When we first began our homeschool journey I struggled to figure how to explain English to my oldest son. He was very good at identifying letters, and even sounding out words, but there were some words that I just didn’t know how to help him with.
Why do some words use an “A” when it clearly makes more of what I learned would be a short “O” sound? Why do some words use an “O” when it clearly makes more of a short “U” sound? I had no good explanation beyond “That’s just how it’s spelled.” Leaving my kids to memorize hoards of words from a very young age and struggle with sounding things out.
Then a few summers ago we went to a Homeschool Convention to see what was out there in the Homeschool world. One of the gems we stumbled upon while exploring the vendor tables was Logic Of English.
I was instantly attracted to the name, since I never grew up believing English had any real logic to it, so I was curious what they might have known that I didn’t. We started a conversation with the people at the table and learned some interesting things:
Did you know that in school they used to teach cursive first before learning manuscript handwriting? I asked them why (naturally), and they explained that it helped to solidify individual words because the letters were connected and then there was a break before the next word started. It also helped because b, d, p, and q are more distinguishable in cursive and it makes it easier for kids to keep them straight. That made a LOT of sense to me!
So we took the plunge and bought the curriculum. From the very first lesson, I was learning things that made spelling and grammar easier for me to teach, because for the very first time in my life, I actually understood WHY. There are actual rules, and they made reading and writing dramatically easier for them.
Something else I really love about their curriculum is that for the main part of the program (Essentials Curriculum), the 4 books are repeated 3 times – each time with a little more depth. This means that for my boys, they can both work on the same lesson at their own level, and my teaching for them both becomes simpler. The curriculum takes them all the way through grammar school, and the only thing I would need to do is order new workbooks for each round. (We prefer to keep our lessons in the workbooks so that they stay together for record keeping)
I also love that there are games that involve getting up and moving throughout the lessons. When the body is engaged, the mind is fully activated, and when we are having more fun, we are more able to grasp new concepts. The fact that I don’t have to come up with the creative ideas for making the lessons fun is a huge burden off my shoulders. I can simply follow the lessons and they provide the materials for it.
We started with Foundations for my youngest who was just beginning kindergarten. And Essentials for my oldest who was just beginning second grade. We completed about 2 books per school year with some down time for days of reading or doing something different for english here and there. I highly recommend grabbing the complete sets so you have all of the tools to do every part of the lesson.
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