Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Logic of English ~ THE WHY.

How the Logic of English has changed our homeschool.
7 year old playing a phonogram game of Dragon (similar to "OLD MAID.")
Guess who has the Dragon??
4 year old working on his cursive J (LOE handwriting program)

We do life and learning just a little bit different than most folks.
If it's not wicked silly,
and crazy fun...
it just doesn't find a permanent home in our homeschool.
I like to use laughter as the vehicle of learning.
Mainly, because I love to laugh myself.
And I REALLY am addicted to hearing the belly-giggles
of my little guys.
And serious is fine,
but passion is not fueled by constant furrowed brows.
We get silly, we get hands-on,
and we get serious lasting learning done.
Self-education is the only possible education;
 the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child's nature.
~Charlotte Mason.
It wasn't always this way around here!
I bought into the lie that certain subjects just have to be TACKLED.
And wrestled to the ground.
Like English and spelling.
Then I realized that our English and spelling
in my son's head.
And I attended a local homeschool conference where I sat
in on a lecture that changed our homeschool life.
Fun and laughter and passion in spelling and English? INDEED!
After attending the lecture, I knew it would fit us well.
It took me awhile to come to grips with setting aside our
already purchased-and-paid-for-drill-and-kill-failure-english/spelling-style.
But one day, I had had quite enough of the wrestling and sad,
and I made the best decision ever.
Meet our English and spelling of choice:
Did you know that teaching your child,
"when 2 vowels go a-walkin' the first one does the talking"
is really misleading?
Well, blah.  I taught that to my very logical-thinking kid
and then wondered why I would watch him spell things all wrong.
Spell things all wrong:  with the very tools I had taught him.
I got exhausted saying, "You're right to think that way...
but this word is an exception to the rules..."
Or..."This word is a SIGHT word...we memorize it b/c it breaks all the rules..."
I would just get this sad, blank stare back at me...and I started to wonder myself...
just what kind of CRAZY mixed up language IS English, anyway?
And how on earth did I ever learn it??
I almost jumped up and down when I sat through the Logic of English
presentation.  It totally grabbed my logical-mind and
I went straight to the vendor hall and bought Denise Eide's book:
Uncovering the Logic of English.
This little, well-thought out book explained everything to me.
There ARE rules that apply to English.
But when we teach our children "funny phonics" like
"the E at the end of a word makes the vowel say its name,"
we are creating the myth that these rules apply on a consistent basis.
And when those funny rules DON'T apply--
it creates a great deal of discouragement.
The Logic of English has a set of consistent, reliable rules.
Children memorize:
30 spelling rules
and 74 phonograms (these 74 include A-Z)
That's it.
104 tools, total.
All the tools needed to decode 98% of the English language.
A language that boasts between one and two MILLION words in its lexicon.
A well-trained mind has up to 200,000 words in its memory bank.
THAT is a lot of memorizing without tools.
The BEST part??
These 104 "tools" are delivered via my favorite vehicle:  laughter.
We play games and learn our way right into the
very MEAT of the English language!
I bought this curriculum for my seven year old,
but the most amazing thing is: 
I have watched my 4 year old memorize spelling rules,
and memorize every-single-phonogram-I've-introduced-thus-far.
Which is somewhere around 50.
The other day he did our spelling list right alongside,
and my jaw dropped as he spelled "clock."
Now--tell me--what 4 year old knows that clock is clock and not klok?
The kid who learned,
"ck is used ONLY after a single vowel that says its short sound."
Then he spelled "human."
Because he learned that A,E,O, and U "usually say their names at the END
of a syllable."
4-year-old-man also knows ALL the sounds that A-Z make.
(Did you know that A says three sounds??  I didn't either, until LOE!)
And the thing is--my 4 year old is NOT required to sit in on our English or spelling lessons.
He does it for the pure JOY of it, it is THAT fun!
I will be posting more about our journey with the Logic of English.
But for now--if you are curious,
it all starts with Denise Eide's book:
Uncovering the Logic of English.
I have a copy on my shelf--it is priceless.
I only purchase books that I cannot live without.
This is one:  I cannot live without as a homeschool mother.
The book changed my heart and revolutionized our homeschool
I will post more on what our days are like with LOE,
in case it is helpful to any other families out there
looking to bring the logic and JOY
back into English and spelling!
the book: 
the curriculum:
the presentation:
***I am not affiliated in ANY way with The Logic of English.  I did NOT receieve any
free curriculum or incentives to write this review.  I do NOT know the author.  I purchased
all of our Logic of English material with my own money.
Yes, it is that good.*** 


Charlesandelizabeth said...

I have been eyeing up this curriculum for 5 months and have been not wanting to spend the money on my 5 yr old. I think you many have convinced me it won't be above her 5 yr old brain. I have been teaching the sounds from her book so far.

The Mueller Family said...

I will be doing a few future posts on using LOE with youngers :) It is one of my FAVORITE times!! Of course, I discovered this on accident as I bought it for my older son. It amazes me what 4 and 5 year old little brains can pick up when they are having fun! I wish I would have found LOE sooner, as we wasted a lot of time and $$$ around here on other reading for each grade level, and with much less retention and success. I love LOE b/c it is comprehensive and customizable--it's a one time purchase that lasts preK through elementary years. Finally I can teach one system, teaching it to all my children simultaneously. It's my joy to share this wonderful inside scoop with family's like yours! Thank you for reading :)