Thursday, November 3, 2011

First Start Reading and Classical Phonics

Memoria Press
First Start Reading: Phonics, Reading, and Printing
Teacher Guide: $29.95
Student Workbook Set: $21.00
Classical Phonics: $14.95

With lots of children, we have been through LOTS of Phonics/Reading Programs...I was not sure how this would compare/contrast with what I had already used, but I needed something for DD so I was very happy to receive this item.

From the Memoria Press Website: "First Start Reading covers consonants, short vowels, 45 common words, and manuscript printing, accompanied by artist-drawn coloring pictures and drawing pages for every letter. Your child will begin reading in the very first lesson as he progresses through three student books and twenty-five phonetic stories, such as "Hogs and Pigs" and "Jog to the Jet." A Teacher Manual guides you through the program and provides helpful assessments and teaching tips.

Is there really a need for another phonics program? Well, we thought so! The first reading and printing lessons are critical, and although there are many adequate programs out there, we could not find one with the right combination we were looking for–a balanced, age-appropriate approach to phonics and reading and a serious focus on correct pencil grip and letter formation. In addition, many phonics programs today use the ladder approach (consonant vowel blending), which is fine, but we prefer the more traditional (vowel-consonant) approach combined with word families. And one more thing, mastery of the short vowels is the sine qua non of phonics programs, and few programs really give adequate practice in this very important skill."

More information about this program can be found here

Things I loved about this program:
I love the simple look of the pages...I love that the Teacher's guide allows for a student to make comments on the picture before the lesson gets started...that often has been a thing that my young students have focused on...and I am often so "into" the lesson, that I try to plow forward...that step...often took two minutes or less...allowed DD to say all he wanted to say about the pictures and then we could go on. A very small point in the program, but helpful to us. I love that the lessons emphasize good pronunciation, proper pencil hold and letter formation, but without the tiresome repetition of doing the letters over and over and over and over. Very hard for young children. I really liked that the student work was limited to two pages. I like and agree with the foundation of how phonics is taught in this program...word families as opposed to consonant blends. I like that this program is less expensive than many of the other ones I have purchased.

Something I found difficult was the Classical Phonics Book. Perhaps my little guy just isn't there yet, but it seemed overwhelming to open the book up to an entire page of word lists...I think this would be for a little bit older student or a more advanced reader. We are just at the beginning stages of reading. I don't think this is a unnecessary item or bad...I just think we are not quite ready for it yet, which is the beauty of homeschooling. We can add it in when we are ready.

I really liked this program...I liked how easy it was to pick up and use. I like that it emphasized doing things correctly without tiring out little hands. I really liked the simple drawings. I hope you like it too!

See what my Crew Mates had to say about First Start Reading/Classical Phonics here

Disclaimer: I received this item for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation. All the opinions expressed are my own.

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