Scheduling Ideas for Summer Reading Camps and Short-Term Interventions

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?
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

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!

Morning Session
Afternoon Session
Monday Placement Test
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.

Rhythm of Handwriting
Essentials &
The Essentials Reader
Learn cursive Swing letters: i, t, u, s, j, p, r, w Placement Test
Pre-Lessons A, B
Learn cursive Curve letters: a, d, g, qu, c, o. Connect letters. Pre-Lessons C, D, E
Learn cursive Loop letters: l, b, f, e, h, k. Connect letters from the midline. Pre-Lessons F, G, H
Learn cursive Bump letters: n, m, y, v, x, z Pre-Lessons I, J
Handwriting practice 26. Learn cursive P, B. Essentials Unit 1
Handwriting practice 27. Learn cursive R, N. Essentials Units 2 and 3
The Essentials Reader Unit 1
Handwriting practice 28. Learn cursive M, K. Review
Essentials Unit 4
The Essentials Reader Units 2 and 3
Handwriting practice 29. Learn cursive H, U. Essentials Units 5 and 6
The Essentials Reader Unit 4
Handwriting practice 30. Learn cursive Y, W. Essentials Units 7 and 8
The Essentials Reader Units 5 and 6
Learn cursive V, X, Z. Handwriting practice 31. Review
Essentials Unit 9
The Essentials Reader Units 7 and 8
Handwriting practice 32 Essentials Units 10 and 11
The Essentials Reader Units 9 and 10
Handwriting practice 33. Learn about uppercase letters that connect at the baseline. Essentials Units 12 and 13
The Essentials Reader Unit 11
etc... etc...

Final Thoughts

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.

Related resources

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

If you are using Essentials 1st edition, we recommend these scheduling tips designed for that edition.