We’ve finally settled back home after our long trip to the mainland and have slowly been returning to our routines, but adding school back in is always a little tricky after so much time off. The kids never seem to take it well… there tends to be a lot of tears, complaining, and whining involved. Does that happen in your family?
When I saw how much Bella enjoyed reading Logic of English’s Whistling Whales: Beyond the Sounds of ABC with me (read about our experience with Whistling Whales here), I knew we’d be sitting down for our regular reading lessons again soon. It warmed her up so well in fact, that one day I threw caution to the wind and simply asked, “Bella, would you like to do a reading lesson right now?”
It is homeschooling 101: Never ASK your child if they would LIKE to do school work. Yet there I was… asking. Oops. But really, who ASKS their kid if they’d LIKE to do a lesson?! What was I thinking?! I immediately regretted my choice of words and braced myself for the refusal I was surely about to face. To my (pleasant) surprise though, she began excitedly jumping up and down while chanting, “Yes! Yes! YES!” She jumped excitedly, folks. In anticipation of school work!
So of course I did what any homeschool mother would do- I ran with it! Without skipping a beat, for fear of losing that momentum, we gathered our supplies, plopped on the couch, and reviewed Whistling Whales again. Next, I pulled out Knitting Knights: Beyond the Sounds of ABC and read through the pages covering the phonograms from Foundations C that we had already learned. Written by Denise Eide, the mastermind behind the Logic of English, and illustrated by Ingrid Hess, Knitting Knights introduces twenty-seven multi-letter phonograms taught in Foundations C. It is now included in the Foundations C-D Complete Set, but is also available individually for $15 on the Logic of English website. As we went through the book, we stopped and talked about the phonograms she didn’t remember very well, the two that she had been most recently introduced to prior to our trip. I was grateful to have this entertaining means of review because I really didn’t want her to lose that excitement simply because she had a tough time remembering a few phonograms. It is so easy for new readers to get discouraged!
Next, we began lesson 99 where the phonogram DGE is introduced. To integrate Knitting Knights into the lesson, first I introduced DGE with the phonogram card, as described in the lesson plan. We talked about what we’d called DGE to distinguish it from other phonograms with the same sound, three-letter /j/. But before I had Bella write DGE on her whiteboard, I showed her the Knitting Knights DGE two-page spread (pictured above). First, we looked at the pictures and talked about what we saw. Next, I asked if she could still remember what the large DGE on the left page sounded like. After giving her a quick praise, I read both pages to her, which was followed by a bout of giggles as she realized the cat in the picture was licking up fudge! Finally, we read it again and I asked her to say /j/ when I came to the DGE in each word. I pointed to the letters as I read, “A smu-” and let her continue, “-dge”, then I repeated the word, “smudge”. I went on, “of fu-” and she finished, “-dge”. I proceeded, “on the fri-” and she concluded, “-dge”. Then we put it all together and giggled some more! She really enjoyed being able to help me read the words and I appreciated the extra practice without fear of boredom through repetition (something Logic of English seems to always get right!).
We continued the lesson as usual from that point, so I won’t drag on about those details, as you can read about how the Foundations program is laid out in my earlier blog post about Foundations A (someday I’ll have a review up for B as well). We have continued to utilize Whistling Whales and Knitting Knights for review every to every other day even outside of our regular reading lessons (because we still haven’t gotten those going on a regular basis again yet, haha!). It is making a HUGE difference in how well Bella has been able to retain the sounds of each multi-letter phonogram. If you think about it, it makes so much sense! Children love reading the same books over and over. Of course colorful, silly, short books would be perfect to inspire little ones to practice and enjoy phonogram review time!
While both Whistling Whales and Knitting Knights complement the curriculum perfectly, you don’t really have to be using the Logic of English Foundations program for your child to benefit from them. They can very easily be used as an aid to help ANY students who are learning to read to become more familiar with these phonograms, and most importantly, to have FUN with them. After reading the book or a selection of pages, children who aren’t using LOE might enjoy:
- Making a list of all the words they can think of using that phonogram.
- Playing bingo with a board created with the phonograms from the books.
- Creating nonsense words with the phonograms.
- Going on a word hunt; looking for words that use those phonograms in printed text, such as books or magazines.
Be creative! These books are playful and entertaining- with similar activities tied in, students will have all of these phonograms down in no time!
I honestly didn’t think the LOE Foundations program could possibly get any better, but with these new books, review is more enjoyable and easier than ever! If you are already using LOE Foundations B or C and you don’t yet have these new pictures books, definitely consider ordering them for the new school year. As I mentioned earlier, Whistling Whales covers the multi-letter phonograms from Foundations B, and Knitting Knights corresponds to the phonograms in Foundations C. Be sure to order the one that works with your student’s level! I’m encouraging all of my friends to grab them for their LOE students. They will really keep your homeschool time a little more stimulating and fun, and maybe your child will even jump up and down in excitement over a reading lesson too!
If you are interested in the Logic of English program, please consider using one of my links to their website. I was blessed with the opportunity to use affiliate links, which means your purchase of LOE could support our homeschool at no cost to you. Thank you!