Saturday, January 15, 2011

Phonics Pathways review - good for one who already reads well

I sent a message out to my homeschool group about whether or not I should continue with a phonics program since Andrew already knew how to read. With more difficult texts, he is still a slow reader but he is a competent one. He can read almost anything put in front of him. He would still rather me read to him but if I make him read a chapter of the novel I am reading or one of his chapter books, he could do it with relative ease. So my main problems with phonics programs is I am always feeling like I am jumping into the middle of one and I don't know where to start. Do I start with book 1, book 2..would this program help at all?

The overwhelmingly popular response from my group was Phonics Pathways. One book and it took their kids from A to Z in phonics. I am a collector of curriculums so when my friend offered to sell it to me at a low price, I decided to go for it. She ended up giving it to me which was even more of a bonus (thanks Suzanne!).

I am very impressed. A 200 page book and the place that I started with my proficient reader was in the 50s. The reason being is that it has a high emphasis on spelling too. Spelling rules such as after a short vowel, there must be two consonants before you can add a Y so double the last consonant if there is only one. And it's a K not a C before an I or an E. I can spell "funny" and "kite" correctly but I didn't know that there was rules involved. So I was very pleased to see that I could work more on his spelling and the reason why words are spelled certain ways and this is more useful to me right now than getting him to sound out words as he seems to be able to sound out more and more 3-4 syllable words each day. This weeks words included communicating and understanding..not too shabby..hey that used the Y rule. :)

So I give Phonics Pathways an A+. I am overwhelmed with the number of subjects that I am doing right now since I am doing both GCA and 1st grade Well Trained Mind at the same time (oh..have I not mentioned that? Yeah I's insane!) but I hope to add in some Spelling Workout too as that also has been highly recommended. The first book is pretty basic so I figured that it could also be used as a handwriting supplement. We will see.

Still loving school and my organization streak this month has carried over to lesson planning too which makes me less stressed and enjoying school more! Would love to hear from other moms on how your school year is going? :)

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