Due to his special needs my youngest son (age 6) has learning challenges. Due to life challenges right now he has also experienced regression. It’s much like starting at the beginning. So I was excited to share ou Eclectic Foundations review. We have been using Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Level A four days per week and I have seen amazing progress.
For our Eclectic Foundations review we received physical copies of what is needed to teach Level A including: Teacher’s Guide, Student Workbook, Appendixes and Word Cards. The Teacher’s Guide, Student Workbook and Appendixes are all spiral bound books. While the Teacher’s Guide and Student Workbook have basic paper pages, the entire book of Appendixes has laminated pages as they are used multiple times with dry erase marker. So although the Student Workbook is consumable, the Appendixes are reusable.
Because we are still in the beginning of Level A we haven’t yet used it, but there is a McGuffey’s section which requires McGuffey’s Primer. The digital copy can be accessed on the Eclectic Foundations. Physical copies can be purchased online or can likely be found at the library. The Word Cards that are included with the Appendixes are specifically for use with the McGuffey’s primer and contain multiple flashcards on card stock to be cut out.
Eclectic Foundations Review
Eclectic Foundations covers the entire spectrum that is Language Arts. It teaches Phonics, Grammar, Spelling, Reading Comprehension, Handwriting, Composition, and Poetry without multiple books! I’m really trying to purge our homeschool curriculum to save space, so I definitely appreciate this! Plus, it teaches all of this with a Biblical worldview. I really try to incorporate our faith in everything we do, which definitely includes our homeschool curriculum. Plus, I love that it takes a hands-on approach because I believe that’s made the biggest difference in Chaz’s learning.
A Multisensory Approach
Each lesson is short – around 10-15 minutes though we have gone up to 20 minutes. It starts with learning one letter at a time. It starts very hands-on by using play dough to form the letters. I love this because it really does reinforce learning the letters and helps strengthen fine-motor skills as well. Because Chaz has fine-motor challenges, this has been a great way to work on those skills as well. Plus he uses glue to trace the letter and sprinkles glitter on the letters, which also works on those fine-motor skills. It recommends colored sand, which is what we are using now, but when I didn’t have any the glitter worked well as a substitute!
Of course, as he is learning the letters he progresses from using the play dough and sand to writing on the white board to writing on the paper. There has been no fuss about writing on the paper, and this is HUGE. The biggest struggle I’ve had with teaching him to read and write is that he is too intimidated to try writing. He would do it, but would get easily upset if he messed up. I think the biggest difference is the hands-on approach. The sand/glitter is messy, and that was OK, so if his writing is messy at first, that’s OK, too. It offered him the perspective I hadn’t been able to offer before. Plus the step-by-step progression really helped to ease into it.
Unfortunately, Chaz still doesn’t write his name. This is another thing that he is just completely resistant about. With Eclectic Foundations there is a place to write his name, and it suggested writing it with highlighter so he could trace it. I thought he would still be resistant, but he hasn’t been! He’s getting so close to being able to write his name independently!
Learning Language Arts is Fun
Chaz has really been having fun with Eclectic Foundations. Not only is he improving with writing, but really hearing the letter sounds has been an improvement. The lessons progress from hearing the letter sound at the beginning of words to then identifying if the sound is at the beginning, middle or end of the word. There are pages in the Appendixes with smiley faces to point to during these exercises. He’s really had a lot of fun with it.
Something we’ve both enjoyed is playing Tic-Tac-Toe with the letters. He gets extra practice writing the letters, and we get to have a little game time together. We play at least two games so he can be both the lower case and upper case letters. When it’s a cat game he has to draw a cat. He hasn’t been keen on drawing either, so this is another pleasant surprise that has started since we started Eclectic Foundations!
Additionally, he gets to follow the letters through a maze to the other size. He does this with pencil, so he’s getting even more practice writing while having fun! Each lesson then ends with a Mother Goose poem.
Overall, Eclectic Foundations has been a great fit for my struggling learner. I love that it offers a multisensory approach and has short lessons that are fun. It offers an ideal progression that has reduced intimidation and fun games that have encouraged learning. Plus there are paragraphs for identifying letters he’s learning that are Biblical. It covers so much without using an overwhelming amount of resources.
Connect with Eclectic Foundations
Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew have been using Eclectic Foundations with their families including the different levels. Learn more and find their reviews by clicking on the banner below!