Two years ago, I reviewed Foundations Level A and the year before that, Essentials. When I received Level B I thought it would be way to easy for my seven year old. I was certain that he would fly right through and know everything inside and out. I was wrong. Level B is exactly where he needs to be right now.
Even though he is reading at a second grade level, there are still some times that he misses some basic rules. For example, the silent E. He learned this back in kindergarten and I thought he had mastered it. The problem is, when he is reading a word in context he most oftentimes can figure it out. Reading the word "pine" in the sentence, "he saw a rat next to a pine tree," makes more sense than reading it, "he saw a rat next to a pin tree." In cases like this, he can easily figure out if the word should be read with a short or long vowel sound. But when the words stand alone, I notice that he has a hard time knowing how to read it.
The reason? He doesn't quite understand the rules. Foundations B helps you to see what your child has already mastered in the English language and what he needs to work on. The colorful workbook helps to keep your child's interest. Each worksheet is short, simple and to the point. Even if several worksheets are required for a lesson, they can be worked on fairly quickly and effectively. Or, you can choose to do only part of each lesson each day and stretch it over a week's time. I did that in Foundations A with both my son when he was six and my daughter at age five because that just seemed to work better for them. In this case, for Foundations B, my second grader is able to work on a lesson a day and is able to grasp the concepts well.
Even though some of the concepts may seem super easy, many children just need that extra review if they used a curriculum in the past that pushed too hard, too fast without slowing down and rehearsing the basics. Slowing down and going over blends and phonograms with fun activities helps your child to stop and think about what they are doing. I have noticed that my son does extremely well in these activities because he is forced to focus. The activities make it easier for him than just having a list of sounds to read like in his previous curriculum. It never seemed to click for him before but now he is doing extremely well.
I've even noticed that in his reading that he doesn't rush as much as he used to. Since these lessons are presented in bite-sized attainable portions, he doesn't get overwhelmed and shut down. Rather, he engages and excels. In the past, he would have probably rushed through and just try and guess the last two words of the sentence below. He may have read it, "Sam sits on a duck." These lessons have helped him break things down into short sentences, words and sounds so he can figure it out correctly rather than simply guessing and just picking words out of thin air and hoping they are right.
Foundations B is filled with brightly colored workbook pages, a variety of games and piles of hands- on activities. If you order the complete set, not only will you get both the teacher's manual and workbook but also the game cards, a white board and readers.
The teachers guide is very self explanatory. The whole lesson is scripted for the teacher. There isn't a whole lot of prep work because anything that needs to be cut out is usually done by the student as part of the lesson.
My son said that his favorite parts of lessons were the "board games" and the matching worksheets. Every so often, in the workbook, there will be a full color worksheet with a game board on it. The student cuts out the game pieces and plays along, having fun while reviewing a new skill. His favorite was a space themed game, complete with planets, space shuttles and an astronaut. He loved it.
The matching worksheets are simple yet fun. Your child reads a sentence and matches it to the correct picture. I originally thought this might be too babyish for him but again it helps him focus on a simple sentence and master it. Apparently he enjoys these activities!
Stay tuned as I share our journey with Foundations C in the near future!
Disclaimer: I received the above product for the purpose of this review. All opinions stated here are my own.