- Teacher's Guide volume 1
- Student Workbook volume 1 (print or cursive)
- Spelling Journal
- Basic Phonogram Flash Cards
- Advanced Phonogram Flash Cards
- 2 set of Phonogram Game Cards
- Spelling Rule Flash Cards
- Grammar Flash Cards
- Morpheme Cards, Set 1
- Phonogram Game Tiles
- Spelling Analysis Card
- Phonogram and Spelling Rule Quick Reference
In addition to the listed components there is also available as a digital download a student reader. The student reader can either be printed or read on a tablet. The student reader includes a teacher manual and workbook, which reinforces basic composition skills. We also were able to access and use the student reader with each lesson.
The beginning of the teacher manual includes a very thorough overview of the program including instructions on using the guide with step-by-step instructions. There is also a placement test. This was really helpful to me for placing my child in the appropriate level of difficulty. There are 3 levels: A, B, and C with C being the most advanced. We decided to begin with level B. This way we could move quickly through the topics that he had already mastered previously and then spend more time as needed on the more difficult concepts. This would hopefully fill any gaps that he may have in spelling and reading and allow him to make quick improvement. When we finish with level B, we will be able to continue using the program with level C if he still needs that level of spelling and phonics help.
Before the main lessons begin, there are several pre-lessons for you to work through with the child if the pre-test instructs you to do so. In order to complete the pre-lessons, you would also need to purchase the handwriting student book. This is available as a physical copy or as a PDF download also in either print or cursive handwriting style. We did not use any of the pre-lessons because we have quite a good background in phonics so there was no need to teach the phonograms or how to form letters.
This program has been recently updated and made to be more user friendly. I had never used the program before so I have nothing to compare it to, but I have been thoroughly impressed with the level of instruction that is in this set. There is enough work in semester 1 for a motivated parent and child to complete the entire thing in one semester; however, we are taking our time working through this. We work for about 15 minutes each day. It is suggested that you continue onto the second semester (scheduled for release in January 2017) once you complete the first semester. Suggestions are also given on the website for what to do if you finish semester 1 before semester 2 is released.
We keep everything needed for Essentials in this tote. I even placed a whiteboard, dry erase marker and eraser, composition notebook, and pen in the tote. That way it's ready for us to grab and go whenever we are ready to work on a lesson. Each set of cards is contained in a zip lock bag and I put rubber bands around the ones that we are currently using. There are several components to this program and surprisingly this simple tote works well to keep everything in place. Plus it sits on top of our school bookshelf reminding us to complete a lesson each day.
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