I recently was introduced to the Logic of English curriculum, and I must say it is quite a fun one! We chose Foundations, Level A Cursive
This program uses a multi-sensory approach to learning how to read, spell and write, based upon 74 basic phonograms and 30 spelling rules that, together, explain English words. They also incorporate the meanings of roots, suffixes, and prefixes into this program, so in many ways the sky is the limit for really understanding English. It also incorporates grammar, punctuation rules, tenses, plurals, and lots more. So I can use this with both of y boys (who are 4 and 8). I really like how multifaceted this program is: building strong comprehension and critical thinking skills; analyzing words, thinking about the meaning, making connections to other words and concepts. Every lesson is multi-sensory with instruction and activites that engage visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and speech – allowing them to learn more and connect the dots, if you will.
The Foundations, Level A sells for $71; this includes the teacher’s manual, the student workbook ( cursive or manuscript), and the Doodling Dragons book. The Reusable Resource Set (which can be used in all Foundation levels) sells for $85 and it includes the Basic Phonogram Flash Cards, Handwriting Tactile Cards, Phonogram Game Cards (two sets), Rhythm of Handwriting Quick Reference Chart, Small Student Whiteboard. These are all available in cursive or manuscript; we chose cursive ourselves. There is also a Doodling Dragon App that sells for $4.99. We did not use this one, but I do wish we had. The suggested age range for Foundations is 4-7, and the Doodling Dragons app can be enjoyed by ages 2-7.
Now I have to say I was both excited and overwhelmed when this first arrived. There is a lot to this program that was very new to me. I mean, I have never head or considered, doing things the way this program does. At the same time, it is not so complex that I could not understand; things are broken down into simple steps. Its so easy to understand once you get into the program. Looks really can be deceiving. 😛
The Teacher’s Manual is wonderful, neat and tidy; we were able to move around as quickly or slowly as we needed to based on if they got it, or were not quite there yet. The Manuscript Workbook is chock full of fun for the kids! There are lots of fun activities and my younger son really loved how colorful it was; in one of the readers my boys thought it was hysterical they had a photo of “our bulldog in a clown wig”. Talk about a personal touch. haha Each workbook has six tear out readers to use with Foundations A. (we did not tear these out but read through them as they were) **Per the Logic of English website, it is not possible to teach Foundations without both the Teacher’s Manual and the Student Workbook.**
My four year old LOVED the Doodling Dragons, ABC Book of Sounds. He reads this again and again; the pictures just crack him up. He loves the silly pictures – the snakes ate grapes comes to mind – really an excellent way to encourage and excite my reluctant reader. Its great how the words are all broken down into phonograms, my little guy really likes “seeing:” the sound of each letter and how they come together into a word. This way my son learns how to spell them as he learns to read them. So far he loves this program. He even has his own little notebook and pencil case that he uses for his “work” each day.
As for my older son (he is 8) we have been using this to try to ease him into cursive writing. He really took to the white board with writing lines– I think because it was small enough he could move around while practicing his writing. Its such a challenge for him to be still; turns out this really helped him along. He used the large lined side more than the side with smaller lines; not what I had hoped for but its a process right? The Rhythm of Handwriting Tactile cards and the Quick Reference Chart were nice to have too. My younger son, and even my two year old, liked tracing the letters with their fingers, my oldest just used them as a reference. (speaking of which, we hung the reference chart near the table and it there today too). For fun (but not regularly truth be told) we used the Basic Phonogram Flash Cards as well as the Phonogram Game Cards.
My boys actually had fun with this program. It has encouraged a curiosity regarding reading and writing that were not quite sparked like they are now (In my four year old son). And my oldest, while still struggling with cursive, at least has a program that he is a bit more comfortable with. We will definitely be continuing to use this program with our boys. Oh and I almost forgot to mention, for those who you who second guess your teaching abilities, this is perfect for you! This program is full of teacher tips as you go along so if you or your student struggle along the way, its like there is support staff right there for you. I admit I was reassured a few times when my boys were struggling, with a little tip on the side of the page. -) I have yet to find anything that is so “personal” as this program is. I don’t know how else to explain it ~ There is just that special touch to all of the lessons, all of the materials, that makes it just so much more enjoyable and a greater experience for all of us!
(Did I mention my husband says my handwriting is almost legible now??) haha
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