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I’m thrilled to be participating again this year in the Virtual Curriculum Fair. A special thanks to Susan at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds and Chareen at Every Bed of Roses for hosting this week’s fair where homeschool bloggers are sharing their reviews of various homeschool language arts tips, techniques, and curriculum.
One of the most frightening propositions as a homeschool parent is teaching a child to read. I know that it terrified me. Between Grace and Sophia I’ve tried at least a handful of different phonics programs. At the end of Sophia’s kindergarten year I found out about a new phonics curriculum that was coming onto the market written by Denise Eide, author of Uncovering the Logic of English: A Common-Sense Approach to Reading, Spelling, and Literacy . She had already published a remedial phonics and spelling program for second grade and up called Essentials. Now she was turning to beginning readers with her new phonics program, Foundations.
I jumped on the chance to use Level A, B, and C as a beta tester. Nothing I was using with Sophia to teach her to read really felt right. The program I used with Grace, while it got her reading, I was discovering some gaps in her phonics knowledge as she reached higher level books. I didn’t want to use that program with Sophia for fear that the same thing would happen with her. I signed up for the Foundations beta testing group figuring I had nothing to lose. What I didn’t count on was discovering the BEST phonics program I’d ever used. In fact, it’s so fabulous that this self-proclaimed curriculum addict isn’t even tempted to look at anything else!
Here are ten things that make it a grand prize winner in my book:
1) It starts with a solid base. I learned things like voiced and unvoiced sounds and open and closed syllables, and I loved the easy way that sounds are introduced and reviewed. The handwriting program begins with learning all of the different letter strokes before combining them to form letters.
2) It’s fun! Lots of games for young learners and few worksheets make it perfect for the youngest and wiggliest of students.
3) As a teacher, you know exactly what weak areas to focus on because of assessments every five lessons. If a child struggles with a certain section, the assessment tells you which games or activities to do again.
4) Spelling rules and spelling tests are included.
5) Controlled readers are included. These are used for copy work and a beginning literature program in Level C. These readers are perfect for kids just starting out and the only words included are those that have previously studied phonograms.
6) It offers a buffet of ideas in each lesson to customize it to your teaching style and your child’s learning style. Each lesson has more than enough material for one day. In fact in the early levels, we would take two days to complete one lesson. Some things I skipped because they seemed geared more for a classroom situation and some things I skipped because we were pressed for time that day.
7) It doesn’t have to break the bank. At first the cost of Foundations can seem daunting, but, honestly, I found only the Teacher’s Manual and Student Workbook to be necessary for each level. You can make your own phonogram cards from index cards as you go through the program.
8) It will cover all of your phonics needs for lower elementary. Level A is perfect for pre-K or kindergarten, Level B for kindergarten or first grade, and Level C for first or second grade. Level D recently has been released and is suggested for second grade. By the time your child finishes Level C they will have learned all of the phonograms of the English language. Level D will solidify those phonograms and add more spelling rules.
9) The proof is in the pudding. Sophia was reading chapter books before we even finished Level C. Her ability to decode words far above her reading level is amazing and her spelling ability is far above where her sister’s was at this age. Some of this I’m sure is just natural ability, but I’ve truly been astounded at the ease and thoroughness of Foundations. In fact, I’m doing a quick run through of the phonograms and the sounds with Grace to fill in some of her gaps.
10) You might want to begin a neighborhood reading class! This last one is a joke, but in all seriousness I love Foundations so much that I wish I had an entire group of kids to teach instead of just one more.
Be sure and check out the other bloggers sharing their favorite language arts resources in the Virtual Curriculum Fair 2015.
Building a Foundation of Words by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Language Arts for 2015 by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Bible-Based Language Arts Resources by Tauna M @ Proverbial Homemaker
Relaxed Homeschooling: Language Arts in the Early Elementary Years by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Loving Books and Words by Sarah@Delivering Grace
5 Language Arts Resources We Love by Becky @ Milo & Oats
Teaching Reading at Home: A Tale of 5 Readers by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset
A More Simplistic Approach to 7th Grade Language Arts by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Language Arts Reading for Delight-Directed Learning by Susan @ The Every Day of Education
How To: Spelling Dictation by Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity
The World of Words in our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Unschooling and Words, Words, Words by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun
Learning With Literature and Language Arts Resources by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
Words and More Words! by Michele @ FamilyFaithandFridays
Language Arts in Our Homeschool (2014 � 2015) by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World
Our curriculum choices ~ Language Arts by Renata @ Sunnyside Farm Fun
The 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair ~ Language Arts in Our Homeschool by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
Loaded Pistols: Virtual Curriculum Fair Playing with Words by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
A Renewed Focus on Reading Aloud by Debra @Footprints in the Butter
Language Arts in our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool by Sharra @ The Homeschool Marm
A Sentence a Day Teaches Grammar the Fun Way by Amy A @ One Blessed Mamma
Tackling Language Arts by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Middle School Monday - Lightning Literature and Composition by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
The Great Grammar Discovery by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
No need to look anymore when you’ve found the best in the tree house,