As a middle school English teacher I can't tell you how many times I've heard from students and adults how the English language is confusing, illogical, and just to hard to understand all the rules. I've also heard some claim the reason so many children are struggling to read is because there are too many rules and they just can't handle it. I vehemently disagree. The problem as I see it is the desire to understand how the English language works is missing.
I love trying out any curriculum involving English! I just have a love for the English language which started in grade-school and only increased in my favorite college course: History and Structure of the English Language. Logic of English is a company dedicated to, "...addressing the literacy crisis through phonics, reading, spelling, and writing." We had the opportunity to review Foundations A which included the hard-copy teacher's manual ($38), hard-copy student workbook ($18.00), and the reusable resource set ($88.00). This is intended for beginning readers, typically kindergarten-1st grade.
I originally thought I would be using this with Grace since she is my beginning reader, but after looking over the program I decided it would be best suited for Beth, who is an excellent emerging reader, but is ready to begin cursive. I also see great value in reiterating and reviewing the basic phonograms with my girls even after finishing their phonics instruction. Since she is used to this kind of review, she didn't mind at all "going back" a little bit. There were even some aspects of phonics we hadn't covered, like voice and unvoiced sounds, which were fun for her to learn.
I simply love how this curriculum teaches cursive with beginning strokes. Every other curriculum I have seen uses minimal curve practice, but this technique actually teaches all of the strokes which will be used in every cursive letter. Isn't that just, I don't know, logical? Because all of English, the handwriting, the grammar, the phonics...it really is logical! How exciting to find a curriculum which sees the logic I've always known was there within our language.
Another aspect of this course which is just so excellent is the tactile handwriting cards. I have never see anything like this and it just makes so much sense. Once again, logical ideas for learning which just made it all stick in Beth's mind. There are stroke cards which are tactile in addition to the tactile letters. Transferring what she felt on the tactile cards into actual writing was a very easy transition.
This white board is amazing! I have handwriting whiteboards, but they are nowhere near as great as this one. You can see the one side in the picture above, but the reverse side has this beautiful, large handwriting portion which makes it so easy to teach the combination of strokes. Just lovely!
We had already begun cursive instruction, but we weren't able to move very quickly. Because of Logic of English we have been able to finally take some positive strides forward. Her handwriting, both cursive and print, has suddenly improved tremendously. I truly believe the awareness of smaller strokes as well as having names for the lines on manuscript paper (It just never occurred to me to give them names!) have made this wonderful difference.
I highly, highly recommend this for anyone teaching phonics, handwriting, or grammar. There are many levels to choose from and this program is high quality. To see some of the other levels and what my Crewmates thought, click below!