my 5th grader as we had , quite successfully, completed the first Edition of Essentials before. I was looking forward to the new additions and was not disappointed.
The new Essentials program comes in color, making the whole program more appealing.
I absolutely love the addition of the three learning levels - which are color coded in both the teacher's manual and student workbook:
A - Beginner
B - Intermediate
C - Advanced
I used the C level with my son given his previous knowledge of the phonogram sounds. He did test at the C level in the placement test that comes within the Teacher's book.
I also really like the improved expanded section of the vocabulary portion of the curriculum, which is the part we spent most weeks on, since the other sections were mainly review.
This program is multi-level so you can teach several kids at the same time, making it an economical choice. You also can redo the program over, moving on to the next level each year. Essentials focuses on teaching kids phonics the right way, through phonemic awareness, and spelling through rules that are thoroughly explained so that you can see the logic behind them and so that it all makes sense. Even the vocabulary is explained and taught in a very systematic and logical way. Concepts of Latin and Greek roots are explored as well as stems, suffixes and prefixes, and how it all works together to give us the words that are in the English vocabulary.
The program, though bountiful, is actually easy to use, once you understand how it works.
The first step is to understand the color coded pattern and read over the material before each lesson. It is scripted, so easy to follow. At the beginning of each lesson it tells you what material you will need, which I found really helpful given the amount of resources that comes with the program. It is intended as a 5 days Language Arts curriculum, each day being laid out for you. That said, you can adapt it quite easily to your needs. This is what I did since I did not need to use every aspects of the program.
Day 1: Essential concepts - this is where you teach the sounds with new phonograms each week. You get to explore the sounds allowing you to go deeper into the why they make those sounds. This is when you go over the spelling rule for that week as well.
Day 2: Building words - This is where, after reviewing the new phonograms of the week, as well as the spelling rule, you continue to explore the new sound and then go over the spelling list, which is a dictation of words using the spelling analysis method (breaking down of sounds and syllables).
Day 3: Words in context - this is where you do the grammar part, teaching and applying it to the words in the spelling list from day 2.
Day 4: Words in action - there is always review of phonograms, sounds and spelling. On this day you do the vocabulary part of the curriculum.
Day 5: Check your Understanding - This is the end review of what was covered that week.
I love The Logic of English Essentials for its comprehensiveness and thoroughness. The updated edition makes it even more appealing and, includes more levels, making it reusable. That said, I think this curriculum could be overwhelming to some. It is best suited to teachers who value rules and rigor. It is quite intense because it covers a lot. If you have difficulty following a script or plan, this would be hard for you to use. It works well with auditory, hands-on and visual kids, as well as kids or parents who love to know the why behind things.
This curriculum definitely gets two-thumbs up from me!
If you want to read about the difference between the Essentials 1st edition and Essentials 2nd Edition here.
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