Friday, March 29, 2019

Classical Phonics and First Start Reading REVIEW

I just love curriculum from Memoria Press and their classical education products so when given a chance to review Classical Phonics with the First Start Reading Program I said yes!  Little Bug just loves reading now and she definitely could always use help and reinforcement with her phonics and writing. I received physical copies of the books.  They are geared for kindergarten to first and second grade (kindergarten and first grade but the classical phonics could be used through 2nd grade if necessary).

The First Start Reading Program consists of the main Teacher Guide, Books A-D, Teacher Guide for Book E, and Book E.  Books A-D are for kindergarten and Book E is for 1st grade.  The Classical Phonics book is a stand-alone book but best used in conjunction with any phonics program.  The Phonics book is a recreation of a book from 1913 from author Florence Akin.  It has been reworked to be more organized and flow better with specific word groupings.

Book E and Teacher Guide for Book E (1st grade)

She loves to color

Classical Phonics is a 139-page soft cover book that contains phonetically arranged word lists and includes almost all of the English phonograms and sounds taught through the second grade.  You can use it as a supplement to any phonics program.  We used it in conjunction with Little Bug's lessons in the First Start Reading Book A that we are currently working on.  It is important that you read the "Suggestions to Teachers" in the appendix of the phonics book to learn how to properly use the book to teach your emergent readers.

Sample pages from Phonics book

The general topics of the Classical Phonics book are as follows:

  • Part One: Short-Vowel Words
    • Unit 1: Alphabet, CVC words, Plurals, and Possessives
    • Unit 2: CVCC words with consonant teams
    • Unit 3: CVCC words with consonant blends
  • Part Two: Long-Vowel Words
    • Unit 4: Silent e words, Long i & o in CVCC words, Soft c and g, and Three sounds of y
    • Unit 5: Long-vowel teams
  • Part Three: Ten More Vowel Sounds
    • Unit6: Vowel teams for five special vowel sounds
    • Unit 7: Vowel teams for r-controlled vowels
  • Part Four: Advanced Phonics
    • Unit 8: Phonograms for short vowels, Advanced phonograms, Suffixes and prefixes/spelling rules, Syllables, and Variable endings

Working on blending

I like the flow of the book and think it will be helpful as we progress in her phonics work. I also like the idea that it does not ask or require the children to memorize the rules but rather learn them through repetition and application of the actual rules.  The phonics and spelling rules are listed in the appendix if needed.

Sample lesson from Book A

Little Bug is REALLY enjoying the First Start Reading Program.  I really like that it lays everything out for you.  It is a full year curriculum with Book E geared for the first half of 1st grade (can also be completed at end of kindergarten year or during the summer before 1st grade).  Books A-D cover printing, the alphabet, short and long vowels, silent e, consonant blends, and four h-diagraphs.  Book E covers long-vowel teams, three sounds of y, and soft c/g.  The Teacher's Guide walks you through each lesson and even gives you scripts you can use in teaching the material.  It goes into much more depth than what you see on the workbook pages. You work through phonics recitation, letter name and sounds, tongue training and ear training.  You continue the lessons with letter formation for writing practice.  The Phonics book explains to you about the importance of ear and tongue training and walks you through how to work with your child on both skills.  The writing aspect is an absolute bonus!  Your child will learn proper letter formation and have ample practice with copywork and learning to use lined paper for good penmanship.  Dictation is also practiced in the review lessons.

Tongue and Ear Training

Since she is already working on a reading program and can already read, we are using the Phonics and the First Start Reading as supplements and she completes about 3 lessons per week right now.  I will probably increase to daily over the summer with hopes that we can maybe double up on some lessons and get her ready for Book E when she starts 1st grade next school year.  Even though she knows the material we are working on, it has been a good review for her and she really loves working on it (she's all about workbook pages!!).  Plus I feel that as we progress it will help her to have a more complete foundation in her phonics work.  It is such a good foundation for being a better speller in the future and able to decipher words she doesn't know.  First Start Reading has your child reading their first sentence as soon as lesson 5!  Because of the teaching method, your child will not be overwhelmed and have confidence in reading.  By lesson 23 they read their first short story.

First Short Story with comprehension and critical thinking questions

I am glad we had a chance to review Classical Phonics with the First Start Reading Program from Memoria Press.  I recommend it especially if you have not started a phonics program yet.  Even if you are currently working on a phonics program I urge you to check this one out.  It might be a better fit or even good as a supplement like we are doing right now.

Memoria Press

You can connect with Memoria Press on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, and YOUTUBE.  Please be sure to also check out the other reviews on this curriculum and others on Latin and Poetry by clicking on the link below.

Phonics, Poetry & Latin {Memoria Press Reviews}

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