Are you getting ready to start your little one on the road to reading? We are. My 4 year is excited to begin reading and has been asking to learn to read for some time. I was a little reluctant to formally begin teaching because he was so young but he was insistent. We read ALL THE TIME and he has his favorites that are memorized and he has a few sight words memorized but we hadn’t done anything with phonics or phonograms, or truly whole word teaching.
Though I know there is a divide between phonics and whole word teaching, I too have done my research and debated the best method. We used primarily phonics with my older child and she learned to read early and well, so I was inclined to keep trudging with how she was taught. At the home school convention this year I came across Logic of English Foundations program and really liked what I saw. Not to mention the vendor’s very polite and knowledgeable pre-teen that explained the program in detail to us!! I loved the application that went with it but, of course, it was not available in Android, only Apple, and we don’t have Apple products so we passed it by. However, when given the opportunity to go ahead and review the Foundations A program we thought maybe we should give it a try. So far we are pretty impressed!
What Logic of English is All About
Logic of English takes a unique approach to teaching reading, writing, and spelling all in one curriculum. Using multi-sensory activities that work with most learning types, Logic of English states that 98% of all English words can be understood and learned by a student if they simply learn 74 basic phonograms and 30 spelling rules. With their beginning Foundations program, written for ages 4-7, they take this fact and make it fun for the student to learn these basic phonograms and spelling rules. Teaching the single letters A-Z, the Foundations A program teaches reading and writing of single-syllable, short vowel words. The student moves through the Foundations levels as they complete each workbook. Foundations is available in levels A-F. The program has additional programs such as Essentials, which is a full reading, writing and spelling program for 8 years old and up, to be completed in 1 year. There is only one level of Essentials. Logic of English also offers a full handwriting program called The Rhythm of Handwriting, which is offered in both manuscript and cursive.
How We Used It
- Foundations A Teachers Manual – ($38)
- Foundations A Manuscript Workbook (also available in cursive) – ($18)
- The Rhythm of Handwriting Manuscript Chart ($10)
- Basic Phonogram Flash Cards ($18)
- Manuscript Tactile Cards ($28)
- Red Manuscript Phonogram Game Cards ($10)
- Blue Bookface Phonogram Game Cards ($10)
- Student Whiteboard ($12)
We used the Foundations A curriculum several days a week with our 4 year old. (Actually 3 year as he just turned 4 this week so most of the review period he was 3.) Anyway, since we were still on summer vacation we didn’t do it EVERY day but most days and we did the suggested readings on the others days throughout the review period. For instance, week 1 tells you to read Dr. Seuss books all week. We checked out a bunch from the library and, along with the ones we already owned, read Dr. Seuss all week that week. My older daughter and I took turns reading to him. That was nice that she could participate in his reading program; it made her feel important!
Foundations A Teachers Manual – I taught straight from the Teacher’s manual, using most of the dialogue verbatim. That was nice as there was little to no preparation. There is a list of what you need for the lesson at the beginning of each lesson but they are pretty easy and didn’t necessarily have to be done ahead of time. At first glance it seemed the lessons were long but once we went through them they really were not. Maybe a smidgen long for a 3 year old boy but i was still able to maintain attention and control for the entire lesson period. Most of the time I let him draw on his dry erase board while we discussed the lesson, this allowed him to do something and he remained able to answer almost all the questions without repeat while drawing on his board. The same teachers manual is used for both the manuscript and cursive programs. The teachers manual just explains what you need depending upon white handwriting option you have chosen. They are color coded as well, which makes it easy to identify.
Foundations A Student Workbook Manuscript – This student workbook was nice. The activities were very appropriate for the age and included additional handwriting pages. The pages can be used in the workbook or have perforated edges if you wish to remove them. I liked that it was colorful and engaging and my son enjoyed the pages. The workbook lessons were between two and four pages long so they were an appropriate length as well. Several of the lessons provided handwriting practices pages with various size practice. I liked this option in addition to several lessons providing a full page with one line, which was great for my beginning writer. It is the same size as the practice white board, which we used for most of the handwriting practice as I didn’t feel at this point he was ready for smaller writing. The white board and the large, full page handwriting practice page were the best for his age and ability.
Basic Phonogram Cards – The Basic Phonogram Cards were introduced in lesson 5, right before the review. (The Foundations A book provides review in each lesson but provides an overall review after every 5 lessons. I like the continuous reviewing and time to review concepts learned built into the program.) The Teacher’s Manual tells you when to use the cards and which ones. Again, very little preparation is needed prior to lessons as the supplies are easy and the list is thorough at the beginning of the lesson. These cards are good for review and well made.
Manuscript Tactile Cards – These Tactile Cards, available in manuscript or cursive, are used right away in the program. They have a sand paper texture to the letters. This makes it great for tactile, hands-on learners. My son enjoyed tracing the letters with his fingers before working on the whiteboard. The back of the cards explain the name and definition of the stroke being introduced. Getting used to “stroke” names was difficult for me but he didn’t seem to have any issue with this.
Doodling Dragons: An ABC Book of Sounds was introduced in Lesson 5. We just skipped this part since we didn’t have this book; however, we are considering purchasing this book as it seems like it would be great reinforcement, especially for younger learners. You can see it on the website.
Each Foundations A lesson is laid out simply and well for the teachers. There are objectives identified at the beginning of the lesson, including Common Core Standards, if that is something of interest. A materials list is provided including “Needed” and “Optional.” Each lesson begins with Phonemic Awareness and includes Speech Tip, Book list, Multi-Sensory Fun suggestions, and other suggested activities.
Overall, my son seemed to really like the lessons and they were of appropriate length for his age. He enjoyed determining if a sound was “voiced” or “unvoiced” and feeling his vocal cords when making the sounds. I was actually surprised he enjoyed this and, quite frankly, surprised he comprehended the “voiced” and “unvoiced” so well. He also thought it was fun to watch his mouth make the sounds and explain how he formed the sounds with his mouth and tongue.
We will definitely continue working through these lessons. It will be interesting to see how well he progresses with his reading skills by using the Logic of English approach.
Be sure to check out the Logic of English website to read about their approach to teaching a full reading, writing and spelling curriculum. And read what the other TOS Crew member had to say about the Logic of English products here.
Barbara Klein says
The Logic of English seems very comprehensive. When my two youngest children were four and two years of age I taught a chapter 1 Kg class. I took everything I taught in the classroom home and worked with my children on the same material. The program was designed for children in lower socioeconomic families who didn’t spend much time relating to parents and did not own books. Mostly what they learned they learned from TV.
The reading program began without teaching letters but learning the sound letters and phonemes made and then blending them together to make words. By the end of the year, seven of 17 children in my class could read phonetically. My four year old was reading 1st grade level and passed the kindergarten readiness test at 87 percentile in the spring. She could do the workbook pages with no problem at all. I waited until my son was another year old before I worked with him. He could do the oral part and reading the books, but he couldn’t do the writing–not quite ready for that.
I used this same system with many children that were dyslexic that I tutored through the years. I think my son could have done better if I had used the tracing and large white boards.
This sounds like a great system. Keep up the good work.