Foundations & Fundamentals is a complete, secular curriculum designed to teach children their first lessons in handwriting, phonics, and math. It also reviews shapes and colors to round out the fundamentals children need to develop. On top of that, the program has lessons in social skills, science topics, and lots of recipes for cooking together with your child. This program is designed to teach your child as a whole person and integrates lessons to work together to help your child make deeper connections and create lifelong learning.
This newly updated version has additional teacher support and resources:
- Instructional videos to help you as a teacher get the most from the program
- Example schedule of how to spread out a lesson to fill your week
- Updated booklist
The update also includes additional activities for you and your child to enjoy. Each lesson was reviewed and updated to make this program even more developmentally appropriate, easy to use, and engaging.
Each lesson is designed by an occupational therapist to engage your child’s mind and body in the learning process so that they retain more. You will read some great children’s books, do engaging activities, and be able to complete the alphabet in just 16 lessons, unlike the typical 26 in many other programs. You will move through the letters more quickly, by grouping them in a unique way developed just for Five Senses Literature Lessons. This method is designed to help children learn the letters in a logical order based on shape and sound, to make learning both handwriting and phonics easier for your child.
To get the full benefit of this program, you will need to purchase both the Teacher’s Guide and the appropriate Student Workbook. There are three versions of the Student Workbook: Tangerine for right-handed learners, Apricot for left-handed learners, and Pumpkin which offers higher contrast and larger formatting for children with vision or fine motor impairments. Each Student Workbook is a complete companion to the Teacher’s Guide and offers the full set of handwriting worksheets, phonics pages, and math and activity worksheets.
This is a full-color, downloadable PDF document with links to videos and external resources, book and supply lists, and corresponding activities.
The Teacher’s Guide does not need to be printed out. Why? Because the entire book is made to work from your tablet, e-reader, computer, or laptop. This book is made to be read by you but there is no reason to print it unless that just makes you happy. It has a table of contents designed to take you to the correct page each time you need to look up a lesson, and all the links are clickable, to take you directly to the resources we’ve put together. As a result, this e-book is designed to be more user-friendly than an actual book, and we believe in the eco-conscious choice to use less paper by reading it off the screen instead of printing it out.
The Student Workbook is designed to be printed and used as worksheets with your child. We recommend printing them as you go, just the set of pages you need for the week. Our clickable table of contents will allow you to go directly to the set you need for each lesson so that you can look through them and print just what you need for the day or week. Ultimately, we believe this will save you money as there is no reason to print anything you aren’t going to use. You also are unlikely to misplace your computer the same way your child could misplace their workbook, so this keeps you from spending too much time hunting for workbooks so you can do the next lesson. While we do recommend putting completed worksheets into an organized system, you can keep going with the program, even if your binder goes missing.
Foundations & Fundamentals covers all of these subject areas in one complete system. We believe every family deserves to have a wonderful, engaging, hands-on learning experience. We wanted to create an easy-to-follow, cost-effective program that is fun for the child and takes the stress out of homeschooling for the parent.
A Unique Approach to Handwriting
We approach handwriting in a unique way. First, we teach letters in an order that facilitates building confidence with writing, starting with the easiest-to-form letters first. For each letter, we offer hands-on, sensory experiences to build understanding and comfort with the letter form. Then you’ll use our custom alphabet manipulatives to reinforce the letter shape. Finally, our Circle-Arrow-Square notation teaches how to form each letter. Each letter and shape has a clearly defined sequence of strokes with easily identified starting and endpoints. The Circle-Arrow-Square notation is used for learning to draw shapes and letters and works well for both typical children and those with visual perceptual problems. Each example letter has this method super-imposed on it on all our practice sheets, so your child can more easily tell where to place their pencil and which way to move it. The worksheets work on targeted writing of each letter, starting at a large size and gradually writing it smaller and smaller until you are eventually writing on lines. This multi-step pattern will lead your child to have a better relationship with the letter, as writing it in multiple sizes and multiple ways lead to better brain connections.
Each lesson has one or several books to read during your week. The books reinforce the letters you are studying and also bring interesting ideas and lessons into your homeschool week. Reading to your child is an essential part of teaching them to read and write for themselves, and teach children to relate to their world. To reinforce those early literacy skills, each lesson also includes a rhyme to teach your child to recite. Reciting short rhymes and poems helps your child build vocabulary skills that help with both reading and writing as they grow.
Covering More Than Just Reading and Writing
The math portion of this program focuses on understanding the numbers 1-20, learning shapes, and the days of the week. Learning not just rote counting, but the ability to actually identify how many of something you have, and how many groups you can make from it, is at the heart of these weekly math lessons. Easy-to-follow instructions give you the tools to help your child build math literacy which makes learning math easy and fun. Simple lessons explore not only counting but grouping, sorting, understanding greater than and less than, simple addition and subtraction, and prime numbers.
In easy-to-follow lessons, your child will work on learning and memorizing the basic sound for each letter of the alphabet. This fundamental step will help your child lay a foundation of knowledge needed for success at reading.
Every lesson has go-along activities that take the lessons in the wonderful storybooks one step further to help your child make connections with their world and to gain a wide range of knowledge. Your child will learn facts about animals, do cooking activities with you, discuss stranger danger, and much more.
The books in our Orange Level are carefully chosen to portray as many different kinds of people as possible. Books are wonderful because they not only help us connect with ideas but with other people. For this reason, children need to see themselves and those around them in their picture books. The people in our picture books are both old and young, male and female, have various skin tones, and live in a wide variety of places. The Fundamentals program also has lessons and book suggestions for people with learning differences. We have worked hard to create a book list that portrays as many different kinds of people as possible because representation matters.