Thursday, 15 May 2014

Logic of English {Review}

Sir N has been reading for a while now but I noticed that sometimes he was just guessing the words in front of him.  I started watching a little more closely and realised that he was memorizing what words looked like and was reading that way.

I know that there are a lot of intensive phonics programs on the market today and wondered which one would be best for him. I needed something that was more remedial phonics based. I did not want something that I would need to take classes in before I taught him.  I was recently introduced to the Essentials program which is produced by Logic of English. This is a full curriculum to help students read, spell and write successfully.

What we received
I was super impressed with the quality of the product that arrived at our home. It was well packaged. I received a tracking number when my parcel was dispatched and it arrived here within 10 working days from the USA.

How we used it

Essentials program consists of 40 lessons that introduce the 74 Basic Phonograms and 30 Spelling Rules. Students learn thousands of words because they are taught to write compound words and the use of prefixes and suffixes. This basic skill helps them to write any word.

When my box arrived I felt a little overwhelmed by the volume of the contents.  I had been warned about this by fellow crew who had used the Essentials program last year.  I was encouraged to put away all the lovely goodies and to take some time to read all the introduction information in the begining of the the manual and become more familiar with the materials before I started with Sir N.

We started with learning the basic phonogram's. To aid us in mastery Logic of English have provided a YouTube clip. I loved the fact that a full set of Basic Phonogram Flash Cards are provided.  These cards are not small they are 4.5 x 5 inches (11.4 x 12.7 cm) printed on heavy card stock and plastic coated for durability.
On the once side the letter of the alphabet is printed on it's own and on the other side is the three phonetic sounds for A along with examples of the sound in words.  The A is in bold in each word clearly showing the student what is being learned. I like the size of these cards,  they are clear and easy to read and easy to use too.

Top: Blue Bookface Bottom: Red Manuscript
I'm learning more and more that Sir N is a hands on learner.  Personally I am not a hands on learner so looking for things or ideas to help him learn can be very time consuming.  I really appreciate the Phonogram & Spelling Game Book. It is divided into nine chapters.  Each chapter is broken down into games. There are a couple of games that use only one deck of Game Cards otherwise you will need two or three decks.  We have two decks.  We used Blue Bookface and Red Manuscript decks to play with. These cards are 2.25 X 3.5 inches (5.7 x  8.9 cm) and printed on card stock and plastic coated. Each deck contains the 74 basic phonograms and 15 additional cards to enhance game playing. A few of the games also use the Basic Phonogram Flash Cards.
A few of the games are like your traditional Go Fish! and Rotten Egg. There are gross motor games too where you use your whole body or run around the room finding cards etc.   Some of the games are played using the templates supplied in the back of the book such as Tic-Tac-Toe and Phonogram Bingo. We have used the cards to work on ordering them into alphabetical order as well.

For storage I have purchased a small box.  I then took each set of flash cards and used a large foldback clip to keep them together.  The game cards are kept together with an elastic band.  I have a separate group of flashcards clipped together that we are working on with our lesson each week.

The teacher's manual is worth it's weight in GOLD!

There is no way I could teach phonics without this book's support.  It is a step by step tutorial for me too. It contains a full scope and sequence so if you have a child that is stuck on a particular thing you can go here and it will tell you which lesson to go to. Every lesson covers: a set of phonograms,  spelling rules and grammar. 
All the Spelling Rules and Grammar rules cards have the rule on one side and and example on the other. The grammar cards are pink and the spelling rule cards are green.

The teachers manual gives you recommendations on how to schedule your lessons depending on the individual needs of your student.  It does not use a one class suits all.  I really like the flexibility and the examples that they provided along with a full detailed step by step tutorials.  We decided to use the half an hour a day schedule.
The BEFORE YOU BEGIN section is invaluable and really helped to lay an accurate foundation for me. It gave me a comprehensive understanding of the phonics program without overwhelming me.  There is also a great list of teacher's resources in this area.

Each lesson is divided into three parts. Part one covers the phonics,  part two covers spelling and part three covers grammar.

The student manual is referenced in the Teachers manual so you always know what to fill in as you work your way through the lesson.  Each aspect of the lesson is applied in the students workbook without being overwhelming.

Last but by no means least is the Spelling Journal.  I have looked at creating a spelling journal / dictionary for Sir N in the past but have never got around to do it.  I am very impressed with this journal.  It is different in that you make your spelling lists according to the spelling rule  and not just the alphabet.  This is a wonderful way of reinforcing what the student is learning.

The Phonogram & Spelling Rule Quick Reference Chart is a very handy tool. This chart is plastic coated for durability and is a concise reference guide to all the phonograms and spelling rules taught in Logic of English.

Cost of Logic of English Essentials Program
  • Complete Program $243.00
  • Essentials Teacher's Manual $95.00
  • Essentials Student Workbook(s) in Cursive or Manuscript $25.00
  • Spelling Journal $8.00
  • Basic Phonogram Flash Cards $18.00
  • Spelling Rule Flash Cards $15.00
  • Grammar Rule Flash Cards $22.00
  • Advanced Phonogram Flash Cards $15.00
  • Game Book $15.00
  • Game Card decks $10.00 (You will need two decks)
  • Phonogram & Spelling Rule Quick Reference Chart $10.00 
Some of these items are available as PDF items via the Logic of English store.

Recommended Age Range
Essentials has been designed for age seven to adult age.

Connect with Logic of English

What we thought
I am very impressed with the quality of this product.  Each day we use it I can see an improvement in Sir N's phonic awareness and understanding.  His grasp of the finer details of the English language is improving daily and his confidence is blossoming.

I highly recommend this program for any homeschool family looking for an English phonics program that covers more than just the basics without being overwhelming. The Teacher's Manual is worth it's weight in Gold!

The Blog and YouTube channel is a gold mine as well.  If you are wondering about what to do once you complete the Essentials program you can read What next after Essentials?


Click to read Crew Reviews

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