Overcoming Visual Challenges: Learning to Read and Write with LOE Foundations

We received the following letter from Adriana Buttafoco in 2013 when she was beta testing our Foundations curriculum.

I want to share my experience with LOE. As I was new to home schooling and just starting out with my daughters I decided to purchase a boxed curriculum. Then I met Denise Eide in Hartford, CT and was very impressed. I learned some of the Logic of English in her workshop, information I had never heard.

I started the program with my two daughters in September and they seemed to be doing okay but my oldest (by 18 months) was struggling while her little sister was quickly going thru the lessons. I was feeling that maybe this wasn't the right program for my oldest and switched to the boxed curriculum for English which has been around for a while. My oldest floundered even more, so much so that by mid-November I was considering putting her in public school which was heart breaking. My youngest was bored with the boxed curriculum and even though she was doing well was not excited. After much prayer (both I and my daughter were praying) I was feeling led to go back to LOE and give it another try.

We did a quick review of what we had done and started where we left off. Both my girls were excited about switching back to LOE. Even though my oldest still struggled (painful for me to watch) she was trying so hard but improving. The program kept her excitement and attention even at times through tears. I'd go back to some of the games in earlier lessons and she'd cheer up again, excited to continue. We always finished each lesson on a good note. It just took her twice as long as her little sister.

Going from manuscript to cursive was a blessing. She knows all the phonograms of the alphabet but she was still struggling to put all the sounds together while her little sister was starting to read. I couldn't understand why it was so hard for her so I made an appointment to check her eyes, a suggestion from a seasoned home school mom. After weeks of waiting (The Dr. was booked a few weeks out.) we finally saw the ophthalmologist yesterday who works with children with eye problems. She was wonderful and extremely supportive of home schooling.

Sadly, my eldest was dx with eye problems... her brain was 'misfiring' which was why she is delayed with hand-eye small motor skills because her eyes do not focus properly near nor far. It was a relief to find out my incredibly intelligent little girl had a reason for her struggles but at the same time difficult to hear that her eyes compared to something they might find in a 50 year old... I'm still processing all of this.

Anyway, to make a long story short I am so grateful for the Foundations program! Somehow over the last few weeks working on the cursive strokes has helped her brain make connections, she has felt a sense of accomplishment. We had stopped using pencil and paper as it was so frustrating for her, used the white board (a large one), lots of air writing, and mainly the salt box. Now she has been able to translate her skills onto paper, enjoys writing "letter chains" and she is coming along. She is able to read simple words in a book although I have to isolate each word for her by covering the other words and pictures. This, God willing, will improve quickly when she starts wearing her new glasses. I believe the games and air writing as well as singing the phonograms is what kept her learning. The doctor was impressed that she was able to learn as much as she did with her eyes not focusing properly.

Looking back now after knowing her eye challenges I realize she was learning auditorily, with large cursive movements and salt box, and doing her best with visual tasks... it really is the program that is impressive. Seeing her improve gradually as she completed each lesson gave me the confidence I needed to continue home schooling her. All the games in the lessons have made learning so much fun that often they want to go on to the next lesson or we play the games throughout the day. It is wonderful to hear "Aw-mom can we please do more LOE!"

Another positive aspect of the program is that as a first time teacher and English as my second language (also with reading difficulties), with the examples given, instructions, and online videos, it has given me the support I need to understand and feel confident that I'm teaching my girls correctly. The lessons are interesting and I am learning right along with them. My parents who immigrated to the US when I was young would often ponder why English words were spelt or pronounced in a certain way which didn't make any sense. They too are now supportive and learning the Logic of English from the book Uncovering the LOE. Although, it took much convincing that there was indeed logic to it all. :-)

Doodling Dragons has become one of our favorite books and we are looking forward to the app. I want to thank you for this program, Denise's passion for teaching all children how to read and write well, and continuously looking on how to improve the program. I regret not having stuck with LOE from the beginning but am certain that this program is just what we need to bring my daughter to an age appropriate reading level and beyond.

God Bless all your Endeavors,
Adriana Buttafoco
February 2013