Last year I had the l the pleasure of reviewing Logic of English’s program Essentials with my son, David. You can see that review here. Through this program he has continued to make significant progress, in spite of his dysgraphia. This made me curious. What if I’d had a similar program when he was younger? Could it have alleviated the problem? Could we have avoided all the years of time wasted with little to no progress?
So I decided to reach out to LOE and ask to review their younger children materials (called Foundations) with Daniel (6) and Rebecca (4). They graciously provided me with a copy of their complete curriculum in exchange for my honest review. So, here goes:
Right out of the box, my children enjoyed it. The books were colorful, engaging, and easy to use. As a mom, i have hesitated using intensive phonics at a young age because it seemed so intimidating. After the lessons learned with my older student, I decided it was worth it. The good news is, the material, while intensive, is presented in a simple to follow manner. Each day’s lessons are clearly laid out in the teacher’s manual. The student book is not cluttered with a lot of unnecessary items, either.
Each day includes helping the student learn using all the learning methods- auditory, visually, and activity based. Each day includes review games (that don’t take tons of time or lots of little objects I had to gather). My children BOTH look forward to the lessons.
Daniel (6) is already reading at a first grade level before we began the program. But it’s been my experience that reading does not always translate to good spelling and writing skills. So I started him in foundations A, but did two lessons per day. He has been flying through the lessons and enjoying them very much. If you ask him what his favorite school is, he says “writing.” He is especially drawn to the games. So far, nothing is a struggle for him and he is easily retaining everything we are doing. I could have started him in B, probably, but I am actually enjoying making sure there is nothing basic skipped before we move forward, and he enjoys the lessons so much, I am glad we did this one first.
Rebecca (4) is just learning to read, barely. We started A with her and have moved at the pace of about three lessons per week. She could do more, but my schedule won’t allow it. With her, some of the concepts are easy and quick to remember and some are harder. She struggled with combining sounds into words. For example, if I segment T-A-B-L-E, she could not easily combine the sounds, even if I tried this over and over. Since it was a very small part of the lessons, I just let her try it a few times, then gave her the answer then presented it again, having her repeat the answer.
This concerned me a bit- if she was struggling with this, should I continue with the rest of the lessons? She continued to ask me to do English class, so i went ahead anyway. After about 6 lessons, she finally turned a corner and was able to do it! I am glad we did not stop the whole program over this one part.
Both children look forward to the lessons, and both are quickly improving in letter and sound recognition and spelling words as well. I am going to continue using this program until they have completed it!
I also wanted to be sure to mention that they have phone and iPad apps that may be very appealing to your family. We use this to reinforce the phonograms during times when we are away from the home. Because Rebecca has some vision problems, we strictly limit all screen time for her, so we do not use it much, but the boys love it and have made significant progress using it. This is great of you have youngsters who really like apps, and it even helped me firm up some of the trickier ones for David as I was working with him.