Do you struggle with teaching English Grammar, Handwriting, or Language Arts in general? Many homeschoolers do and that is why we love to review Language Arts programs like Logic of English and Essentials: Logic of English Complete Set — to find a great program for the kids.
The website states that “Essentials improves the spelling and reading skills of all learners by providing linguistically accurate phonics instruction, fluency practice, morphology and vocabulary development, grammar, and composition.”
Using phonograms along with phonics, the Essentials: The Logic Of English Complete Set provides you with everything you need to work with your student to learn and improve their language arts skills through an integration of reading, spelling, writing and grammar. You can choose from manuscript or cursive. This was nice because not only is the handwriting portion in manuscript or cursive but the flashcards are also in your chosen handwriting focus (cursive or manuscript) thus allowing the student to practice reading the handwriting in all they are doing in the program.
Every lesson is broken down into three sections, covering the following topics:
- New Phonograms (sounds and the letters that make those sounds)
- Phonogram Games
- Spelling Lists
- Grammar Lesson
- Vocabulary Development
I loved how thorough the lesson plans are, though they were a little overwhelming at first and can be lengthy. The quality is high and the lessons are easy to understand and teach. The kids workbooks are high quality. The lessons were bout 30-40 minutes on average – sometimes a little less depending upon the day for us.
How We Used the Program
We used the Essentials 4 days a week with our 3rd grader. One of the pluses to the program was its inclusion if learning games. Though they are optional, i would not recommend skipping them. They were very helpful with retention and were my kids favorite part. In fact, I believe that is the reason I got a “Yay – Essentials” when I said it was lesson time. That is always a plus in any program. Our 4 year old liked playing the games with us too, which I think was great because , though the topics were above him mostly, I know he was learning right along with us.
Some of the activities and games suggested were bingo, memory, and clapping to the syllables (which both kids enjoyed). They have an entire book, The Logic of English Phonogram & Spelling Game Book, full of learning games. And something I loved about that was that there were games that were quick and easy as well as games for just 2 players. Since my family is very spaced out in age, it is important to us to have 2 player games so that just me and the student can play. Now, that being said, my 4 year old did play with us sometimes. But usually he was on my “team.”
What We Received:
- The Logic of English Essentials Teacher’s Manual . . .$95
- The Logic of English Essentials Student Cursive Workbook . . .$25
- The Logic of English Phonogram & Spelling Game Book . . . $15
- Phonogram Game Cards-Manuscript . . .$10
- Phonogram Game Cards—Cursive . . .$10
- Grammar Rule Flash Cards … $22
- Spelling Rule Flash Cards . . . $15
- Basic Phonogram Flash Cards . . . $18
- Advance Phonogram Flash Cards … $15
- Spelling Journal .. $8
- Quick Reference Chart … $10
The entire set we received costs $243, which may seem high, but it really is a great value for what you get. Remember, its reading, spelling, grammar, and handwriting. I think that’s pretty good for all four subjects. And the quality of the materials is great. They will last through multiple kids (our plan).
We also liked the Spelling Journal. Though you could get by without this journal, we liked that all the rules were in the front of the journal and it gave the child a place to write and then review words that go with the spelling rules. At first, I thought some of the spelling words were too easy for her, as she is an advanced speller, but I found that the review and associating with the spelling rules was very helpful and helped her be a better speller overall.
You can check out sample pages throughout the Essentials Program and see for yourself the beautiful, easy-to-use layout.
We loved The Logic of English and their Essentials program. The easy to use instructions, the immense support and explanation behind the program at the beginning of the teacher’s manual helped me feel equipped and ready to teach and the games and activities helped make the learning fun for the students. I really think that my daughter’s spelling and writing improved during our review period and we look forward to continuing with their program.
Pros: Very thorough, all in one language arts curriculum, fun games, accompanying app for iPod/iPad available
Cons: Very parent led/not independent, a little pricey, no Android app available
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