The "right" scheduling varies from school to school, home to home, and student to student.
On average, though, we find that most students complete the four levels of Foundations over the course of two or three years. This averages out to a semester or more on each level and about two days per lesson.
There are forty lessons in each level, plus eight review lessons. (Foundations C also has eight bonus Miles and Jax lessons with additional reading comprehension and spelling practice.)
Tips for scheduling
The lessons are designed with the goal of being possible to complete in one day. However, that does not mean that is the right pace for your student; the "correct" pace is whatever works best for your student and setting. Splitting lessons over multiple days, teaching a new lesson only three or four days a week and using the other days to play games and review, or teaching more than one lesson a day with a child who is mastering the material quickly are all appropriate. You can find specific tips for different ways to adjust the pace at the end of this page.
How long is each lesson?
The lessons increase in length as you move through the curriculum:
A: approximately 25-30 minutes
B: approximately 30-40 minutes
C: approximately 45-60 minutes
D: approximately 90 minutes
The lesson length changes for two reasons: 1) As students gain more and more of the linguistic tools they need to read successfully, they should spend increasing amounts of time reading while continuing to work on foundational skills. 2) As students grow, their attention spans grow too.
Depending on the age of the child and your schedule, you may find that it works fine to spend more time per day on the lessons as you progress and do the same number of lessons per week as you did in the earlier levels. However, for some children slowing the pace down as the material gets more challenging works better, and this is just fine too!
Age and prior knowledge are a factor
Those who choose to begin Foundations with a preschooler should move very slowly and playfully, with the child's interest determining the pace. Usually Foundations A will be more than enough for a Pre-K year.
Those switching to Foundations with a first or second grader will typically move faster than those starting Foundations at the beginning of kindergarten. Some concepts will be familiar already and will be mastered quickly. In some cases it may also be appropriate to skip A and even to move quickly through B. In this case, some children may be able to complete levels B, C, and D in one or two years.
Learn more about adjusting the pace and level of challenge:
Starting Foundations with a child who can read
What materials do I need to start at Foundations B? - guidance for those thinking of starting at B
Adjusting the pace of Foundations lessons - tips for slowing down