When students have learned all the linguistic tools they need to read and spell English words, what is most important is that they use them - in reading widely, in continuing to analyze new words for how the rules are applied in the spelling, in writing, and in continuing to learn about how morphology shapes our language.
Repeating Essentials multiple times
The three levels of Essentials provides the option to reteach the curriculum to the same student multiple times, reviewing the foundational skills for deeper mastery while learning new, more advanced spelling words and vocabulary concepts. So depending which level provides the most appropriate level of difficulty initially, the same student might use Essentials up to three times for spelling and vocabulary instruction.
If you repeat Essentials multiple times, you may find that you use the curriculum for two to four years. Many people spend up to two years on Essentials the first time through, while others complete it in one year. When repeating a second or third time, you will move more quickly and spend less time on each lesson, since all the foundational concepts will be review. Your focus will be primarily on applying these concepts to learning new, more challenging spelling words (in Part 2 of each lesson) and on learning new vocabulary concepts from these words (in Part 4).
For many students, it will be appropriate to include an upper-level composition program while repeating Essentials additional times. However, if the student has not yet mastered the sentence-level grammar and composition instruction in Essentials, you may find focusing only on the composition work in Essentials a better fit until the student is ready for a greater challenge.
Once you have completed Essentials
Once a student has completed the most advanced level of spelling lists in Essentials, it is time to focus primarily on reading and composition! The student now has a strong understanding of how English spelling works and is ready to use these tools to read for meaning, write to communicate, and learn new vocabulary. Keep the tools and skills the student has learned in Essentials fresh by using them to analyze words as you go.
There are many good ways to do this! Read our blog post What's Next After Essentials? for some suggestions.