When we started telling people we planned to homeschool, a typical response was, “Oh, you’re an English teacher, you’ll be great at it!” Now, I have my thoughts about why being an educator doesn’t automatically qualify me to homeschool… but also: I have never taught anybody to read before! As a secondary educator, my certification is only to teach 7-12th grades. So kids come to me already knowing how to read! But now? Teach phonics? That gave me a few “take a deep breath” moments!
Teach Phonics with Logic of English
My core belief about teaching children to read is they should learn the various sounds of language to decode words. This way, you eliminate the “guessing” game that happens when kids are heavily dependent on sight words. Logic of English does use high-frequency words for better fluency, but a heavy dependency on sight words is limiting for children.
Teaching the sounds of words (phonics!) gives young readers the tools they need to break apart the language. This is crucial for when words become more complex as they move on to higher grades.
After cracking open the wonderful materials sent in the Logic of English™ Foundations kit, I saw their philosophy of teaching reading strongly matches my own!
Materials for Logic of English Foundations Level A
Here are the materials to aid in my homeschool reading curriculum:
- Foundations Teacher’s Manual – Level A (a new manual is needed for each level, A-D)
- Foundations Student Workbook – Level A. A colorful workbook that is used with each lesson.
- Basic Phonogram Flash Cards
- Phonogram and Spelling Rule Quick Reference
- Spelling Analysis Card
- Rhythm of Handwriting Tactile Cards – Manuscript
- Rhythm of Handwriting Quick Reference – Manuscript
- LOE Student Whiteboard
- Phonogram Game Cards
- Phonogram Game Tiles
- Doodling Dragons: An ABC Book of Sounds – used in Level A only
Using Logic of English to teach phonics in our homeschool
After using Logic of English Foundations A for several weeks, here’s how it went for us. We do 3-4 lessons per week, and my boys have both enjoyed the lessons. Our 3.5 year old sits in while I read Doodling Dragons, and sometimes takes part in the multi-sensory learning activities.
It took me a while to get used to the teacher’s manual, because there are so many great sidebar suggestions for teaching! I wanted to do everything! However, I decided to focus on the main lesson and the kinesthetic activities for playing with the sounds.
There are many other extension activity ideas (like themed snacks! and parties!) that I didn’t do in time for this review. Once I get us more firmly established with this curriculum, I will definitely add those features into our day!
My favorite aspect: What makes Logic of English stand out to me is how they take what might be tedious chanting of phonics sounds, and turn the learning into playful games for the students with multi-sensory activities that appeal to a range of learning styles. Here’s just a few ideas we’ve used:
- Building with Lego bricks for each sound
- Acting out words when sounds are blended
- Moving around the room to find blended words
- Stamping, coloring, and doodling as they match beginning sounds to pictures
What could be dry and dull has become a fun game-like experience for my kindergartener!
Again, what I love best about the program is the concept of giving readers the tools to unlock ANY book at any level, once they achieve mastery of phonemic awareness. I’m setting my kids up for reading success far into the future with this program.
Using Logic of English for handwriting
After we do our sound blending activities, we practice handwriting. The tactile cards have proved extremely helpful, as I’m a right-handed person teaching a left-handed person how to write. Since he can’t simply “copy” my gestures or strokes exactly, being able to explain the shapes of the letter parts (roll, swing, down-scoop, etc), has drastically improved how I instruct his handwriting.
Although we’ve started with the Manuscript tactile cards, after reading their “Why Teach Cursive First” article, I am planning to switch to cursive in the fall.
I’ve been delighted with the Logic of English Foundations program, and plan to continue with future levels into our first grade year!
More reviews of Logic of English
UPDATED: I have continued to use the Logic of English program! I love it!
- Logic of English Foundations C – Teach reading and writing together.
- Logic of English Foundations D – Build stronger readers/writers.
- Whistling Whales & Knitting Knights Books – These fun books reinforce the phonics sounds in a playful way!
- Logic of English Essentials Lessons 1-7 – Teach grammar and spelling to multiple levels simultaneously.
- Logic of English Essentials Lessons 8-15 (coming soon)
What are your questions about how to teach phonics with Logic of English? I’d love to answer from my experiences!
To see other homeschool parents talking about the Logic of English program, click below!