Our youngest child, Lucas, is 4 (nearly 5!), and is at the age where when everyone else is doing their schoolwork, he wants some work to do as well. Ah, if only they would stay that eager when they’re older! As of now, he does really well with number recognition, and okay with some letter recognition. Reading is the most important skill to learn, in my opinion, because once you can read, you can most anything. Logic of English is a program that offers a multi-sensory approach to reading and writing, and is based on 74 basic phonograms, and 30 spelling rules. These phonograms and spelling rules are said to explain 98% of English words. Wow, that’s an enormous amount!
Denise Eide is the author of Logic of English, and is herself a homeschool mom and ESL teacher. The program began when her own children were struggling to learn to read and spell. Once she came across the Orton-Gillingham method, she discovered a whole new path to reading and spelling. Upon Googling for myself, I discovered that the Orton-Gillingham method was developed in the early 20th century by Samuel Orton and Anne Gillingham. This method is a multi-sensory, language-based, sequential, and flexible method to learning reading and writing. Denise and her husband Nathan have dedicated themselves, and also received support from Nathan’s parents. It’s always great when we have backup, isn’t it?!
For this review, I was given the Foundations Level A, for beginning readers, or ages 4-7, so I used the curriculum with Lucas, who’s nearly 5 now! With Level A, students learn to read and write lowercase letters a-z, and also read short vowel words and consonant blends with fun games and activities. I received:
- Foundations A Teacher’s Manual ~ $38
- Manuscript Workbook ~ $18
- Basic Phonogram Flash Cards~ $18
- Red Manuscript Phonogram Game Cards ~ $10
- Red Manuscript Tactile Cards ~ $28
- Blue-Bookface Phonogram Game Cards ~ $10
- Student Whiteboard ~ $12
- The Rhythm of Handwriting Manuscript Chart ~ $10
I’ll admit that when I opened the package and saw everything, I was pretty overwhelmed at how many items there were. Lucas and I were both pretty excited to get started with Logic of English. He especially loved the artwork in both his workbook and my teacher’s manual, and of course the huge whiteboard was a big hit with him as well!
What it’s About
The Foundation’s Level A Teacher’s Manual is 209 pages, and includes 40 lessons. There is a Scope & Sequence at the start of the book, as well as a list of needed supplies and general information about the program. Here you can see the list of phonograms and their various sounds.
Each lesson in the Teacher’s manual is several pages, generally between 4-6. The lessons cover phonemic awareness and handwriting, and are broken up into several activities. For example, Lesson 2 begins with kinesthetic sound awareness which discusses whether sounds are voiced or unvoiced, followed by compound words. The Handwriting segment reviews some of lesson 1, and includes learning letter-making strokes, reviewing previous ones learned, air writing, and writing on the whiteboard and in the workbook worksheet. The page margins also include quite a few ideas for the lessons such as book lists, multi-sensory tips like using different manipulatives, and teacher tips. Each lesson beginning contains a list of objectives as well as a list of needed materials for that lesson. The teacher’s manual is a very nice and sturdy hardcover, which I love.The pages are very sturdy as well, and the lessons are very well written, detailed, and easy to understand, and each teaching activity is broken down into easy to teach steps.
The Foundations Level A Manuscript Workbook (same link as above) is a consumable workbook with lots of colorful activity pages. The pages can be left in the book, or are easily torn out.
There are even some fun “board” games to cut out and play! I quote board because, well, it’s paper, but you could certainly make it more durable by gluing the sheets to card stock and laminating the game “boards” and game pieces. The game instructions are included in the teacher’s manual.
The lesson pages contain picture activities, as well as handwriting practice lines. Instructions on how to complete these are also in the teacher’s manual lessons. I won’t lie, sometimes Lucas would open the book and just start doing whatever because he didn’t want to wait for his slow Mama to give hi instructions. Little stinker!
The Rhythm of Handwriting Manuscript Chart is a great reference chart for reviewing letter strokes. Explicit instructions are listed for each letter, and they’re grouped and color-coded by letter stroke style (ie straight letters, drop-swoop, down, roll, slant, kick, and cross). The chart is laminated which I love, because my kids are so hard on their things. I did initially receive the cursive chart by mistake, but was quickly sent the correct one.
The Basic Phonogram Flash Cards contain the 74 basic phonograms, and include some letter blends along with rules for each blend. These are a nice, large-sized set of cards that are sturdy and easy to handle. The dimensions on these are 4.5” x 6’.
The Red Manuscript Phonogram Game Cards are smaller in size at 2.25” x 3.5”,, and also contain the 74 basic phonograms, as well as 15 more cards to make the card games even more fun and engaging. The Blue-Bookface cards are the same as the red manuscript, except the letters are blue.
The Manuscript Tactile Cards are the same size as the Basic Phonogram Flash Cards. These cards are really neat! The phonograms are raised with a sandpaper texture, and let students practice writing with their fingers. They also give instructions as to how to form each phonogram or stroke. Lucas loves these cards, but I can’t stand rubbing sandpaper, so they skeeve me out a little.
The Student Whiteboard was the biggest hit of all with Lucas. It’s a great size at 11’ X 16”, and is perfect for either sitting at the table to write, or having it on the student’s lap to write. I can tell it’s good and sturdy, because it’s not gotten broken, yet. Once side has a larger handwriting chart, and the other side has smaller and 6 lines for more detailed writing such as words and phrases.
How it Worked for Us
When I initially sat down to look over the lessons, I noticed there is quite a bit of reading and instruction to give. At first, I did try to sit down with Lucas and do one lesson in a day, but it’s really too much for him to do at one time. He’s 4, and I really can’t expect him to sit in one place for that long. I’d say it took at least an hour to try to complete the lesson, and he started getting pretty antsy. So, I decided to break up each lesson into at least 2 days, if not more, depending on his attitude for the day. I like how the early lessons explain the letter strokes, but it was really hard for Lucas to grasp that information. He had a difficult time matching the strokes, especially on the worksheets. The whiteboard was easy for him to work on. He did easily grasp the aspect of voiced and unvoiced sounds and the lines on the writing charts. He did learn some letter sounds, but writing letters is still pretty iffy with him. I think the key is to make this work and fit to your child’s needs. Older children would likely be able to complete one lesson per day, but I don’t think younger children will, and that’s okay. I may even try some lesson with Ethan since he has trouble still with some blends.
Overall, I do like Logic of English. I like how the lessons are broken down and how easy they are to teach. It can seem overwhelming at first, but I plan to stick with it until we complete Level A. The price isn’t too bad, in my opinion, and some of the supplements can be reused for more than one level. If you have a beginning or struggling reader, I do recommend you check out Logic of English.
Be sure to click below and read review from my fellow Crew Members. Other members received Foundations Level A, or other products from Logic of English.