Fast-paced schedules for Essentials, designed for those who have a narrow window of opportunity to introduce students to as many of the tools for reading as possible.
Who should use these schedules?
The schedules on this page are designed for those who need an extremely fast pace through Essentials because they have a short, one-time opportunity with a student or group of students. If you have students who are struggling with reading who may not have another opportunity to learn the phonograms and rules besides your program, and your top priority is to teach them as much of this material as possible in the time you have, read on; this page is for you.
Who should not use these schedules?
- Those who have at least eighty hours of instructional time available for Essentials
- Those whose students will have the opportunity to continue Essentials instruction after your program ends
In these cases, we recommend you consider one of these reading intensive schedules instead, in order to teach the Essentials lessons more thoroughly, incorporating more practice, vocabulary and grammar instruction, and fluency development.
Creating your short-term intensive schedule: general tips
- Start with the Placement Test, and allow a few days to teach the Pre-Lessons before you start Unit 1. Do not skip the Pre-Lessons if the Placement Test indicates the students need them.
- Teach all of Part 1 (phonograms, spelling rules, exploring sounds) and Part 2 (phonogram practice, spelling analysis) of each lesson. (See components of an Essentials unit.) In these sections, students learn new language and spelling concepts and practice applying them in words.
- Skip part or all of Parts 3-4. As time allows, incorporate additional review or some of the grammar or vocabulary instruction from these parts before moving on to the next unit.
- Play phonogram games and drill the phonograms with flash cards at multiple times throughout the day. Keep this practice short, frequent, and fun.
- Teach up to two units per day as your schedule permits (expect to spend at least 90 minutes on each unit).
- The Essentials Reader is optional, but strongly recommended for any struggling readers. There may not be time for extra activities found in the Essentials Reader Teacher's Guide in such a compressed schedule, but we do recommend practicing decoding the Pre-Reading words and then using each reader text for fluency and comprehension practice, as well as to build confidence and interest in reading! Always use the reader texts after students have completed the corresponding Essentials unit. We recommend delaying the corresponding reader passages at least one day to give students more time to practice each unit's phonograms and rules first.
The exact schedule you work out will be as unique as your students and setting. But here are a few examples to help you envision what this might look like in practice:
Example 1: Two-Week Phonics Intensive
This schedule is based on a two-week phonics camp that was offered by a homeschool program in Mississippi for students in grades 4 and up who were struggling with reading or spelling. The camp had four hours of instruction each day. The program taught only Parts 1 and 2 (the first two parts) of each Essentials unit, adding in extra phonogram and spelling games each day for additional practice and fun!
Pre-Lessons: Phonemic Awareness
Pre-Lessons: Review sounds of A-Z
|Essentials Unit 1|
|Tuesday||Essentials Unit 2||Essentials Unit 3
Optional: The Essentials Reader Unit 1 (during camp or as a take-home activity)
|Wednesday||Essentials Unit 4
Optional: The Essentials Reader Unit 2
|Essentials Unit 5
Optional: The Essentials Reader Unit 3
|Thursday||Essentials Unit 6
Optional: The Essentials Reader Unit 4
|Essentials Unit 7
Optional: The Essentials Reader Unit 5
|Friday||Essentials Unit 8
Optional: The Essentials Reader Unit 6
|Essentials Unit 9
Optional: The Essentials Reader Unit 7
|Monday||Essentials Unit 9: Review, Check Your Understanding (from Part 5)
Catch up, review, phonogram games
Optional: The Essentials Reader Unit 8
|Essentials Unit 10
Optional: The Essentials Reader Unit 9
|Tuesday||Essentials Unit 11
Optional: The Essentials Reader Unit 10
|Essentials Unit 12
Optional: The Essentials Reader Unit 11
|Wednesday||Essentials Unit 13
Optional: The Essentials Reader Unit 12
|Essentials Unit 14
Optional: The Essentials Reader Unit 13
|Thursday||Essentials Unit 15
Optional: The Essentials Reader Unit 14
|Essentials Unit 16
Optional: The Essentials Reader Unit 15
|Friday||Essentials Unit 17
Optional: The Essentials Reader Unit 16
|Essentials Unit 18
Optional: The Essentials Reader Units 17 and 18.
Example 2: Six-Week Summer Reading Camp
This schedule is based on a summer reading camp that was offered by a South Carolina public school district for rising fourth graders who were struggling with reading. These students also needed instruction in handwriting. The camp included three to four hours of Logic of English instruction three days per week for six weeks. They focused on Parts 1 and 2 of each Essentials unit, along with a short handwriting lesson each day, and were able to teach four to five Essentials units per week.
Please keep in mind that these guidelines are tools, not rules! We made Essentials flexible on purpose so that you as parents, teachers, and tutors could adapt it to the needs of the students you teach. You should pace the units in Essentials in whatever way works best for the age, attention span, ability level, learning style, and schedule of your students. The most important factor to keep in mind in planning an effective unit schedule is the need for frequent practice and review so that students learn the phonograms and spelling rules to the point of mastery.
Overview: Scheduling Tips for Essentials 2nd edition
Schedules for Slowing Down Essentials
Schedules for Essentials with The Essentials Reader
Schedules for Intensive Spelling Remediation with Essentials
Schedules for Intensive Reading Remediation with Essentials and The Essentials Reader
Components of an Essentials Unit