This past month we had the opportunity to review Logic of English.
Logic of English materials help to equip teachers with the tools needed to teach literacy, language arts, and handwriting.
We were able to review their Essentials: Logic of English Complete Set, created to teach students ages 7 to adult to read, write, and spell.
Being that this program was designed with struggling students in mind (Dyslexia, ESL students, and struggling readers and spellers), I was really excited to try out this program! Really really excited!
About Essentials: Logic of English
All of these beautiful items come with the Essentials: Logic of English Complete Set, which retails for $243.
In the Essentials: Logic of English Complete Set, I received:
- Essentials Teacher’s Manual
- Essentials Student Workbook(s) in Cursive or Manuscript
- Spelling Journal
- Basic Phonogram Flash Cards
- Advanced Phonogram Flash Cards
- Spelling Rule Flash Cards
- Grammar Rule Flash Cards
- Phonogram & Spelling Rule Quick Reference Chart
- Phonogram & Spelling Game Book
- 2 sets of Game Cards
The teacher’s manual is a beautiful hardback book that will last through years of use. It is non-consumable so you can use it for numerous children. There are a total of 40 lessons with each lesson having 3 parts. Each lesson contains a section on phonograms, spelling, and grammar, making it a very thorough and complete program. Each lesson is well scripted and organized.
The student workbook, spelling journal, and game book are all softcover books. The spelling journal and student workbook require the student to write in them so they will not be able to be used again by another student.
All of the Logic of English flash cards are made of smooth shiny cardstock. I appreciated the fact that they were color coded, making them easy to keep organized.
How We Used Essentials: Logic of English
When I first opened the teachers’ manual, I was completely overwhelmed. This teacher’s manual is not for the faint of heart, which apparently defines me. There was a great deal to read before I could even get started. Before beginning any lessons with my son, I had to first determine which schedule would best suit our needs.
There are five different schedules to choose from: struggling readers and spellers, struggling spellers, emerging readers and spellers, young emerging readers, and ESL students. I chose to use the schedule for struggling spellers because, unlike the struggling readers and spellers schedule that required 75-130 minutes per day, the struggling spellers schedule required 35-65 minutes a day and seemed a bit less rigorous.
The “Before You Begin” section of the teacher’s manual includes information on how to teach the 45 phonograms and their sounds, how to help your student make the connection between the auditory and the kinesthetic components of speech, how to teach your student to hear individual sounds, how to help your student to identify syllable breaks, and much more.
We used this program in place of our other grammar, spelling, and writing programs since this was an in-depth curriculum requiring a great deal of time and attention. The struggling speller schedule recommends completing one lesson every one to two days. Although, the schedule we chose was only supposed to take 35-65 minutes a day, I found that it took us much longer to complete a lesson.
In part one of each lesson, we used the phonogram flash cards to introduce new phonograms and their sounds as well as review old phonograms. We would write the phonograms out, play a game with them, dictate them, or drill with them. Many times we would do several of these activities all in one sitting.
Part two of the lesson includes the daily spelling list that I would dictate for my son to write down in his workbook. This is where the spelling rule cards came in handy!
Part three of the lesson contains the grammar and vocabulary part of the program. This is where we went over parts of speech and learned about prefixes and suffixes, etc. There are a lot of optional activities for grammar practice included in this part such as playing charades using verbs or simply reviewing concepts with the grammar flash cards. My son’s favorite phonogram game was Phonogram Basketball. In this game, for every correct phonogram my son wrote, he got to crumple up the paper he had written the phonogram on and toss it into the basket. A very boy friendly game!
Every fifth lesson is an assessment and review. These lessons go over spelling rules, spelling words, and reading with optional spelling, phonogram, and grammar review if more practice is needed.
My favorite thing about this curriculum is that it teaches to different types of learners. This program contains a variety of activities that can be used with different learning styles such as, kinesthetic, visual, auditory, and tactile or creative learners. Exercises are even coded with different symbols so that you can individualize your teaching to a particular learning style. Very handy!
I also liked the approach behind the program. My son’s spelling has improved since he has learned the different spelling rules and better understands the reasoning behind spelling English words the way that we do.
My concern with this program is in the length of each lesson. For an 8 year old or older, the two sample schedule guides recommend that a lesson be taught every one to two days. You are then supposed to complete The Logic of English Essentials in 8-16 weeks. I found that this was an enormous amount of material to cover in such a short timeframe for both my son and for me.
The schedule for struggling readers and spellers states that students should “spend a minimum of one and a half to two hours per day, five to six days a week on the material.” Honestly, there is so much content packed into each lesson that we couldn’t cover even half of it in an hour. Just doing part one of a lesson took us over an hour to complete. I was truly overwhelmed by the amount of material we needed to cover in a lesson in the allotted time and I was exhausted.
As much as I really wanted this program to work for us, it required more energy, persistence, and time than I could muster. I asked two other homeschool teachers to look at the curriculum and they too felt that each lesson contained far too much information to cover in one day, much less a few hours a day.
I was surprised by the schedules that were recommended in the teacher’s manual. Most dyslexic students and students who struggle in school have very short attention spans. These kids usually do best when lessons are kept to about 20 minutes. When lessons go longer they begin to fidget and lose interest. As this seems to be a fairly new program, with a copyright of 2012, I’m curious to know if there have been any studies done with special education students and whether they were able to remain attentive for the length of time required.
Although using a slower schedule isn’t recommended for ages 8 and up, I feel that perhaps this program would work better if we could break the lesson up and do only one part of a lesson per day. And then move forward only when we felt ready. Going through the amount of material at the pace recommended was too stressful for me but I think a more relaxed approach, moving along at our own pace, would have been a much better option for us!