This is going to be one of those reviews where I have a hard time getting specific because all I really want to say is WE LOVE THIS CURRICULUM! We have just piddled along through our grammar studies every year. We have changed programs so many times that about all my kids have gotten through is nouns, verbs, adjectives, and punctuation. Then we figure out that we don't like the curriculum so we move on to another one and start over with nouns, verbs, adjectives, and punctuation, just to do the same thing again and again. Out of desperation I signed on to review Logic of English. And we hit the jackpot!
Logic of English is recommended for ages 4 and up. They have a program called Foundations A for children age 4-7. We have had the pleasure of reviewing Essentials recommended for children ages 8 and older. And I mean it when I use the word "pleasure". Grammar has become pleasurable.
Here's the odd thing. We do not like "textbooks", especially large ones. It reminds us of school. And we like to do school without feeling like we are doing school. Know what I mean? So, when the box arrived and we took out a large hardback textbook and a large paperback workbook I thought, "Oh no." However, it was beautiful! And, strangely, I felt very calm. As I read though the introduction and the beginning pages of the book it hit me ... grammar is just one of those subjects that needs to be taught from a textbook. It just does.
Logic of English is designed to teach the logical way the English language is put together. The textbook contains 40 lessons and each lesson is broken down into four sections: Phonograms, Exploring Sounds, Spelling Rules, and Grammar. Every 5th lesson is a review.
For us, we wanted to focus on the Grammar section. However, we quickly realized that the full potential of the Grammar section would not be reached without also doing the Phonogram and Spelling Rules sections. My kids are above-average readers and do not have trouble with pronouncing their letters or with reading difficult words. But the logic behind how those words are put together is invaluable. I have also seen the benefits of going through the Exploring Sounds lessons with my son, Eli, who stutters. It allows him to slow down and concentrate on sounding out the phonograms.
What We Received
The Logic of English Essentials Teacher's Manual (hardback)
The Logic of English Essentials Cursive Workbook (paperback with perforated pages)
The Logic of English Phonogram and Spelling Game Book
Spelling Rule Flash Cards
Basic Phonogram Flash Cards
Red Manuscript Phonogram Game Cards (1 set)
Green Cursive Phonogram Game Cards (1 set)
Access to the Logic of English Phonograms App
How We Use the Program
We use Logic of English four days a week. On Tuesdays we do all of the Grammar lessons that include review and new grammar rules and Vocabulary Development. On Wednesdays we complete the Grammar Dictation lessons. On Thursdays we complete the Grammar Composition lessons. And on Fridays we go back and do the entire spelling lesson which includes Phonograms, Exploring Sounds, and Spelling Rules. This allows us to continue to use our regular spelling curriculum that has daily lessons without overwhelming us daily with Language Arts.
Some days we just do the lessons orally, if they are pretty easy. And some days we actually use the workbook pages. We received the cursive workbook, so the kids are also getting to use their newly-acquired cursive handwriting skills!
I can happily say we have moved past nouns, verbs, adjectives, and punctuation. We are coding diagramming words and adding articles and recognizing prepositions. We are building phrases and spelling and learning more complicated phonograms. And, we are only on the 6th lesson!
Know what we are doing that we love the most? Playing games! The Phonogram and Spelling Game book has loads of games to play to reinforce the concepts. One of our current favorites is "Phonogram Slap". It's played much like Slap Jack except that as the kids flip over a card, they recite the phonogram. And the battles get fierce!
I have only one complaint about the entire program. When playing the games, sometimes it calls for using 2-3 decks of the phonogram game cards. I imagine that someone ordering the program would only order one deck. We received both the manuscript and cursive decks, so we actually have two decks. I did check the website to see if it recommends purchasing more than one deck, and it does. In fact, it recommends purchasing three decks of the Phonogram Game Cards and a stack of the Basic Phonogram Flash Cards. But, it does say "suggested" materials. I would say that they are "required" materials if you want to be able to play all of the games in the book.
Another cool extension product related to Logic of English is their Phonograms App. We love apps and downloaded it to our iPad. The kids have used it off and on during the review period, but I find it to be particularly helpful to Eli with his stuttering issues.
So far every single person I have talked with about this curriculum is loving it, as well. You can visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read some (or all) of those reviews.
I will leave by saying this: We are on Lesson 6, but we will use this program every single week until we finish the book. I cannot wait to see the level of understanding my kids have in reading, spelling, and grammar at the end of the school year. Heck, I can't wait to measure the level of my own understanding, as well. I am learning right along with them.
The Bottom Line
Buy this program.
You can watch a tutorial of the Logic of English Curriculum:
All of the products mentioned above, and many others, can be purchased at the Logic of English website:
The Logic of English Essentials Teacher's Manual (hardback) $95
The Logic of English Essentials Cursive Workbook (paperback) $25
The Logic of English Phonogram and Spelling Game Book $15
Spelling Rule Flash Cards $15
Basic Phonogram Flash Cards $18
Red Manuscript Phonogram Game Cards (1 set) $10
Green Cursive Phonogram Game Cards (1 set) $10
Access to the Logic of English Phonograms App $2.99