Friday, May 9, 2014

Review - Logic of English, Essentials

Logic of English Review
When the Crew reviewed the Logic of English last year, I loved reading all the reviews and wished I had been on the review. I was so excited to see it come up for review again and this time, I got picked to review their Essentials: Logic of English Complete Set! YAY! This set is for ages 7 to adult and I chose to use it with Princess P, who is 9.
Logic of English ReviewFor our review, we recieved:

Essentials Teacher's Manual
Essentials Student Workbook(s) in Cursive 
Spelling Journal
Basic Phonogram Flash Cards
Spelling Rule Flash Cards
Grammar Rule Flash Cards
Advanced Phonogram Flash Cards
Game Book and Game Card decks
Phonogram & Spelling Rule Quick Reference Chart
This program covers reading, writing, spelling, and grammar in a unique integrated manner. Since it is a new program to us, we just started right at the beginning, even though the first few lessons were pretty simple. It helped us get a feel for the program. There is an amazing intro section that is about 60 pages long. It explains the system and tells how to teach it. It has all the rules and lists there for easy reference later. I took a couple of days to read through all of this and look over the box of materials before bring P into it. She was dying to get her hands on the goodies after looking at them for a few days. We stored them all in one of our IKEA boxes so we didn't lose anything.

The lessons are divided into 3 sections and take about an hour to complete. In part 1, you learn the new phonograms for the day and review old ones, learn new sounds and spelling rules. The second part is for spelling and dictation exercises. Part 3 is the grammar, dictation, composition and vocabulary development.

The beginning of each lessons shows what flashcards and supplies you will need for the lesson. I would sort them out as P got her books ready to go. The lessons themselves are totally scripted. Once you have read through the intro and know what you are doing, there is very little prep work day to day. What I was supposed to say is in bold print and their suggested answer and explanations are in normal font. Easy peasy.

You will want to have a white board or something to write on for the lessons. We have a portable one that I used and it was fine - it doesn't need to be too big.

P really enjoyed these lessons and working together with me everyday. This is entirely teacher led so I couldn't just tell her to go do it - had to do it all with her. I enjoyed that one on one time with her too.  There are enough hands on things to keep her busy, and the workbook pages were pretty quick, even though there were a lot of them with each lesson (about 10 pages per lesson). She loves filling in blanks so enjoyed the workbook. If you have someone who is resistant to writing, you could modify this and have them not do every thing - some are listed as extra practice and we sometimes skipped some of those if we were short on time or she was getting bored.

I loved that this teaches all the subjects each lesson. Sometimes I got frustrated that it took so long, but when you think about all the subjects you are teaching, it makes sense that it needs to take so long. lol. There isn't very much actual reading on there so we still did separate reading so she could use what she was learning. One of my favorite things was the grammar part. Everyday in the second section, there were 15 spelling words given. The list was different everyday instead of every week and went along with the rules and phonograms learned that day. After finished their list, they move on to grammar. I love that this is mixed in to the lessons! Everything we did went right along with the grammar work from CC that she has learned. It is going through the parts of speech and plural/singular - they label all their spelling words and use them again in the grammar review section. By the time they have finished the lesson, they've used their spelling list about 5 times through all the spelling, dictation, and grammar practice. It's great.

As I said, this is all scripted, which is great and easy. I wanted her to start getting used to the wording we use in CC so changed up a little it to match that when she is identifying parts of speech or saying those definitions.

P is not a very good spelling. I'll just be honest here. This program is working though! We have used another phonics program in the past so she knew all of the basic phonogram sounds, but this includes all 74 phonograms and the spelling and grammar rules. Here she was learning when to use oi/ai or oy/ay (middle of a word or end of a word). Once she was able to see these in her spelling words and activities and games, she got it. They are teaching to all three kinds of learners - visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. It's a great program!!

Yes, it takes an hour...but it's totally worth that hour investment each day. If we did some of the games, it took even longer, but she loved the games. I'll admit I'm a bit lazy with the games part...we skipped that sometimes. Most of them needed another player and either myself or Terrific T would play with her.  The Phonogram and Spelling Game Book is FILLED with great, easy games for helping to get these words and rules to stick. The cards that come with it are in cursive, which just helped P keep learning more and more how to read cursive.

After the lesson was finished, we would go back and add any of the tricky words into her Spelling Journal. Then she had a place to go back and check when she's trying to remember things like the 19 words that have "igh" in them. Love this too!

We were also given the Logic of English Phonograms app to enjoy. This is a fun app for reviewing their sounds. They are again aiming to have the kids use all three learning styles and see, hear, and touch the sounds. The kids were able to make their own accounts that tracked their progress. Little Dude even had an account so he could play with letters. :) P really enjoyed this little app. It helped her get those new phonographs down and was clean and easy to run. The voice is clear and crisp and things are worded just like we do in the lessons, ie the "oi that may not be used at the end of English words." The app is geared for 4 and up but Little Man is 3 and enjoyed playing with letters - lol. He didn't get things right, but had fun listening. It's $2.99 and for iDevices only right now.

I asked Paige what she liked about it the Essentials program and she said she likes that it's fun and there are games in it. She likes the cursive and doing the workbook.

The Complete Essentials Set, that I was so generously sent, sells for $243 and ships for free. In the homeschool world, people will gasp at the price, but it's completely worth that! If that's too much, you could pick up just the teachers guide and student book for $120, but we really liked the visual of the flash cards too. The teacher's guide is not consumable so you can use it and the cards (that are thick cardstock and holding up really well) with all of your kiddos and just have to pick up an additional student book for your other kids. They are $25.

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1 comment:

  1. A great review! I agree about the card games. Just having 2 players doesn't work the best, but there is a great variety in the game book. i think the time spent on it is well worth it too. I'm happy you are seeing results! We are too...thanks for sharing your experience!


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