As a homeschool mom, one of my favorite things is learning alongside my children. You know what I mean, I’m talking about those moments that you pause the lesson to read and re-read what you’ve just read, shocked. “How did I not know that?!?!?!” I live for those moments! They inspire me to keep pressing in, they inspire a love for learning in me, and my kids see that. They pick up on it! For the past several weeks my daughter and I have been testing out a new homeschool language arts program: Essentials 2nd Edition from Logic of English. This is an incredibly detailed program. I want to share with you how it works, what it has taught me and who it might work for.
What is this homeschool language arts program all about?
Logic of English is a very comprehensive framework for children. It comes in two levels: Foundations and Essentials. It teaches multi-level reading, spelling, grammar and vocabulary. It teaches from a phonetic approach and gives kids the tools, cues, and understanding they need to not just learn the English language, but master it! It is designed to be used with multiple levels of students with both key concepts for group learning as well as levelled spelling lists, grammar and vocabulary. It is not set up for a grade level as much as skill level. It is recommended for children 7+ up to adult (think ESL program). Or you can use their Foundations curriculum for younger students (ages 4-7).
The lessons are scripted, meaning you read directly from the textbook to the student. This is super helpful because in all honesty, the lessons are SO in-depth that I get confused if I don’t have something concrete in front of me. I tried this program with my 7 year old daughter, who is in grade 2, and it was right at her level. Even though it was definitely too advanced for my son in grade 1, he was able to join in on the games we played and listen to the lessons.
There are 15 lessons in the book as well as a placement test and 10 pre-lessons (depending on the results of the placement test). The book is 622 pages long and it is HUGE! When I first received it in the mail, along with the other resources (see the pic below) it reminded me of my college days, the quality in this homeschool language arts textbook is apparent from the second you pull it out.
What did we think of this Homeschool Language Arts Program?
When I first opened the book I was completely and totally overwhelmed. The size of the book, the detail in the lessons, the flashcards and materials, etc. I felt at a total loss. Our first lesson was a gong show! I was pausing and reading and “just wait for a minute” while I read and re-read. It felt like I was treading water and hoping for the best, but I realized as we worked through it that it is a way of teaching that just takes some getting used to. Once you understand how it works, it does get easier.
In the very first lesson, it talks about vowels. It shares how we know that the vowels are A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y and yet there are actually many more vowels. Rather than teaching kids rules that aren’t really correct and then teaching them all these exceptions down the road, it teaches it right from the beginning. I have to share this one quote with you, it was super eye opening to me:
Vowels are sounds that are made when our mouths are open. Vowels can be sustained, such as in singing. Vowels can be made louder and softer… Consonants are sound that are blocked by the lips, teeth, or tongue. Most consonants cannot be sustained or sung. Most consonants cannot be made louder and softer. -page 95
Um, say what????? This made so much sense! We started going through our phonograms and singing them. Which ones were blocked? Which ones were sustainable? There is definitely something to really understanding how everything works.
My daughter was a bit overwhelmed by the lessons. 45 minutes was too long for her to sit and do just spelling and phonics. So we ended up splitting up each day into two days. We broke it up into smaller sections and found it much more enjoyable at that easy pace. Any of the kids were welcome to join in on the games and we tried to keep it engaging and fun rather than “getting through it”. Once we adjusted our pace, we were taking about 20 minutes for our lesson in the morning, which was really easy for us to add a new homeschool language arts program to our school day amongst our other subjects.
She is somewhat ambivalent about this program, she enjoyed the games and writing on the whiteboard, but it wasn’t something she was jumping up and down about. I loved the comprehension, that nothing was left out. I loved how it was all laid out for me, however I didn’t love how teacher-intensive it was nor the focus on memorization and facts over the experience. As a bonus, you can use this with multiple kids, which is a money saver, and the amount of materials that it comes with and the quality of the materials is amazing. Head over to the Review Crew to read more homeschool reviews on both Essentials and Foundations HERE.
Where do I get more information on this homeschool language arts program?
If you are looking for more information, head on over and check out Logic of English on their social media below or head on over to their website. You can figure out what level you should start with on their site.