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Schoolhouse Review: Logic of English

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When my box arrived for Logic of English I was so excited and thankful. Although I have taught the 74 basic phonograms and 30 spelling rules before my boys are still struggling to read and spell. It has been a few years since I have taught them so I thought this would be a great time to reintroduce the phonograms and rules again.

Right away I opened the box and of course snapped a picture of the beautiful books.
Logic of English
When I was done with my mini Logic of English-Essentials photo shoot, I was looking at the pictures and notices that the mug I placed next to the books said ‘Hope’. I have hope that my boys will be great readers someday.
The Logic of English
I received:
I also purchased the Essentials Cursive Workbook in pdf format so I could use this with Caleb (12), Brent (11), Ethan (10), and eventually Lance.

Logic of English-Essentials is designed for students ages 8 to adult. Before starting Essentials you will want your child to have learned the A-Z phonograms and know how to write each letter.

The Logic of English really breaks down learning how to read, spell, and write into a step-by-step process. What’s wonderful is they accomplish this in a way that is not overwhelming to the parent. Each lesson is very organized so there is not guessing as to what you will teach. I tried to go over the lesson and gather what I needed the night before but there were those days when I didn't get a chance. The lessons are scripted and everything that you need is listed so I was quickly able to go over what I was to teach for that lesson. I do recommend one going over it with more time though because on those days of me quickly skimming over the lesson I did notice my teaching didn’t go as smoothly as on the days when I was fully prepared.

The Teacher Manual is worth its weight in gold (as they say). I have owned quite a few popular programs in the homeschool community that teach reading and spelling by learning all the phonograms and spelling rules. I have found The Logic of English-Essentials to be one of the easiest to implement. I really enjoyed teaching this program to my kids.

Here is how I used it. When I received my box of goodies I of course quickly opened it. I took all the books and cards out. After quickly looking at everything I got comfortable with a cup of coffee and opened the teacher manual. I read through the parent pages that explains the how’s and why’s of the program. There is a lot of information but don’t let that overwhelm you. Just take it step-by-step and don’t feel like you have to know everything to get started.

Page 57 has all the basic phonograms and will teach you all the sounds for each phonogram. Page 61 has all the Spelling Rules. These two pages are handy because they have all the sounds and rules in one place. You don’t have to memorize them all but learn them with your child(ren).

Then I dug into the lessons and here is where I found it was worth it’s weight in gold. Each lesson has three parts.
Part 1 (phonograms):
  • Introduce the new phonogram
  • Review previous taught phonogram
  • Play a phonogram game
  • Phonogram practice (here the teacher dictates the phonograms and the student writes them down)
  • Explore sounds (the teacher will ask questions helping the child to discover when to use a certain phonogram or spelling rules(
  • Spelling Rules (introduce new rule, review previous rules, and there are optional spelling rule practice activities to help your child grasp the rules)
Logic of English
Part 2 (Spelling):
Instead of giving your child a spelling list to memorize you will dictate a word. Have your child mark the word and go over the spelling rules. With younger students you may even want to ‘finger spell’. This is when you dictate a word for instance ‘church’. For each sound you will raise a finger(s). For church you will raise 2 fingers to represent the ‘ch’, 2 fingers for the ‘ur’, and 2 fingers for the ‘ch’. I found this really helped my boys to figure out which phonograms to use.

The spelling was a bit time consuming because I would go over each word with them by writing it one the board.
Logic of English
Part 3 is grammar, dictation, composition, and vocabulary development.
  • Review previous grammar rule
  • Introduce new grammar rule
  • Identify parts of speech (the child will learn how to label sentences)
  • Dictation (phrases and sentences)
  • Composition (this usually consist of writing with using the new grammar concept)
  • Vocabulary development
The Logic of English has the child hearing, saying, writing and even playing game to learn the phonograms.
Logic of English
Logic of English
Between the workbook and teacher manual everything is laid out in order making everything run smoothly.

The workbook is over 400 pages but don’t let that seem daunting. Everything the child will need to write is in the workbook. No need to have separate papers or notebooks. Just simply tear out the pages for the lesson or if you purchased the workbook in pdf format (as I did) you can print each lesson.
The lessons in the workbook are broken down by numbers for instance if on lesson 3 it will look like this: 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, and so forth.
Logic of English
The Logic of English Phonogram and Game Book has over 50 games some are mentioned in the teacher manual. My children loved the games. It was something that I would have loved to skip for the sake of time (I’m always feeling rushed). I knew how much the children liked the games and they were always met with enthusiasm.
Phonogram and Spelling Game Book
The Phonogram Flash Cards had the phonogram on one side and the sounds on the back. The Spelling Rule Flashcards are set up the same way. Spelling rule one one side and words that pertain to the rule on the other.
Logic of English
For the first half of this review period my goal was to try and use the program as written.  The only assignment that I really didn’t get to much was the vocabulary.
It took us a good two hours to complete our Logic of English lessons. I divided our Logic of English class time into two hours.

The 1st hour we did all the phonogram and spelling assignments. The children and I would break for 10-15 minutes. The 2nd hour we completed grammar, dictation, composition etc. I took the time to go over each spelling word and exploring the new phonograms which meant I would write this all out on the board.

The 2nd half of my review I had company so we only concentrated on the phonograms and this took 1 hour.

I know this sounds like a lot of time but you can customize the program. Especially if you have younger children. My children are older and can handle more. There are schedules that you can follow. It doesn’t have to be a two hour course. I also want to point out that Essentials is teaching more than phonics. If using the whole program you are covering multiple subjects: Spelling, Phonograms, Vocabulary, Dictation, and Composition.

My final thoughts: I LOVE this program. I’m impressed how Denise Eide the author of The Logic of English~Essentials streamlined everything so it all runs so smoothly. I didn’t hear any complaints from the children either. In fact Lance would sit in on the lessons and asked why wasn’t he included in the ‘fun’ school.
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