Monday, September 9, 2013

TOS CREW Review- Logic of English

Reading, Writing, Spelling, Grammar
These are the subjects that can take up much of a homeschooler's day.  They are also the subjects we have had the hardest time teaching.  Not that the actual teaching has been difficult, but certainly finding a good solid program for each of them has been.  That is why I was excited to try out Logic of English.  Logic of English takes all four of those- reading, writing, spelling AND grammar, and puts them into an open and go curriculum aimed at teaching from the ground level up.

 photo LOE_logo_wide_inv_3d_70_zpsc2eceeb2.png

Their program Essentials,  designed for ages 7 to adult, contains 40 lessons and teachies 74 basic phonograms and 40 spelling rules, introducing the 480 most frequently used words and then variations of them by adding prefixes, suffixes and making compound words.
This is what we received for this review:
Essentials Teacher's Manuel ($95.00)
Essentials Manuscript workbook ($25.00) (also available in cursive)
Phonogram Flash cards ($18.00)
Phonogram and Spelling Game Book ($15.00)
Phonogram Game Cards ($10.00)
Spelling Rule Flash Cards ($15.00)
Phonic with Phonograms App

At first glance, I must admit I was a bit overwhelmed.  There is quite a bit of introductory reading to do for you the teacher to explain the what, how and whys of teaching this way.  But, once I got past that initial reading, we were on our way with ease.  Each lesson is scripted with exactly what to say and is broken down into three sections.
Part 1- Phonograms, Exploring Sounds, and Spelling Rules
For each lesson, new phonograms are learned and old ones practiced.  This is where the flash cards come in.   You show the child the letter and then they can tell you the sounds that particular letter makes. Pretty easy until you get to letters like e or combinations like ai that have numerous sounds.  Luckily, on the back of each flashcard are all the sounds and words giving examples.  It is also usually at this time that you can play a game.  No surprise that this is the part my son liked the best, right?   Luckily for you the parent they are fun games like Sound Bingo, Old Dragon (like Old Maid using the letter sounds), and Rotten Egg.  The Game book is loaded with other games that are activity based  for your active children, sensory ideas for tactile learners, spelling games and more, as well as the templates needed for the games.  It was our most used book and I think essential to the program!  Part 1 also has you explore sounds, teaching some neat ways to practice sounds and make sure kids were saying them correctly.  There are corresponding workbook pages to go along with each activity.

Part 2- Dictation (spelling test)
In this part 15 spelling words are introduced and tested.  A worksheet is provided for the tests.
Part 3-Dictation, Composition, Grammar and Vocabulary Development
In this section  grammar and spelling rules are worked on, as well as dictation of phrases or sentences and composition.  Composition starts off fairly easy with writing six phrases in the workbook and advances to harder assignments.   Vocabulary development adds elements like suffixes, prefixes, compound words, homophones and such.  Again, workbook pages are provided for each written activity.

That's it!  Repeat the same three sections for each of the 40 lessons and you have it.

So let me talk to you about a few things-

This program is amazing.  It is one of the best laid out programs I have seen that combines so many elements together.  And scripted!  Who doesn't like scripted?  Other than literature, this IS your Language arts program.  So do not be surprised that it takes some time to get through a lesson.  Because, it takes some time!  Not because it is hard, but simply because there is just so much there.  The good news is that the publishers have carefully laid out a suggested schedule for 4 different levels that you can choose from, starting with 8 year old and struggling adults in which you teach one lesson every 1-2 days to 5 year olds in which you teach a lesson every two weeks.  Wherever your learning or struggling reader falls, you will find just the right pace for him or her.

How did it work for us-
Because of the time involved in the lessons and the fact that my son is a young 6 year old, we found we could only do a section per day.  More than that and he just could not sit still long enough to be productive. So we did section 1 on the first day and section 2 the second day.  He did well with both of those days and surprised me at the level of spelling words he could spell. Those are not easy words friends!

Note- Logic of English also has a program for Kindergarten through first grade called Foundations  focused on beginner readers.  Since my son is a strong reader for his age, we decided to skip to this level.

About day 3...not there yet!  The grammar lessons were just above his level for now.  I do not think he will have any problem next year but right now his 6 year old brain just could not get many of the concepts.    Let's face it though, that is the beauty of homeschooling.  We can take what we need and use it to the best of our ability and also know our child well enough to know when it is time to call uncle.  This was one of  those times for us.  Reading and spelling he was ready for, mechanics of grammar will just have to wait until next year.  You can bet this is the book we will be using when he is ready though.

Our favorite part, again, were the games.  I have finally come to a place in my homeschool career that I think learning with games is the way to go.  Seriously.  Our kids will have enough sitting at a desk to last them a lifetime.  If I can find a fun way to learn then I am all for it.  After all, it always seems to be that information that my son retains the most.  If it works, why not?!

Another neat aspect of this program is their phonograms app.  AS I have mentioned before  I fought allowing my kids to use my ipad, but have since given in when I found there were GOOD, quality apps out there to use.  This is one of those!  Since I never learned all of the sounds each letter makes, and still have to stop and think about some, this app was great for us.  Both CJ and I learned new sounds together and it made it much easier to study once you had heard them taught by someone else.  This is not an app in fancy game form, but truly a learning app that have levels of words  to study.  Regardless, CJ enjoyed using it and got very excited when he mastered a level.  I highly recommend you not leave out this aspect of the program.

 photo PhonoApp_iPadPlayScreen_assembled_400_zps917b1955.jpg

So yes, this family has had great success with Logic of English's Essentials program and highly recommends it for your emerging readers or those who need just a little more help.  Fellow CREW members reviewed other programs, so I encourage you to click on the banner below to read about their experiences as well!



  1. sounds like an excellent program.
    do you plan to keep using it past the review period?

    annette @ A net in time

  2. Scripted is always my favorite too because when its a difficult subject I know I can't mess it up!

    Games are always a wonderful thing at our home, so I think this would be a good fit for my family if I ever decide to change from what we use!

    Great Review!


Thanks for commenting. I love hearing from you!