Review of Logic of English - Essentials 2nd Edition

All of my kids read and write at various levels for their age. My 11-year-old son, who is now reading, still struggles with sounding out words that don't fit "the rules." I have enjoyed spending the last few weeks with him trying Essentials 2nd Edition from Logic of English.

This was a BIG package of material when it arrived. The very heavy box included the following items:

  • Essentials Teacher's Guide, 2nd ed.
  • Volume 1 Essentials Student Workbook, 2nd ed.
  • Volume 1 Spelling Journal 
  • Basic Phonogram Flash Cards 
  • Spelling Rule Flash Cards 
  • Advanced Phonogram Flash Cards 
  • Grammar Flash Cards 
  • Morpheme Flash Cards 
  • Set 1 1 deck of Bookface Phonogram Game Cards 
  • 1 deck of either Cursive or Manuscript Phonogram Game Cards 
  • Phonogram Game Tiles Phonogram 
  • Spelling Rule Quick Reference Spelling Analysis Card
The Teacher's Guide itself was very large (super think with LOTS of pages!)

We put it all into a big plastic tub to store between uses.

If you are not familiar with the Logic of English program (as I was not when we first started), it can seem like an overwhelming amount of material. Fortunately, the Teacher's Guide walks you step by step through what to say and do with your child for the entire program.

Everything is color coded for easy reference for which materials or supplies you will use from the curriculum kit. There is also the way that each section of material is broken out into three levels (marked as A, B, or C), so that you can adapt each lesson for multiple reading and comprehension levels or grades!

We started my son out on Level A, and it was been a very effective way to get him willingly practicing his phonics, reading, and spelling.

Before, we would struggle to get him to want to read. He was frustrated that the y, for example, had so many sounds it could make. Since Logic of English introduces kids (and parents) to the concepts of Phonograms and Phonemes, it's much easier to remember that the y has many sounds, and that each are used more generally in certain instances.

We used this program with my son 4 days a week, and each lesson is broken out by days so that you can seen exactly what to do on each day. It made it very easy to sit down and do work -- even if you aren't very good at preparing. Pretty much all you need to have the lesson ready to go is in the kit. I recommend scanning the lesson ahead of time (or the week's lessons ahead of time) to get an idea of what you are going to be going over and get ready to overcome any obstacles your child may personally have in their learning.

For us, it was spelling rules. Surprisingly, my son's favorite part of learning is using the Phonogram flash cards to make words that I sound out for him. So, for the word "dog", I would sound out each letter sound (or phoneme) one at a time, hold up a finger for each number of letters that would make up each sound, and allow my son to find the cards for each sound to make the word.  It sounds a bit more complicated than it is, and -- at first -- I struggled to remember to do all the steps in the process. After a few days of doing it, however, it became second nature, and my son -- who could not spell more than the basic "dog" "cat" or "rug", was spelling longer, more complicated words very quickly with the cards (and with a big smile on his face!)

As a parent who really embraces independent learning, self-paced courses, and online learning environments, I found myself dragging my feet to implement this program. It does take a large amount of parental involvement (you are the teacher for the entire course, and there is little to no "independent" work for most of the lessons.) But how effective it is cannot be overstated. My son really took to the exercises, his confidence in spelling and reading was immediately bolstered, and we enjoyed the word games and challenges very much. If I only took 30 minutes a day to do one-on-one teaching with each of the 5 kids, this is a program that I would feel very comfortable investing that half hour in.

The quality of materials is very good. Everything is full color, durable, and built to last! I especially like that -- now that we own the tools for the program -- we can just add a workbook for each additional child we want to teach (regardless of their level), and we can get the 2nd volume of the Teacher's and student work texts for a complete two-semester study.

One kit can teach so many kids, regardless of their aptitude or need. I'm really excited by the budget-worthy aspect of this course!

Find out more about this program at the Logic of English website. Or check them out on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, and Pinterest.