Monday, September 9, 2013

Logic of English - Review - Foundations A

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Little J and I have been reviewing a new program this year. It is definitely going to be a keeper. It is the beginner reading program produced by Logic of English called Foundations A
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This is our third year of homeschooling. My oldest two children had just finished 2nd and 4th grade when we decided to take the plunge and so one thing I have never done 'all by myself' was teach a child to read. I mean I have done the homework flashcards, read the books, and encouraged. However I feel a little nervous about teaching my four year old to read. I have a few things on my side - he is very clever (of course I am biased) and he loves to learn. However a lot is riding on this - as far as I am concerned the whole of this child's education is in the balance. Reading is the key to all knowledge.


Little J has known his letters and sounds for a couple of years. However because we have to spend a lot of time doing a computer program for his Amblyopia he can sometimes loose interest with learning pretty quickly. Logic of English offered me a chance to review Foundations A and I was very excited. I was thrilled it would give Little J and I a break from the computer and a new perspective for our reading program.

The Foundations system takes a reader from non-reader to independent reader in four steps. Logic of English is a research based curriculum which teaches the student how to decode words and become more effective readers. It uses all of our senses seeing, hearing, feeling etc...

HOW WE USED IT AND LOVED IT

We received both the teacher manual and cursive student manual for Foundations A. This set is for use by children under 6 suitable for pre-k - grade 1. We also received a whiteboard, tactile letter cards, phonogram flashcards, and phonogram game cards.
Although Little J was proficient with his letters and sounds but I decided to start at the beginning. We had great fun figuring out how our mouths created sounds. Little J loved putting his hand on my throat and then his to see if a sound was 'voiced' or holding his nose to see if he could make a sound or not.

 
We did really good working through the program however I think I was a little ambitious using the cursive book. Little J was a little confused at first but soon learned to recognize the cursive letters. However the cursive handwriting practice seemed a little beyond him and caused him a little frustration. Cursive is what I want Little J to learn as he gets older so I think it will be definitely worth the extra effort on both of our parts. However we are persevering at a slower rate than the reading lessons.

Little J loves the white board and dry erase markers.  This large white board with the extra large lines on one side was a huge hit. I really like that Foundations A focuses on the shapes of the letters rather than expecting the child to go straight to the complicated curves and shapes of forming a whole cursive letter. Knowing the names of each line so he could follow the directions of forming a letter was imperative,

This picture is of Little J marking dots on the lines to show me he knew what they were called. 

Little J love the tactile letter cards. They also contained tactile cards to help learn the shapes that make up the cursive shapes. You can see by the instructions on the card why knowing what the lines are called are so important. The instructions on the card reads 'Start at the baseline, Curve up to the mid-line.' These cards were an excellent way to reinforce how the shapes and letters are formed. Little J has started to say "Let me trace it with my finger then I will remember how to do it."


When I first received this program I was a little overwhelmed with the terminology used in the book. However Little J took it all in his stride. The program is truly set out in a way that there is no reason to worry. Each lesson is set out very clearly. It has step by step instructions with hints etc to lead you through each lesson.

Little J has sailed through a lot of the lessons. He has had no problems putting the sounds together to make words. He loves the idea of acting out the word as he puts them together. I love that this is done as an auditory activity. Little J has been able to blend quite complicated words. He lacks a little confidence but it is definitely growing each lesson.

We averaged about 3 lessons a week, however sometimes we worked a little slower and reviewed the information. As I said before we definitely slowed down on our writing, however we are even making progress with that. I can see that Little J will become quite the penman given time.

Although our review period is over I will definitely be continuing this program. Little J love it, and I love that it is a special time that we spend together.

If you are interested in seeing the scope and sequence just click the link. On the website for Foundations A it breaks down each lesson 1-40 and describes what each lesson covers. Every five lessons there is a review lesson that helps identify areas that may need review. There is also an excellent free resource showing the list of phonograms, their sounds, spelling rules, and sample words you can find it here.

Little J loved this program and when I tell him it is time for a reading lesson - this is the first program he chooses.

Foundations A can be purchased from the Logic of English website. The Foundations A teacher manual is $34.20 and student manual for $16.20. These two manuals are considered the minimum needed to do this program. I know I would love to have the book Doodling Dragons. However I love the other items I received with the review, Basic Phonogram Flash Cards are $18.00, Handwriting Tactile Cards are $28.00 (I received the cursive ones), Phonogram Game Cards are $10.00, Student Whiteboard is $12.00, Rhythm of Handwriting Quick Reference is $10.00.

There is also an app that I really wish I could have used Phonica with Phonograms however it is only available for ipad/iphone and I have a Google Nexus 7. I would really LOVE it if it was available for Android.

Check out the other reviews from the crew. As there were lots of other products reviewed (including the app). By clicking on the link below.



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