Essentials

The Essentials program is a bridge between the grammar and dialectic arts and prepares students for the Challenge program. This power-packed course guides students ages 10-12 and their parents through the foundational principles of language structure and analysis, the structure and style of writing and arithmetic speed and accuracy. Our essentials classes follow the Foundation program on community days and is comparable to the one-room schoolhouse, with all children doing the same thing regardless of age. This encouraging environment allows students to be servants to each other without focusing on age, grade, or ability levels. Students emerge prepared to tackle foreign languages, essays, and pre-algebra confidently when these simple – yet often neglected – skills are mastered.

Prepare Your Learner To Be a Leader

A few items that students in Essentials learn:

  • Capitalization and punctuation
  • Eight parts of speech
  • 112 sentence patterns
  • Sentence diagramming
  • How to analyse sentences by purpose, structure, patterns, and speech parts
  • Writing structure and style through the Institute for Excellence in Writing
  • How to write an outline, narrative, expository, and essay
  • Greater speed and accuracy in multiplication facts

The second step in learning anything is to sort, compare, and understand the words and basic parts.

The Partnership

Students and their parents meet for the two-hour Essentials class each week after Foundations. Parents, the real students in the class, will be equipped and encouraged to teach their children grammar and writing. Tutors, trained in the program materials, model the exercises that parents will do with their students at home.

Children will succeed if they are taught the essentials of language, writing, and arithmetic.

The Essentials Difference

The Essentials of the English Language program is a complete language arts program that takes students beyond the worksheet. Essentials teaches students how to analyse sentence construction thoughtfully. The result is strong language construction and usage skills, both written and oral.

Children will succeed if they are taught the essentials of language, writing, and arithmetic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I put my Year 4 student in Essentials?

We recommend starting the Essentials program in Year 5. Maturity plays a big part in this decision. The majority of Year 4 students do not have the attention span and stamina to sit through two hours of intense instruction. Another reason involves the CC program as a whole. Challenge A, which follows the three years of Essentials, requires that a child be twelve years old. When a student starts the Essentials program in Year 4, the family then faces the dilemma of wanting to enrol the student in Challenge A too early, at age eleven.

How long should we spend on Essentials each week?

Generally speaking, the EEL portion should take approximately 30 minutes a day. That includes copying the Mastery charts and the dialectic element of dictating and parsing sentences. The writing portion of Essentials will vary by student based on age and ability but generally takes 30-45 minutes.

Do I need to supplement with an additional language arts program?

The Essentials program offers a complete language arts program. The Essentials of the English Language Guide provides a comprehensive grammar program complete with English grammar, spelling, and punctuation rules. Our writing curriculum teaches the skills needed to write strong paragraphs and essays. There should be no need to have an additional Language Arts program.

Why is it imperative that parents attend and participate in class each week?

Essentials class is not just for students! In fact, students will have a difficult time succeeding in this class without a parent’s constant involvement. Some parents may think that the tutor is there to teach the child, when, in fact, the tutor is there to teach the parent how to teach the child. Each week during class, the tutor will model the lessons for the students and the parents. It is the parent’s responsibility to understand the lesson so that he or she can go home and model it for the student. If the parent is not an active and engaged member of the class, the student may become confused and frustrated with the lessons and won’t thrive in the Essentials environment.