Thursday, September 12, 2013

Review: Logic of English Essentials

Logic of English has developed programs to help students learn to read, write, and spell.  I was sent their Essentials program to review.  This program is for students who are 8 years old, but there are suggestions for using it with younger children.

I received:

  • Hardcover Teacher's Manual ($95)
  • Cursive Workbook ($25)
  • Phonogram & Spelling Game book ($25)
  • Basic Phonogram Flash Cards ($18)
  • Spelling Rule Flash Cards ($15)
  • 2 Phonogram Game Card sets (1 in cursive/1 in manuscript) ($10 each)

Logic of English Essentials is an all in one Language Arts program.  While using Essentials, your student will learn 74 phonograms, along with 30 spelling rules.  Grammar, vocabulary, & dictation are also included. 

The heart of the Essentials program is the Teacher's Manual.  I received the hardcover, and it's a nice, sturdy book that will stand up to lots of wear.  There are 40 lessons (every 5th lesson is an Assessment & Review), and each lesson is broken down into three parts.  Part One deals with phonograms, sounds, and spelling rules.  Part Two focuses on spelling dictation and analysis.  Part Three focuses on grammar, dictation, composition, and vocabulary.  Lessons are written for the teacher, and what is supposed to be accomplished in each lesson is very clear.  You can view a sample lesson here.

How long each lesson takes really depends on the age and ability of your student.  There are sample schedules in the beginning of the Teacher's Manual that deal with all different types of students.  This program can be used with struggling readers and spellers (about 75-130 minutes/day) and struggling spellers (about 35-65 minutes/day), and you can complete the program in 8-16 weeks with these students (ages 8 through adult).  If you'd like to use it with younger students, you can plan on spending 30-60 minutes/day (for 6 & 7 year olds) and complete the program in about 40 weeks, or spend 5-60 minutes/day with your 5 or 6 year old and complete the program in 80 weeks.  The suggestion for ESL student is to spend 30-120 minutes/day, and in this instance the time to complete this program can really vary--anywhere from 8 to 80 weeks.

The Cursive Workbook (this is also available in manuscript) contains all of the needed worksheets for every lesson.  It's also available as a PDF, which is a great option if you're teaching more than one child.  It's nice and uncluttered, and it's labelled clearly so it is very easy to find the page for the portion of the lesson you are working on.  You can view a sample here.

The Basic Phonogram and Spelling Rule flashcards are nice and sturdy.  They make it easy to review and quiz your child on what they're learning.  The Spelling Rules are clearly labelled with the spelling rule number, and the rule is written clearly on the front with examples of the rule applied on the back.  The Basic Phonogram cards have the phonogram on the front with examples on the back.

The Phonogram & Spelling Game Book is full of games and drills for learning and practicing phonograms and spelling words.  The Phonogram Game Cards are made of the same sturdy material as the flashcards, and 1-3 packs are needed for the 9 games in Chapter 1 of the book.  There are 9 chapters total; the first 5 focus on phonograms and the last 4 are focused on spelling words.  There is a wide variety of games--everything from Go Fish and Bingo to Phonogram Hop and Spelling Basketball.  There are ideas and suggestions if you have a tactile learner as well.  

I used this with all of the boys (ages 14, 12, 11, 9, & 7).  Since they all can read very well, I was using Essentials mainly for spelling remediation.  I used this one room schoolhouse style, and we did lessons together as a group.  We reviewed the phonograms together by reciting them in unison.  My boys found this to be the most tedious part of the lesson, and they often tried to recite them by using opera voices.  We learned the spelling rules together as well.  All written practice was done in cursive, so it was great practice and review (all of the boys learned/re-learned cursive a few months ago).  The grammar practice also worked well in a group setting.  I had the boys raise their hands when I asked questions since much of this was review for the older boys.  This allowed the younger boys to have time to remember what they were learning, and I called on them any time they raised their hands.  The boys weren't huge fans of the games, but it's not because there is anything wrong with the games.  They've never been huge fans of games during school time--they'd rather just get through the lessons so they can get on with the day.  The biggest downside to doing this together as a group was that it added time onto the lessons (the boys are easily distracted by each other and there are lots of tangents), so it took us 3-4 days to get through 1 lesson.

For more reviews of Logic of English, visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew.


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1 comment:

Beth said...

Recitation in opera voices - HA! That is awesome! I don't think I'll mention that to my crew, however.