Teaching a Wiggly Child to Read with The Logic of English

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Beta Testing for Logic of English Foundations is over, and the first two levels, A and B are out and ready for you to buy! To celebrate this, I wanted to share with you our review of what Logic of English Foundations actually *is* so you don’t miss out on this program. We’ve been big fans for a long time, so sit back, and let me tell you about my absolute favorite Homeschool reading program on the market.

Teach your Child to Read with Logic of English Foundations

What is Logic of English Foundations?             

Foundations is a new “Learn to Read” program from The Logic of English. This program starts at the very beginning- laying a solid Foundation for literacy in your child. The Logic of English is an Orton-Gillingham based program, which means it is rooted in phonics, spelling rules, and multi-sensory teaching. However, Logic of English doesn’t stop with this research done by Orton-Gillingham (which was in use as a reading program in the 1930’s!). Denise Eide, the author of Logic of English, has taken what is known of the English language, and has continued the research to create a complete, modern program.

TTeaching the Child Who Won't Sit Stillhe English language is kind of a beast- but Denise Eide has done what many say is impossible- she’s made sense of it. Between the use of phonograms, clarifying “rules” and understanding the linguistic origins of English words, she’s created a program that teaches English in a logical, consistent, and easy to understand way.

Logic of English Foundations is the first step, which introduces kids to the phonograms, teaches letter formation in both manuscript and cursive (you choose which one to use) and some of the rules.

This level is 40 lessons long, with 8 review and assessments (so, 48 lessons total). It can take you as little as 48 school days, or as long as your child needs to master the material. At the end of this level, your child will blend like a pro, be able to pull apart words to their smallest sound, correctly form all letters, spell simple words, and read simple phrases.

How does it work?

Level A of Logic of English Foundations starts at the very beginning, assuming a child has had very little or no instruction in reading. Children are introduced to the first 26 phonograms, including all their sounds (for example, an A says three sounds as in the words, apple, acorn, and father- the kids are not taught the words, but rather the sounds only).

Foundation also encourages strong phonemic awareness. Kids need to be able to hear the phonograms in the words they speak and listen to every day. You will teach your child to not only practice phonogram sounds in isolation, but will spend a significant time blending the sounds together and pulling words apart.

Children are taught to write the phonograms with a step by step process that starts with the strokes that form the letters, and progresses to writing the letters out. Handwriting, spelling, and reading go hand in hand, so instead of needing three separate programs to teach these skills, all you need is Logic of English Foundations.

All of these skills are taught through the use of games, physical activities, and fun lessons that will keep the child’s interest. Learning to read doesn’t need to be stressful and hard. It should be FUN. Logic of English Foundations speaks to the heart of a child. Lessons are written in such a way to make sure fun and learning go hand in hand.

For example, when introduced the “/d/” phonogram, some of the ideas include having a “D” themed day- eating D foods (dumplings, dill pickles, donuts), learning about animals that start with a D and playing games in the Dark. Blending is done with running, jumping, relay races, and more. Flash cards are even made FUN.

What do you need to purchase?

According to Logic of English, at a minimum, you need the teachers’ manual and the student workbook for Foundations Level A. The workbook comes with readers.

I’ll be honest with you here, and tell you although most of you know I am allergic to spending money, I have purchased almost every item in the Logic of English Store. But- that also means I can tell you with confidence that all the materials are good.

This is my breakdown:

At a minimum you need: The Teacher’s Manual, Student Workbook, and the Phonogram App (especially if you are new to Logic of English, the App will help you (as the teacher) learn the phonograms quickly, and correctly. This App will save you SO much headache as you learn the phonograms. You need it, and the kids will enjoy playing it. It also saves you a little bit of time since the kids will get extra practice with the phonograms there.

The “nice to have” items are: The white board. Logic of English has a lined whiteboard that is like giant paper for the kids to write on. When learning handwriting, it’s so important to have guidelines, and this board is the perfect size. Sure, you can do the same thing on paper, so you don’t need it, but I would encourage you to get it.

After the whiteboard, I would really recommend picking up a set of the large phonogram flash cards. They are big enough to put up in a pocket folder, and they are really nice to have for some of the active phonics games. You could make your own, but these ones are sturdy and they have the “helpers” on them so you will never forget what sound the letters make. If you plan on sticking with Logic of English for the long haul, or have older kids, this one set of flash cards works for all levels of Foundations, and for Essentials. You only need one set per household. The game cards are also used for all levels, and you only need two sets for your home.

Doodling Dragons

The gravy that you really don’t *need* but is really nice to have would be the tactile cards, and doodling dragons. Both are very well done, and helpful. Doodling Dragons is cute, and Mr. Man has read it over and over. The only thing I don’t own from the shop is the tactile cards, but my friend has a set of them, and I covet them. They are thick and I can see how well they would work for strongly tactile kids- hopefully I’ll get my hands on my own set soon!

Our Experience

I started this program with Mr. Man before he even turned 5, because he was a little wild and crazy and needed some focused “Mama Time.” Mr. Man thrives with movement and fun activities, and we always had active games to choose from with this program.

When we first started, he struggled with his fine motor skills, so instead of learning to write on paper, Mr. Man focused large motor writing. This means he “wrote” letters in the air, he drew them in salt, and traced them in shaving crème. Once he got this down, he started writing them large on a dry erase board, and is just now, almost 8 months later, starting to write on paper.

Multisensory activities for learning to read

And you know what? This never held Mr. Man back. He wanted to learn to read, and Foundations comes with so many ideas to make learning fun and easy. There are so many games and activities, that it was easy for me to say “No Big Deal” and have confidence that the method and the games would work, without feeling like I needed to be rushing Mr. Man to keep moving forward faster than his body and mind were ready to move.

I love that the program includes so MUCH- advice to help with speech and pronunciation is in there. Games and fun activities are included. Themed day ideas are there- as I have it in front of me writing this review, I am thinking that I can use Foundations Level A as a full preschool program with Little Miss- just do a lesson a week instead of a lesson a day when the time comes.

That is part of the beauty with it. You go at your own pace. One lesson can take 10 minutes, or you can spread it over weeks (ask me how I know- we spent about 6 months with the concepts in the first 30 lessons before moving on.) You can go at the pace of your child, and repeat the games over and over until the skill is mastered.

It never gets old, and Mr. Man never stopped having fun. Once he was able to get the phonemic awareness to click, he was able to keep moving on, and now, 7 months after he read his first words, he is able to read many level 1 readers. I am SO proud of him and his progress.

There is just so much magic, creativity, and life in this program. I have never seen anything like it before, and the results I have had with my kids and this process of phonograms, spelling and writing has been SO rewarding.

In a Nutshell

Logic of English Foundations is a “learn to read” program I tell everyone to use. It’s easy to teach, fun for kids, and effective. It’s more than memorizing words and sounding things out- it lays the foundation for reading at high levels, and spelling with ease. Foundations A is appropriate for brand new readers, and will teach them to read simple words and phrases. Logic of English also has Foundations Level B available for purchase, which will get your child reading sentences, and more levels coming very soon. There is also “Logic of English Essentials” for older children which can be used to teach spelling and/or reading remediation. You really should check this program out.


Watch this video from Denise Eide to see why you need the Logic of English

Reviews

* a note on material connection- I did not receive any of these materials free, I purchased them all on my own dime, and told you about them because I honestly believe in this program, and have seen amazing success in my own home. I did approach Logic of English to sponsor this giveaway.  My disclosure graphic is included to remind you that all opinions are my own, and because I was too lazy to make a new one*

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Comments

  1. Shemariah says

    I met you at the Heav conference and you said you had a solution for all of the “LOE” supplies and games… I can’t seem to find it. Can you send me the link? By the way, it’s Wednesday and I’m over half way thru the book “uncovering the logic of English” in just two days! I didn’t know what I didn’t know about how the English language works (spelling specifically). And there is so much I didn’t know. I have been able to instantly absorb at least 5 New rules and get rid of a few (like “I before e except after c”). This book’s “rules” are applicable to 98% of English words versus many of the over simplified rules from my grade school years that apply to sometimes only 50% of words. I love this book and it is going to help me teach my Logic of English curriculum so much better!

    • says

      Okay- so the picture of the box (and a link to it) is here: http://www.onlypassionatecuriosity.com/a-closer-look-at-logic-of-english-foundations-d/

      If you look closely, you can see colored tabs- I just cut cardstock down to size, laminated it, and added stick on tabs to separate the grammar, spelling and phonogram cards. Then, I rubber band the stacks we are working with (cards we are currently reviewing in one pile, and mastered/not yet mentioned cards in another). I do this with all the cards (game cards included).

      I hope that helps!

      I am so glad you’re enjoying the book- it really is such a good tool for people who want to really understand the system.

  2. says

    I am planning on homeschooling my soon to be 1st grader and 3rd grader. I am looking into this curriculum, but mostly I have been researching for the first grader at this time. She is in kindergarten in public school now so I thought I could start with Foundations B next year. I wonder if she might be missing something if I didn’t start with A. Knowing what you know now, would you have done that for your child or would you recommend ordering the A and start working on it now as extra curriculum?

  3. says

    The explanation of the spelling of “miscellaneous” is very impressive! Kids’ favorite question is “why?” and I think this program addresses that for decoding words.

  4. Jesse says

    I would live to try this for my daughter this school year. She is just getting ready to start reading instruction and this looks perfect!

  5. Bonnie says

    I had the pleasure of hearing Denise Eide at the VA Homeschool Convention. I think her ideas on both the methods and material are great. This would help me get started with my preschooler, and will be handy as we have a toddler as well. We are also in the process of bringing another toddler home from China, so I think this would be great for helping him as well. With 3 active boys, I like all the activity ideas.

  6. Catherine says

    I’m interested in the program working with different learning styles. And the positive, fun approach instead of drudgery.

  7. Tina Wann says

    I’m so excited! I found The Logic of English a few days ago and it just makes sense to me. I started my 5 year old with sight words and he is getting confused because he doesn’t know all of the phonograms. I’ve notice that when he does know all of the sounds a letter makes, he can figure out words quickly. Can’t wait to try this program!

  8. says

    This program is working effectively with the children I teach, including but not limited to my grandsons! All of the children are having fun with the iphone app and earning points to use the app when we meet. They are eager to work with the children in a friendly, laugh filled time with lots of learning and creativity. With the advent of CCSS there are many opportunities for application of the rules in various circumstances that are expanding as each day evolves. I might suggest that when it comes to writing in a kinesthetic surface an alternative to salt might be sugar or small round bead offering the feedback without abrasiveness. Sometimes children also respond positively to their favorite color salt. usually sold in craft stores. Just some thoughts for your consideration. Wonderful program from a very dedicated woman.

  9. Casey M says

    I really like her technical approach to the language. I taught special education for 18 years and I spent so much time explaining the “rule breakers” to the phonics rules they learned in elementary school but didn’t understand. I have a pretty extensive background in teaching reading, and I found myself nodding along to so many things she said. It seems to be a really solid approach to reading! I wish I had had this when I was teaching in public school.

  10. Julie says

    Really enjoy Denise’s free instructional videos at Logic of English. Appreciate that her method nearly eliminates the “exceptions”!

  11. Dianne says

    I love that my child will be introduced the sounds of the letters before the letters themselves. That makes so much sense. The entire approach seems logical and easier than other approaches.

  12. says

    I am planning on using LOE for my first grader who is struggling with phonics (he’s a sight reader). Thank you so much for going through each supplement. I’m trying to decide what to buy, so it was very helpful!

  13. Nancy S. says

    My oldest is struggling and we are working with remediation strategies. I wish I had instructed him with this method as I think we would be in a much different place. I’m hoping with this type of program the younger will bypass these difficulties.Before I had children I was an elementary school teacher and “taught” many children to read in what I have now learned to be a very ineffective method. I have just ordered the book “Uncovering the Logic of English” to help my repair my faulty teaching methods. Thank you for the chance to win this reading program :)

  14. Tonya Akins says

    I cannot wait to use the Foundations set with my struggling reader. He’s 7 and really having a hard time putting words and sounds together. My plan is to pull my 4 yr old daughter into this program also. I am hopeful that they will catch on together. Thanks for the great detailed review!

  15. says

    Wow! I really like this. English is not my mother tongue and some of it still doesn’t make much sense to me. I love clear and logical explanations.

  16. Amy Adams says

    This entire program sounds like it would make much more sense to my daughter learning to read. And the fun aspect appeals to me too! She has been wanting to read since she turned 4 but the different methods I’ve tried have required her to just sit and do the exercises in the book and she’s gotten bored and restless. Since she was a baby she has always liked to observe something new without trying herself until she knew she could do it. Then she just did it. But with reading you need to practice and that is frustrating her. I need something that will teach her and cause her to practice while allowing her to have fun. This sounds perfect!! :-)

  17. Heather says

    I find the explanation of better rules makes so much sense. With the Foundations program, I feel that my children will have a solid foundation for reading and spelling.

  18. cris catlett says

    I have heard rave reviews from others who have done her program. I like that handwriting is incorporated with learning the phonics.

  19. HIJK Elementary says

    Looks great for left-brained learners, though I do wonder how right-brained learners would fare with it. They tend to learn whole -> part, rather than part->whole as she explained babies learn in the video. I have both kinds of learners so it would be fun to see. We’ve been looking into various in O & G based resources.

    • says

      I have two sons, one is left and one is right. One is flighty, easily bored, and wants to play and self discover, the other is all rules, Details and Just the Facts. My oldest, the organized brain, learned with Essentials because Foundations isn’t out yet. He did great, because if you watch her video on dictation, you’ll see you introduce the whole word, and then break it down into its smaller parts, and explain WHY it is that way. Foundations does the same thing, only with MANY more games, and smaller, younger child friendly steps. LOE seemed to work equally well with both boys, and they both play the games together now. HTH!

  20. Stacey says

    I am doing Essentials with my older kids in the fall and hoping to do Foundations with my 5 year old. The entire concept just makes so much sense!!

  21. Terri says

    I love the varied approach to learning how to read that this curriculum takes, as well as the way reading and writing is taught together, including handwriting. I also LOVE the interactive, hands-on approach for learners who need that…like my son!

  22. says

    I’m planning on using LOE for homeschool, but I’m sad there is nothing beyond Essentials for higher grades. Maybe Denise Eide will start on an older grades curriculum so by the time my kiddos are older they can use it? Wishful thinking? :)

  23. silver says

    Does she mention morphology here? I’ve seen videos of her talking about that and it’s so fascinating. I could really see it helping a child old enough to learn/understand about it to spell.

  24. Naomi says

    A couple years back my daughters were struggling with reading and we hired a tutor whose program was similar to this and we saw amazing results.. Basically he had to start from the beginning and teach them but it paid off. We have since moved and I want my son to get started on the right foot to learning to read the right way and this program looks perfect!

  25. says

    I got to see Denise in person last month it was really neat to hear her speak about the logic of English. It made SOO much sense. The part about the same mouth positions but air coming our different places was so intriguing.

  26. linderooni says

    I would be thrilled to learn along with Short Man. I basically failed phonics as a kid. Not kidding — I got to stay in at recess to do phonics worksheets. They never made sense to me so I sort of think my teacher gave up on me (I was a sight reader, so if I knew all the words you’d never know).

  27. says

    I love Denise Eide. She has made English Logical and not so confusing. I highly recommend her Essentials kit. I am so anxious to get her foundations stuff to start my girl on it. My son learned to sight read like she says about Dick & See & Jane etc. Her phonics rules make so much sense.

  28. says

    I had the pleasure of meeting Denise and hearing her speak at HEAV. What excites me most about Logic of English is how much I am learning, too. And how much I wish I’d learned in this way. My kids are going to get that benefit. Thanks for the review and for turning me on to LOE.

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