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How Much Should We Review After a Break?

This week we received the following question from a customer. She is using Foundations B, but her question applies to Essentials and the rest of Foundations as well.

My daughter is in the middle of Foundations book B. Would you be willing to share your thoughts on how much we should go back and review at the beginning of a new school year? Thank you!!

-Becky

Hi Becky,

You should plan to spend 2-4 weeks reviewing what she has learned so far in and B. The longer a break you've taken from school, the more review is likely to be needed; it's totally normal for children to forget quite a bit and need to relearn and review before going forward. Think of it as reteaching everything you taught last year, but expect that she will relearn it more quickly and more deeply than the first time.

One simple way to do this is to plan to review Foundations A and the first half of B at a pace of about four lessons per day. Review the content for all four lessons, and then choose a sprinkling of the games, practice activities, and spelling analysis words to practice with.

Then adjust that pace faster or slower depending on how quickly she's taking it all in.

Thanks for the question!

-Liz

What about other points in Logic of English curriculum?

If you are starting at a different point in Foundations, or continuing Essentials after stopping partway through before a vacation, use a similar approach: Review all the language skills you have taught thus far, including handwriting if it is a new skill for the student. In particular, be sure to review all the phonograms taught thus far, the spelling rules, segmenting and blending skills, and the application of these concepts in words through spelling analysis, before moving forward from where you left off to introduce new content.

Both Essentials (for 8 and up) and Foundations (for ages 4 through 7 or 8) introduce concepts and build mastery in a systematic, carefully designed progression. So while each new lesson continues to review and build on previously taught concepts, students do need to be explicitly taught and given enough practice to become comfortable with the material in each lesson before moving forward. When you've taken a break, this means providing time for reteaching and review.

In Essentials, which has longer units designed to be spread over a week or more, try starting your review at a pace of one whole unit's concepts per day. Play at least one phonogram game and teach several spelling analysis words in addition to reteaching the unit's content. The next day, review a new unit. Increase or decrease your pace depending on how quickly students remember and relearn the concepts they covered before the break.

The big picture

Do not expect a student to return to lessons at the same level of mastery he or she ended at if you have taken a break of a few weeks or more. This is not a realistic or fair expectation, particularly for foundational skills that need to be learned to the point of automaticity. Review and reteaching after a break is a normal, healthy part of the learning process, and you will find your students moving forward much more successfully if you provide adequate time for review. In a school setting, this will also provide an opportunity for new students to learn the the concepts for the first time and for you to gain a sense of how quickly they are catching on and what additional support and instruction in the material may be needed.