New, improved and expanded! Introducting...

Essentials

Multi-Level Reading, Spelling, Grammar, and Vocabulary

2nd Edition


Volume 1: Available Now! Complete Set: $221 $198 Upgrade Set: $110 $99

Volume 2: In development, scheduled for release in 2017. Complete Add-on Set: $109 $98


The second edition of Essentials makes it even easier and more fun to teach your students the Logic of English. Beautiful, clear, full-color layout and expanded content make it easy to learn alongside your students, navigate the clearly scripted lessons, find answers to questions, and teach the Logic of English like a pro! Three levels of spelling lists allow you to teach a variety of students together and to reuse Essentials for multiple years of instruction. Expanded vocabulary content leads advanced students into the fascinating world of morphology. New guidance on scheduling, a Placement Test and Pre-Lessons, and short assessments in every lesson help you find the right starting point for each student and customize your instruction as you go.

This page provides an overview of the changes for those familiar with Essentials 1st edition and wondering what's new. You may also learn more about Essentials here.


What's the same?

The core content. You'll find all the same content that is covered in the first edition of Essentials: complete and systematic phonics instruction, phonemic awareness, accurate spelling rules, morphology for vocabulary development, grammar, basic composition.

The approach. Through scripted, engaging lessons, students learn logical answers to their questions about language and why words are spelled the way they are. Concepts are taught in a manner that engages critical thinking, encouraging students to ask questions about language, explore, and understand rather than memorize by rote. The multi-sensory instruction supports all learners. Games and engaging activities make practice fun. Fully scripted instruction makes the curriculum easy to teach, allowing you to learn alongside your students.


New in the 2nd Edition

[Jump to Sample Pages]

Three levels of Spelling Lists for each lesson. Customize your lessons for each student, teach students at different ages or ability levels simultaneously, and use the curriculum for multiple years, enabling students to master the concepts and go deeper as they apply it to increasingly advanced words. The spelling concepts in each lesson can be taught and practiced with all students together; the three lists allow you to differentiate the application to provide an appropriate level of challenge for each student.


Ten optional Pre-Lessons help you to strengthen any foundational skills that need reinforcement before your students begin Lesson 1.


A Placement Test to help you decide where to start with each student. Assess students' existing skills, clarify whether it will be helpful to teach the Pre-Lessons, and determine whether the Level A, B, or C spelling lists will be the best initial placement in the lessons.


New guide to teaching Spelling Analysis. Step-by-step instruction and tips equip you to dictate, teach, and analyze each lesson's spelling words effectively in order to help students apply and master the concepts they are learning and strengthen reading and spelling fluency.


New Spelling Rules 31.1, 31.2, 31.3. Give students a more complete understanding of the "lazy vowel" schwa, why and when we hear it in words, and how to read and spell words that include a schwa sound.


Three levels of Grammar and Dictation. Teach the core content in each lesson together, and then use the three levels of activities to apply and practice the concepts with the spelling words each student has learned.


Expanded vocabulary lessons. Strengthen vocabulary, spelling, and comprehension as your students discover the power of morphology! Essentials 2nd Edition introduces even more suffixes, prefixes, roots and base words, compound words, and homonyms.

Separate vocabulary instruction is provided for each of the three levels, using concepts in the words from each level's spelling list and providing more challenging content for advanced students. New Morpheme Flash Cards for each level are used for instruction, activities, and practice. Level C vocabulary instruction includes dozens of new Greek and Latin roots!


Additional teacher helps. More Teacher Tips, restructured Spelling Lists with more teacher support, List of Morphemes, Index of Spelling Words, comprehensive General Index, and answers to dozens of commonly asked teacher and student questions about phonograms, sounds, spelling rules, and words.

Games included—right in the Teacher's Guide!

Clearer, full-color, easy-to-use layout in the Teacher's Guide.


One curriculum, two volumes. You'll understand why we've divided it as soon you see it—with a wealth of new content and three levels of instruction, Essentials 2nd Edition is huge!

Volume 1 (Lessons 1-15) is currently available!
Volume 2 (Lessons 16-30) is scheduled for release in 2017.


New guidance on pacing. Each lesson is divided into five days to make it easy to teach one lesson per week. Pacing is flexible and can be customized for your student, but each volume—15 lessons—is designed to take approximately one semester to complete. Group days together or spread a section across multiple days to suit your students and setting.

The five parts are structured as follows. Phonogram practice, spelling practice, and games are interspersed throughout.

  • Day 1: Essential Concepts. Phonograms, Exploring Sounds, Spelling Rules.
  • Day 2: Building Words. Spelling Journal, Spelling Analysis (using spelling list A, B, or C).
  • Day 3: Words in Context. Spelling Game, Grammar, Dictation.
  • Day 4: Words in Action. Vocabulary, Dictation, Composition. Optional: Essentials Reader.
  • Day 5: Check Your Understanding. Formative assessment.

Check your Understanding in every lesson. Instead of every fifth lesson being set aside for assessment and review, all fifteen lessons in each Volume are instructional, and every lesson contains a formative assessment on Day 5. (This also means that Essentials now has 30 lessons instead of 40.)

The optional Essentials Reader provides phonics-controlled reading practice, with stories, poems, and nonfiction articles designed to meet the intellectual needs of developing readers age 8 to adult. Add the Essentials Reader book ($22) alone, or include the optional Essentials Reader Teacher's Guide ($20) and Essentials Reader Student Activity Book ($12) for a rich array of comprehension and composition activities using the Reader texts. This high-interest reader is recommended for all students using Essentials for reading remediation.


Questions and Answers

I'm already using the first edition of Essentials. Do I have to switch?

No! You can continue to use the first edition as long as you would like. The first edition of Essentials is a wonderful curriculum that has helped thousands of children and adults to become more successful, confident readers and spellers over the past four years. We continue to sell the 1st edition Workbooks in PDF format, and we will sell printed copies of the 1st Edition Teacher's Manual while supplies last. The 1st Edition Teacher's Manual is available in a digital format as well.

I'm already using the first edition. Might I want to switch for future students?

Yes, you might! Those who are interested in teaching the content to more advanced students, teaching students at multiple ages or ability levels simultaneously, or going further with vocabulary instruction than the first edition did are likely to find the second edition very helpful. We've also provided greater clarity and further support for teachers on any areas that we found were challenging for people in the first edition, and improved the layout, so you may also find the second edition easier to use.

If I want to switch, will I need all new materials for the second edition?

No, you will be able to use your supplements from the first edition (see a list of what's needed here). You will need the following new materials:

Upgrade Set
  • Essentials Teacher's Guide, Vols. 1 and 2 ($75 each)
  • Essentials Student Workbook, Vols. 1 and 2 ($12 each)
  • Morpheme Cards, Set 1 and 2 ($22 each)
  • Updated Spelling Analysis Card ($1)

For those who already have a number of Logic of English supplements, we have created a discounted Volume 1 Upgrade Set. This package, which includes all four of these items, will be a great option for those who want to upgrade to the 2nd edition and only need to add these new products to an existing set of Logic of English supplements. In addition, those continuing from Foundations will need only this set plus a Spelling Journal to begin teaching Essentials. (If you are starting Logic of English for the first time, you will save more by purchasing the discounted Complete Set package, which includes all needed supplements.)

If you have an older struggling reader, you may also wish to add: The Essentials Reader ($22/ PDF $17.60); The Essentials Reader Teacher's Guide ($20/ PDF $16); The Essentials Reader Student Activity Book ($12/ PDF $9.60)


When will you be selling Volume 2? What if I finish Volume 1 before it is ready?

We hope to have Volume 2 ready for sale in summer or early fall of 2017. If you would prefer to avoid the possibility of a wait between Volume 1 and Volume 2, you may wish to consider the first edition of Essentials (now discounted, on sale while supplies last).

However, we still recommend starting the second edition now! Here are some scheduling options:

  1. Start Volume 1 and plan to move slowly through the lessons; it is a lot of content, and can certainly fill more than a semester if needed. We are hearing that many people spend more than a week on each lesson. Scheduling tips on the LOE blog
  2. If you are using the Essentials Reader and accompanying activities in the Essentials Reader Teacher's Guide, you may want to spend two weeks on each lesson.
    In Week 1, teach Days 1-4 of the lesson from Essentials, skipping most or all of the review activities.
    In Week 2 (or starting on Friday of Week 1), complete the activities and reading practice in the corresponding lesson of the Essentials Reader, interspersing all the review activities from the Essentials lesson to continue practicing the new concepts and skills.
    On Friday of Week 2, finish any remaining Essentials Reader activities and do the Essentials Day 5 "Check Your Understanding" section.
    In week 3, begin the process again with a new lesson.
    Scheduling ideas for Essentials with the Essentials Reader
  3. Teach Volume 1 at whatever pace you'd like and then simply wait for Volume 2 once you finish, continuing to read and to practice the phonograms through games in the meantime. If you would like, continue to introduce new phonograms with the Basic Phonogram Flash Cards and begin teaching your students the Silent E rules using your Spelling Rule cards.
  4. When you finish Volume 1, cycle back to lesson 1 and begin again at the next level up. Re-teach all of Level 1 at the more advanced level for review and greater mastery, and then continue that level in Volume II.
  5. If you finish Volume 1 early and don't want to wait, you can also switch back to first edition to teach the second half of Essentials. Students who have completed Lesson 15 of the second edition will be able to transition smoothly to Lesson 17 of the first edition, as they will have learned all the content in Essentials 1st edition lessons 1-16.

What grade would you recommend Essentials 2nd Edition for? Is each of the three levels designed for a specific grade?

Essentials is designed to introduce the structure of the English language and the reasons behind English spelling to any students age eight and above who need to improve their spelling and/or reading skills, or who want to deepen their understanding of how written English works. The three levels are designed to enable teachers to adjust instruction for the needs of each student. They are not designed for a specific grade.

As a general estimate, Level A is likely to be appropriate for most 2nd grade students, as well as for struggling readers of any age. Level B is likely to be appropriate for 3rd or 4th grade students reading and spelling at or near grade level. Older struggling readers may also benefit from learning the spelling words from Level B alongside the Level A list. Level C is likely to be appropriate for students in 5th grade and above who are reading and spelling at or near grade level. But the most appropriate placement will always vary by student.

The Placement Test is the best guide for which level to use as the starting point for each student. Teachers may also move between the levels as needed while teaching the curriculum to provide students with greater challenge or support.

Is the second edition of Essentials a complete Language Arts program?

With the expanded content in the second edition, Essentials provides several years' worth of complete instruction in spelling, grammar, and vocabulary development. The new, optional Essentials Reader and activity guide include reading comprehension and composition activities. This reading comprehension supplement was designed as a high-interest reader for students in third grade and above who are struggling with reading, but it may also be used as a primary reading comprehension and composition program for students in 3rd or 4th grade.

What's in the Complete Set?

Essentials Semester 1 Complete Set:
Full price: $220. Package discount $198.

  • Essentials Teacher's Guide, Volume 1 - new - $75
  • Essentials Student Workbook, Volume 1 (student consumable) - new - $12
  • Spelling Journal (student consumable)
  • Morpheme Cards, Set 1 - new - $22
  • Basic Phonogram Flash Cards
  • Spelling Rule Flash Cards
  • Grammar Flash Cards
  • Advanced Phonogram Flash Cards
  • Phonogram Game Cards: Bookface
  • Phonogram Game Cards: Manuscript or Cursive
  • Phonogram Game Tiles
  • Spelling Analysis Card
  • Phonogram and Spelling Rule Quick Reference


Essentials Semester 2 Add-On Set (Scheduled for release in 2017):
Full price: $109. Package discount $98.

  • Essentials Teacher's Guide, Volume 2 - new - $75
  • Essentials Student Workbook, Volume 2 (student consumable) - new - $12
  • Morpheme Cards, Set 2 - new - $22


Total cost, Essentials 2nd Edition Vols. 1 and 2 (1-4 years of language arts curriculum): $296

Cost per additional student: $30
Workbook Vol. 1 $12, Workbook Vol. 2 $12, Spelling Journal $6.
Optional: extra sets of Game Tiles per student, $15.
If teaching more than four students simultaneously, add additional sets of Phonogram Game Cards, $20, for each group of four.

The Essentials Reader and supporting resources are sold separately as an optional, supplemental reading comprehension and composition program.
The Essentials Reader: $22
Teacher's Guide: A Companion to the Essentials Reader (optional): $20
Student Activity Book: A Companion to the Essentials Reader (optional, consumable): $12
If teaching multiple students, order enough copies of the Reader for all students to have access, and if using the Student Activity Book for comprehension, composition, and extension activities add one copy per student.

What factors should I consider when evaluating the price of Essentials?

Essentials is a very cost-effective approach to language arts instruction. In it, students gain a complete understanding of the English spelling system and extensive practice and application, replacing years of spelling word memorization. It also teaches several years' worth of grammar, basic composition, and vocabulary instruction. A good way to consider the cost of Essentials in comparison with other programs is calculate what you would spend on two years' worth of curriculum for:

  • phonics
  • spelling
  • basic reading skills
  • grammar
  • basic composition and punctuation rules
  • vocabulary
If you are considering using the Essentials Reader for a student who is still developing reading fluency, add in that cost. Then include the cost of
  • readers
  • reading comprehension activities
  • composition activities
from other programs in your comparision.

To compare the cost of Essentials with other Orton-Gillingham-based programs, calculate the cost of the program's full curriculum (all levels) for reading and spelling instruction, as well as any training required to teach the curriculum. (And, if you haven't, check out our free online training videos!)

Are there Cursive and Manuscript versions?

The second edition of Essentials is designed to be used with any handwriting style. If handwriting instruction is needed, begin with The Rhythm of Handwriting in Cursive or Manuscript before starting Essentials (learn why we recommend cursive!) or while completing the optional Essentials PreLessons.

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