Friday, September 13, 2013

Logic of English: Foundations A {Crew Review}

Logic of English teaches children to read, write and spell through multiple sensory techniques.  Through the use of Logic of English curriculum, children learn to master the English language with little trouble.  Beginning with phonemic awareness and building strong reading skills, this program works to teach children to read, write and spell from the very beginning.

Logic of English Foundations Level A was created as a beginning program to introduce the letters and sounds of the alphabet, as well as blending and word decoding.  Writing is taught from the very beginning through this program too.  Children can learn to write the lower case alphabet using either manuscript or cursive as the parent chooses.  

There are 40 lessons taught in Foundations A.  8 assessments help to ensure the child is learning what's necessary within the program and the review keeps the lessons fresh.  22 phonemic awareness, 28 phonogram and various other games keep the lessons fun and give the child a way to make learning real.  

Teacher training videos are available online to help you prepare for teaching and better learn to use the Logic of English program and Foundations A.  These videos cover various subjects that are meant to help you better understand the program.  After the introductory video, there are 10 sections which you can view to learn how it all works.  There is also a Training Manual available to download to go along with these videos.

The Foundations A Teacher's Manual is a hardcover book, with the fun Foundations A image of a Dragon towering over a castle talking to an adorable bug.  The manual begins with a Scope and Sequence of all 40 lessons for this portion of the Logic of English program.  This allows you to look ahead and see what is taught when in the program, to prep ahead and to keep up with standards as needed through the program.

The next section of the Teacher's Manual covers what supplies are needed for using the program, speech tips for learning the techniques and sounds used in the program, how to use review lessons and much more.  This section also discusses whether or not to use Manuscript or Cursive in teaching writing to young children.  This is something that is completely up to the parent, but this section explains why to use these fonts.

Terms used throughout the book are also covered in this section so that the parent has a better understanding of each of the terms used before reading them in the Teacher's Manual.  This is yet another way Logic of English has thought ahead to prepare you, the teacher, for using this program.  After these brief sections, you jump right into the lessons.  A Phonogram Chart is found at the beginning of Lesson 1 and an Index can be found at the end of the book for easy search.  

Each lesson begins with a list of the lesson's objectives, along with what materials are needed to complete the lesson.  Teacher Tips are included on each page to help you expand lessons and help children learn the importance of each lesson taught.  There are also multi-sensory tips throughout to expand the lessons outside of the book.  Vocabulary and Book List suggestions are other ways shown in the Teacher's Manual to expand the lessons.

For this program, I chose Manuscript as our writing font.  Our Foundations A Workbook came in Manuscript to allow us to concentrate on this font as we worked through our lessons.  The cover of this workbook complements the Teacher's Manual with an image of the same Dragon and Bug writing their Alphabet in blocks with chalk together.

Inside the Foundations A Manuscript Workbook are color-filled pages for each lesson that build phonemic awareness in print.  There are also plenty of opportunity for writing, beginning with Lesson 1.  The lesson games are also found within this book.  Lesson readers are found in the back of the book and can be removed for easier use.

Additionally, you can purchase a dry-erase board from Logic of English which is pre-lined to encourage better writing skills.  One side of this oversized dry-erase board provides a Handwriting Chart while the other side contains several lines for writing and practicing handwriting skills off of paper.  This is a fun way to expand lessons and can be used in many ways.  

The Rhythm of Handwriting Lowercase Letters Manuscript Chart also helps to encourage better writing.  Use this chart as a guide to help you explain the formation of each letter stroke to your child.  The chart breaks the steps down to make this easy to explain for you.  This chart also includes a list of Steps to Teaching Handwriting that are very helpful in advising handwriting skills.

Also included for us to use with this program were Phonogram Game Cards.  These come in Blue Bookface and Red Manuscript.  This game is included to help ensure phonemic awareness and encourage using the correct sounds when learning to read.  This game is a great way to get children thinking and reacting to the sounds the words make.  The cards are the perfect size for little hands to use too.

Another inclusion in our program are the Basic Phonogram Flash Cards.  These cards provide the phonogram sound on one side and how to pronounce the sound, along with words that use the sound on the back of the card.  This helps you, the parent, to know what the sound is and provides words that the child and you can relate to the sound as you cover each one.  This is a great way to learn these sounds and also get your child thinking about words that use the sounds discussed in a lesson.

My favorite part of the program extras has to be the Rhythm of Handwriting Manuscript Tactile Cards.  These cards have been created to teach children the strokes needed to write in Manuscript form.  They don't just teach the child the letter itself though, but instead breaks the strokes down first so the child can get the hang of making that line shape before using it in a letter or word.  

The best thing is these cards have TEXTURE.  Your child can TOUCH and FEEL the line or letter shape and not just see it.  This helps the brain relate to the letter, allowing the child to better understand how it's written verses just seeing it in writing.

These cards include Lowercase, Uppercase, Numbers and Strokes so one set is all you need.  They are large enough to hang them where a child can see them across a room but not overly large where they can't hold them and feel them as they learn.  The back of each card also explains the process needed to complete the letter or stroke providing another easy way to explain the writing process to your child.

Last but not least, we were also given access to the Logic of English Phonograms App.  This app is yet another way to practice the sounds of the letters.  It's easy to use and provides 10 guided levels for learning Phonemic sounds.  It can be used by multiple users and tracks student progress easily.  This is a great tool to use along with the program at a great price of $2.99 at time of this review.

We've only been using Logic of English Foundations Level A for a few weeks and because of Jax being sick, we haven't used it exactly as planned.  We have only been able to work through when we can, but trust me, Laycie has made sure Momma does her schoolwork for this program several days a week.  She LOVES it.  
She enjoys practicing her writing on the dry-erase board, which we write on together.  This also promotes bonding time between her and I, which is limited with a sick baby brother these days.  The lessons are short and easy to complete together.  I've even had her sister teach her one or two, always checking behind that the work is done right and discussing what she was taught together.

She enjoys completing the colorful workbook pages and is so proud when she gets them right, which is very often.  She also loves loves loves the texture cards.  She's a very hands-on little girl and loves to feel things as she processes them, so they work amazingly for her.

She wasn't thrilled with the Phonogram App but I really feel she's simply not ready for that yet.  I think as she becomes strong in letter sounds, she will enjoy using it but at this time, it only frustrates her.  Her big sister played it a little while but she fizzed out from boredom as she has already mastered those skills.  It's been helpful to big brother though, who often needs extra review when it comes to reading skills.

Overall, this program is amazing and one we will most likely continue to use.  The price for the complete program is reasonable.  You can purchase Foundations Levels A and B together for $193.50.  Foundations is for younger students just learning to read.  I'd consider this program to be Kindergarten level, though some preschoolers will also do well with it.  Struggling readers will also benefit from using Foundations.

 We only used Foundations Level A for our review and the cost break down for it is as follows:

Teacher Manual: $34.20, available in print or PDF
Manuscript Student Workbook: $16.20, also availabe in Print or PDF or in Cursive for the same price.
Rhythm of Handwriting Manuscript Tactile Cards: $25.20, available in cursive for the same price.
Manuscript Handwriting Quick Reference Chart: $9.00, also in cursive for the same price.
Phonogram Game Cards, Red Manuscript: $9.00, also in Green Cursive for the same price.
Phonogram Game Cards, Blue Bookface: $9.00
Basic Phonogram Flashcards: $16.20
Student Whiteboard: $10.80

The Logic of English Phonogram App is available for purchase through iTunes for $2.99.

Additionally, you can purchase Doodling Dragons: An ABC Book Of Sounds for $13.50 but this was not included in our set of Foundations Level A for review.

To read more reviews of Logic of English, please click the banner below!


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1 comment:

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