Essentials Class: Week 1

I hope you enjoyed the first day of Essentials as much as I did! I am excited to get to know you all better as we journey through this year of learning about grammar, writing and math.

Here is the review of what we covered:

The Most Important Thing

I reminded you all about the most important thing, which I will repeat again throughout the year.

Essentials is a 3-year program.

Your student is not expected to master the material in one year.  Instead, parents are to scale the material appropriately for their student, based on the student’s understanding of the material and how many years the student will be in the program.

If you or your student are feeling pressured to master the material as a 9-year-old, STOP it! ☺︎

Remind yourself that this is a 3-year program and that no one is expecting a 9-year-old to master the material in just one year.

Essentials of the English Language (EEL)

The main thing we covered for our EEL material is the importance of memorizing the charts during the next month.

I used the illustration of the puzzle piece and the picture of the puzzle to provide context for what the first few weeks of the EEL curriculum are all about.  We are getting the big picture of grammar. Beginning in week 3, we will start to look at the specifics of grammar.

Don’t worry if your student doesn’t understand everything about Charts A & B, the goals for week 1 are to know the following:

  • The 4 structures
  • The 4 purposes
  • The 7 sentence patterns

Make sure that as your student is spending time each day this week memorizing chart A and B, you are not getting distracted by the trees, but stay focused on the forest as a whole.  We will learn all the parts eventually!

If your student doesn’t like practicing the charts orally or by copying it down, you can try Quizlet.  Here is the link:

If you don’t already have an account, you will need to set one up (there is a free option).

History-Based Writing

Yesterday, we focused on learning about key word outlines. We practiced together using the leopard source text.  Don’t forget that there can only be 3 words per line.  Numbers, symbols and abbreviations are free!

One thing that we didn’t get into yesterday afternoon was the dress-up for the week: ly adverbs.

Parents, your TWSS (Teach Writing Style and Structure book) has a section on dress-ups. Introduce the concept to your student this week. If you aren’t sure about it, feel free to contact me.

I will mention the ly adverb when we get together next week, to make sure that everyone has introduced it to their students.

There are also vocabulary words that you can go over with your student. This is optional! Don’t worry about it, if you are feeling overwhelmed by the Key Word Outline assignment.


I introduced Board Slam and National Number Knockout.  Here is the link to the website for National Number Knockout:

If your student was struggling with coming up with equations yesterday, then I encourage you to have them do flash cards or minute math to help improve their addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, roots, and powers skills.  In the student notebook, you will have drill sheets for minute math that you can use at home.

If you have any questions, let me know!