If you have ever had difficulty finding a great reading and phonics program for your children, I may have the answer for you. I have just recently been introduced to the Logic of English curriculum, and it is a big hit! Have you ever wondered if English really makes sense? There seem to be so many exceptions in our language, but Denise Eide, author of the Logic of English, makes sense of it all.
For this review I was given the following products: Foundations, Level A , the Reusable Resources Set, and the Doodling Dragons App. Foundations, Level A retails for $71 and includes the teacher’s manual, the student workbook (in either cursive or manuscript), and the Doodling Dragons book. The Reusable Resource Set (which can be used in all of the Foundations levels) retails for $85 and includes the Basic Phonogram Flash Cards, Handwriting Tactile Cards, Phonogram Game Cards (two sets), Rhythm of Handwriting Quick Reference Chart, Small Student Whiteboard. Again, these are all available in either cursive or manuscript. The Doodling Dragon App retails for $4.99. The suggested age range for Foundations is 4-7, and the Doodling Dragons app can be enjoyed by children ages 2-7.
I know a lot of people feel overwhelmed with it comes to teaching language arts, probably because it is one of the most important subjects your child will learn (the other being math). The Logic of English Foundations program takes you through teaching reading in such an easy to follow and easy to implement way. Everything is broken down into simple steps that any parent can teach.
The Logic of English is a program based on Orton-Gillingham’s method of teaching. So each word is broken down into phonograms, or the sounds that each letter makes. I love this method because not only does it make strong readers, but it also develops strong spellers. Even though I feel like I am learning as I teach (since I was not taught with phonograms) I have seen huge improvements with reading as my children learn how to sound out new words easily with the phonograms.
The Logic of English Foundations program works on learning handwriting at the same time that your child is learning the phonograms. You are able to choose either manuscript or cursive. Since we prefer to teach cursive first, this program is perfect! Handwriting instruction is taught piece by piece, beginning with some basic strokes used in the letters. My son loves using the dry erase board to practice. One side has a big set of lines and the other side is smaller. There are also practice pages in the workbook. We love the sandpaper letters, too! They make it so easy for a child to use muscle memory when it comes time to write the actual letter. The great thing about this program, though, is that you don’t have to do handwriting and phonics together. You can, but it isn’t necessary. So if your child is ready for letters but not ready for handwriting, you can work at their pace.
The level A foundations book has 40 lessons and also includes a review after every 5 lessons. The scope and sequence walks you through exactly what your children will be learning each lesson. The individual lessons are set up in a way that they can work for busy families. At first glance, you can see what the lesson objectives are and what materials you will need. The lessons are scripted so you don’t have to figure out what to say. Each section, including phonemic awareness, handwriting, phonograms, and phonogram practice, is divided so that you can easily start and stop the lesson without getting lost. I would imagine that most young children could probably work through the book at about a lesson or two per week. Since Moose already knows some phonograms, he was able to complete one lesson every two days. The sides of the pages are filled with colorful boxes of helpful hints, tips, and activities.
The Logic of English also has great apps that work to support their programs. We received the Doodling Dragons app, and both of my younger boys (ages 5 and 3) love it! This app works to help the child break words apart into their individual phonograms. This is a great introduction to phonograms for my Little Bear. He loves to play the games, and why not learn something while you play! Each page is divided to practice one phonogram. This is the same in the book Doodling Dragons. Both of these tools provide so much more than any basic alphabet book can. They are bright and colorful and fun!
The Logic of English Foundations program is one of the best programs around for active little learners. No other program I have seen taps into every learning style in every lesson. Your kids will be moving, writing, listening, and playing, all with an end result of learning to read. Moose loves the variety of activities that comes with Foundations. It can be easy to get into a rut with lessons that are similar day after day, but that doesn’t happen with Foundations.
As I mentioned before, Moose was able to do one lesson every two days. What we typically did was break the lesson into the phonogram parts and the handwriting parts. So one day he would be learning and reviewing phonograms, and the next he would be learning to draw the phonogram. Moose is a little boy who loves things to be perfect, so handwriting is hard for him. He is not pleased if a letter doesn’t look exactly like it does on the card. I was able to remedy this by mixing things up with how we practiced handwriting. Some days we used the dry erase board and sandpaper letters. Other days, I had him practice writing in sand or shaving cream. Sometimes I would draw the letter on the dry erase board and then have him erase it as he drew the letter. This really helped him feel more comfortable with his letters, and he was so excited to be learning cursive like the big kids!
Even though I am already pretty comfortable with the Orton-Gillingham method of teaching, the Foundations curriculum is so wonderful to have. I don’t have to write lesson plans or put together activities. No books need to be read and no research needs to be done. This curriculum is complete. Fun for the kids and easy for the parents…who could ask for more?!
If you worry about your abilities to teach phonics, check out Logic of English. There is no assumption that you are trained as a teacher or that you already know the material. The teacher’s manual walks you through everything as if you have never taught phonics before. This is one product I would highly recommend for any parent who is unsure about teaching their child to read. It truly is wonderful!
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