Yes and no! They are two separate programs designed to serve different purposes, and either one can be used without the other. However, some people find it helpful to use both.
What's the Difference?
Foundations provides complete instruction in the phonograms and spelling rules needed to decode about 98% of English words. It provides extensive practice using these concepts in thousands of words — including all the commonly taught "sight words" — in the context of a complete and integrated curriculum that incorporates phonemic awareness, comprehension, fluency practice, handwriting, and spelling. It's a great choice for someone looking for a complete, effective, and multi-sensory language arts program.
Sounding Out the Sight Words teaches students the specific phonograms and spelling rules needed to decode the most commonly taught "sight words" — the 220 Dolch Words and 95 Dolch Nouns — and provides practice in applying these concepts to sound out these words and other common words. It does this through sixty-six simple mini-lessons, each of which explains one phonics concept and then uses it to sound out common words. These lessons can be completed in 10-20 minutes each. SOSW is designed to be used as a streamlined systematic phonics supplement alongside any language arts program or for use by parents as an alternative to sight word drill.
If You Are Using Foundations
Since there are no concepts or high-frequency words taught in Sounding Out the Sight Words that are not also explained and practiced more thoroughly in Foundations, it is not necessary to add SOSW. You won't be missing any concepts if you don't.
However, some people find it helpful to incorporate Sounding Out the Sight Words with Foundations in one or more of the following ways:
- Teacher Reference. The index of SOSW makes it easy to look up a particular high-frequency word and discover why it is spelled the way it is.
- Pre-Teaching Particular Words. If you are interested in introducing a particular word before the phonograms and rules used in it have been taught in Foundations, you can use SOSW to introduce the concepts the student needs and practice decoding the word, along with other words that use the same tools.
- Targeted Practice and Review. Since the lessons in SOSW are grouped by words using a specific phonogram sound or spelling rule, they are great for providing targeted review and simple practice for a specific concept that needs extra work.
If You Are Using Sounding Out the Sight Words
You can use Sounding Out the Sight Words to teach the phonics concepts needed to read high-frequency words alongside any language arts program of your choice. Even if your program focuses on sight word memorization, you can use this tool to introduce the concepts students need to truly understand these words before asking them to practice them.
You do not need to pair SOSW with Foundations. However, you might find you want to at some point if you'd like to dig deeper with the concepts it teaches!