Foundations teaches the skills needed for reading and spelling very systematically, step by step, and some children begin to put more of the pieces together even before they have been taught all of the phonograms. Thus, while students won't have learned all the basic phonograms and spelling rules needed for decoding English words until the end of C, some students begin to take off in reading before then. These students continue to enjoy and benefit from what they are learning about the structure of our language in Foundations lessons even as they continue to accelerate in reading, often applying the tools immediately to reading and spelling more complex words.
If students are already reading fluently, consider increasing the challenge as they move through the lessons. Here are some suggestions, as well as a link to a blog article with more.
Adjust the starting point
Children who are already reading can skip Foundations A and start at B if they also know how to write the lowercase letters, know all of the sounds of A-Z, can segment and blend words auditorily, and are comfortable reading and spelling one-syllable short vowel words with consonant blends (such as clap, twist, or stomp) by sounding them out. Children who know most but not all of these skills may need only a quick review of A before moving on to B. See our Starting at Foundations B Assessment to learn more.
Adjust the pace
In Foundations B, it may be appropriate to move very quickly with an early reader. Do not skip Foundations B, even with a strong reader, as much of the instruction will be necessary for spelling and for reading more complex words. However, feel free to teach multiple lessons per day if that feels appropriate, and to skip or shorten practice activities for skills the child has mastered (or make them spelling practice by having the child write the words — more on that below). Skip the B readers if you like. You may still want to include the B Young Artist Series Readers, as these texts are a bit more complex and are great comprehension work. Focus on mastering the phonograms, spelling rules, and linguistic concepts taught in B as quickly as possible and then moving on to the more advanced concepts in C and D.
The violet "Challenge" callouts in the Foundations Teacher's Manuals provide a variety of ideas for giving students an extra challenge with various skills.
Shift the focus to spelling
An important way you can challenge strong readers is to begin to focus more on building spelling mastery.
While Foundations places primary emphasis on developing reading fluency and it's not necessary that students master spelling at this stage, you can begin to incorporate more practice with the spelling words for those who are ready. Spelling uses the same knowledge of the phonograms and rules as reading, but it requires a deeper level of mastery.
In Foundations C and D there are already specific spelling games, and you may want to play these more often (or choose more challenging words) for a student who is ready for an extra challenge. However, throughout Foundations many of the blending games and reading games can also be easily altered to make them spelling games instead (for example, see Reading Basketball in the Foundations B Teacher's Manual, lesson 51). In any game where students are supposed to read words, increase the challenge by having students hear and write the target words instead.
If students are ready for the challenge of working towards spelling mastery, you may begin giving informal quizzes on some of the spelling words they are learning as well. (Do not add this extra task for students who are still developing reading fluency, though; wait until they are reading comfortably.)
Read, read, read!
Finally, encourage students who are able to read comfortably to read widely, and to use their knowledge of phonograms and roots to think about the words they are encountering! The phonograms are everywhere, and verbally-minded students often find it fascinating to apply what they are learning to the world around them and learn about the logic and complexity of our language. While we strongly recommend only requiring developing readers to read words they have been taught all the tools to decode, once students take off in reading and are comfortable reading texts that are not phonics controlled they should be encouraged to read as much as possible. These students do not need to be limited to phonics-controlled texts. We recommend using the Foundations C and D readers, as these are integral to the comprehension sections of the lessons, but you can skip the readers in B.
For more guidance on adjusting the pace or increasing the level of challenge for fluent readers, see Starting Foundations with a child who can read on the Logic of English Blog.
To learn more about how learning the Logic of English benefits proficient readers, see our blog article "Does Logic of English help strong readers and spellers?"