Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Schoolhouse Review Crew: Logic of English

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I can honestly say that I had not ever heard of Logic of English before they appeared on our upcoming vendor list. Then I had an opportunity to look at the products in person at a small homeschool convention I went to this summer.  I was very impressed with what I saw, and was excited to have an opportunity to use and review Foundations A along with the Phonograms App with my 4 year old daughter Lily.

Foundations teaches beginning readers (ages 4-7) how to read books without memorizing sight words.  Students develop phonemic awareness by learning 74 phonograms that are used to read 98% of English words and increase fluency through fun activities.  Students are taught using multisensory activities.  Foundations is a complete phonics, reading, handwriting, and spelling curriculum for ages 4-7.  There are 4 different levels to Foundations: A,B.C.and D.  We received Level A for our review.

 Over the course of 40 lessons and 8 review lessons in Level A students will :

  • know how sounds are formed in the mouth
  • blend and segment words as an auditory exercise
  • learn to identify first and last sounds in a word and match it to the correct phonogram
  • read all the sounds from A-Z
  • write the lowercase letters in either cursive or manuscript
  • read consonant-vowel-consonant words
  • decode 25 high frequency words
  • spell short vowel words
  • read short vowel words that include consonant blends
  • read and comprehend phrases that include lowercase letters and short vowels
You can see the scope and sequence for all 40 lessons on this page.

To use the Foundations program, you need to purchase a Student Book (paperback) and a Teacher's Manual (hard cover), but there are several other components to the program that you can purchase if you choose.  For our review we received:

Student Book ($18) and Teacher's Manual ($38)

The Teacher's Manual is a hardcover book that it 209 pages long.  In it you will find supply lists needed to complete the lessons, step by step teaching instructions, teaching tips, multi sensory activities to go with the lessons, book lists, vocabulary, speech tips, and suggestions for activities to go along with the phonogram that is being taught.

Here is a sample of the Teacher's Manual.

The Student Book is a paperback book that is 155 pages plus additional reader pages in the back.  In it you will find student lesson pages, handwriting pages, games, and readers.  Pages are perforated and can be removed if you wish.

Here is a sample of the Student Workbook.

Handwriting Tactile Cards ($28)

The Handwriting Tactile Cards are printed on a thick heavy cardstock.  The front of them have a raised sandpaper texture to provide a high sensory introduction to writing.  The back of the cards show the sounds the phonograms make along with the Rhythm of Handwriting instructions for writing the letters.  The set includes uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and the strokes.

Basic Phonogram Flash Cards ($18)

The Basic Phonogram Flashcards on printed on a thick, heavy cardstock.  Each cards shows the phonogram on the front of the card and the sounds the words make with some word examples on the back.  This set includes 74 single and multi letter phonograms.

Phonogram Game Cards ($10 each 2 decks recommended)
Blue Bookface

Red Manuscript
There are several different card games suggested throughout the Foundations curriculum as a fun way to reinforce and enhance what your child is learning.  These games require 2 decks of Phonogram Game Cards.  In addition to the two pictured above, you also have the option of a green cursive deck.  These cards are printed on heavy cardstock and contain all 74 phonograms plus 15 game playing cards that have various things printed on them such as: reverse, go back one space, go back two spaces, rotten egg card, dragon card, etc. . .

Rhythm of Handwriting Quick Reference ($10)

A chart that folds out and uses systematic directions on how to form each letter.

Student Whiteboard ($12)

The Student White Board is 11x16 and is double sided.  One side has large lines for large motor practice and the other side has 6 smaller lines for writing words, phrases, or even short paragraphs.  The Student Whiteboard is stain resistant and will not peel.

You can purchase a package for $193.50 that inlcudes the Student and Teacher books for Foundations A and B, Tactile Cards, Handwriting Reference Chart, 2 decks of game cards, Phonogram Flash Cards, Doodling Dragons Book, and the Student Whiteboard.  By purchasing this as a package you save $21.50. You can find that information here.

Phonograms App ($2.99)

The Phonograms App works on  iPods, iPhones and iPads.  This app allows children to see the phonogram, hear the sounds, and touch the matching cards.  It has 10 guided levels to teach children 74 phonograms they need to read and spell 98% of English words.  The app can be used with multiple students and it will track the progress of each separately so parents can see at a glance which of the phonograms have been mastered.

I used our Logic of English Foundations materials with my four year old daughter Lily.  We started out completing one lesson per day, but decided it worked better for us to take two days to complete a lesson.

When we first received our box of materials, I admit that I was a little overwhelmed.  There were so many different things, and I was afraid that using this curriculum would require a lot of pre reading and planning on my part.  When you are homeschooling six children plus have a two year old, teacher intensive curriculum is just not easy.  But, my worries were quickly relieved.  Aside from a quick glance at the lesson for needed materials (a mirror, Dr. Seuess books, etc. . .) there was no other planning required.  The Teacher's Manual tells you step by step what to do for each lesson.  The teaching instructions were very clear and easy to follow.

I love how Foundations starts out teaching the difference between voiced and unvoiced sounds and showing how different sounds are formed.  My Lily caught on so quickly how to tell the difference between voiced an unvoiced sounds and my 8 year old who has difficulty in saying some sounds correctly has even improved his speech by listening to me teach Lily!  I also was very surprised at how quickly Lily understood the segmenting of words.  One of the exercises is for the teacher to say a word using the different sounds like" k-a-t" and then the student circles or colors the matching pictures in the book.  When I saw this exercise, I thought it would be a little above her head, but I followed the teaching instructions step by step and she caught on right away.  She really likes the student workbook exercises.

The handwriting is taught first by learning the different strokes and then forming the letters.  Logic of English gives you the option right from the Foundations level to choose cursive or manuscript handwriting.  We chose manuscript.  The handwriting instructions for forming the strokes and the letters are fun.  The names of the strokes are fun (drop-swoop, drop-hook circle, curve etc. . .) and as the name of the curriculum implies are taught in a logical way.  Lily LOVES the Student Whiteboard!  The first day she wanted to fill the whole whiteboard with the stroke she was learning.  At only 4 years old, her handwriting is nowhere near perfect, but the idea is to teach the strokes and how to form the letters not to achieve perfection.  She does not like writing on the lined paper in the Student Book, so she just does her handwriting on the whiteboard.

The Handwriting Tactile Cards are one of my favorite components!  I think tracing the letters is a great sensory experience for the children to help them practice before they try forming the letters.  They are wonderful!

The Phonograms App we used in a couple of different ways.  First of all it is a great way for children to hear all of the different phonograms spoken very clearly.  In fact, one of the ways I used the app was when I was teaching the phonogram for the lesson.  I showed the Phonogram Flash Card for the lesson and used the app to play the sounds.  I don't think I have ever heard the phonograms spoken so clearly!  I also had Lily play the app.  It is very simple, not a lot of bells and whistles, but systematically teaches the different phonograms in a very effective way.

We had not yet reached a lesson that used the Phonogram Game cards, but Lily really wanted to play one of the games, so we skipped ahead to play the Dragon Game.  She had fun, but I think it will make more sense when she learns all the phonograms!

We have been very impressed with our Foundations materials from  Logic of English and look forward to continuing working through the rest of the book!

Members of The Crew reviewed Foundations, Essentials, Rhythm of Handwriting, and the Phonograms App from Logic of English.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, click on the banner below.

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