Thursday, September 12, 2013

Logic of English

It is no secret that I love English. Grammar, punctuations, words, reading - you name it, I like it. So, when a review came from Logic of English, I knew I wanted to try it.

When we received the Foundations A package, I asked Jake (7) to bring it in the house. I heard a grunt and then a laugh before he asked me to get it instead. I teased him about not being strong enough to pick up the box. I mean, how heavy could it be? And then I lifted it up. Boy, was I wrong! I was surprised just how full it was of fun learning resources. Even though the materials are geared toward ages 4-7 and I was planning to use these with Alyssa (5), the boys were pretty impressed with the things, too.

  • Foundations A Teacher's Manual ($38)
  • Manuscript Workbook ($18)
  • Basic Phonogram Flash Cards ($18)
  • Red Manuscript Phonogram Game Cards ($10)
  • Blue Bookface Phonogram Game Cards ($10) 
  • The Rhythm of Handwriting Manuscript Tactile Cards ($28) 
  • The Rhythm of Handwriting Manuscript Chart ($10)
  • Student Whiteboard ($12) 
  • Phonograms App ($2.99)

The Foundations A Teacher's Manual includes 40 lessons and is very thorough. The book covers phonemic awareness, handwriting, and reading. The lessons are scripted so that you could read word-for-word if you so choose. The lessons are a bit long, but are broken into several activities. The beginning of each lesson lists the objectives and needed materials. There are also notes sprinkled throughout the book listing book ideas, teacher tips, and multi-sensory fun, and more. The manual is hard cover, colorful, easy-to-follow, and detailed.

The Manuscript Workbook is a consumable workbook full of fun learning activities. The pages are perforated if you want to tear them out. The book is colorful and has cute pictures that grabbed Alyssa's attention immediately. It also includes many games like bingo, reading basketball, matching, charades, etc. There are also places to practice handwriting. Alyssa loves completing workbook pages. She would have done 15 pages a day had we skipped everything else!

 The Basic Phonogram Flash Cards include the 74 basic phonogram. These large, sturdy cards list the phonograms, pronunciations, and examples. 

The Red Manuscript Phonogram Game Cards and the Blue Bookface Phonogram Game Cards are used throughout the lessons to reinforce the phonograms and have fun. These two cards are the same, except for the color. I have one child whose favorite color is red and another whose favorite is blue. Each child wants everything in his own favorite color. The things that are important to kids!

The Rhythm of Handwriting Manuscript Tactile Cards are great for practicing writing. The writing strokes, lower case letters, capital letters, and numerals are printed with a sandpaper texture. On the back of each card is the complete instruction for formation. All three kids and I had fun tracing the cards just to feel the bumpy texture. 

The Rhythm of Handwriting Manuscript Chart is a reference chart that includes systematic directions for writing each letter. The letters are grouped and color-coded by their initial stroke. It is a helpful tool in teaching proper letter formation.

The Student Whiteboard is a huge 11" x 16" double-sided, durable whiteboard. One side has one big set of handwriting lines, measuring 5 inches, while the other side has a set of 6 lines, 1 inch a piece. Alyssa loves using this board to practice her writing. My children have inherited my perfectionist gene. If she makes a mistake, she gets frustrated and unhappy. I explain that she's only 5 and still learning. Regardless, she's always liked using the whiteboard since it's easy to erase and fix the mistakes. Since this board is so large and sturdy, she can take it anywhere - couch, bed, table - and practice her letters. I think this board is well-worth the price.

The Phonograms App is an on-the-go way to review the phonograms. It let's the student hear the sound, see the phonogram, and touch the matching card. The app consists of matching the card to the sound or a simple flash card review. Alyssa was a little put-off by this originally. Since each sound is listed for phonogram (i = ĭ, ī, ē, y) it was a little overwhelming. I started hitting the correct answer before she could and turned it into a game. She had fun listening and pressing the letters and tried to beat me to them. And sometimes she did! 

Overall, we liked the program. The lessons are a little long. Since Alyssa already knows how to write, we didn't spend much time on the handwriting portion as it was written. We did review the letter strokes in helping her write them properly. She loved using the large whiteboard and the workbook. The colorful pictures and fun games are what she likes most. I appreciate the thoroughness of the program, along with the extra tips and activities. One of the things I love about homeschooling is that if a certain learning style isn't working for your student, you can change it up. Logic of English offers different options that will work. It's detailed, easy-to-use, and complete.

Logic of English offers other products as well. Some of my crew mates reviewed Essentials or Rhythm of Handwriting. You can read the reviews.

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