I love teaching my children to read. Seeing them get it is absolutely priceless. My just turned 5 years old daughter had shown signs of being ready to learn to read and write for the last few months. I was delighted to receive The Phonics Road to Reading and Spelling Level 1 to review from Schola Publications.
The Phonics Road program consists of four, one-year levels which cover proper speaking, spelling, writing, reading, grammar, and composition. Children who finish the program will be ready for the next step, The Latin Road to English Grammar. I had a lot of fun unpacking the box with my daughter when it arrived. Enclosed was everything we would need: two big, beautiful binders, one for the student and one for the teacher, a set of DVD’s, student and teacher cards, pencils, dry erase markers, and (my favourite) the “Handy Dandy Clipboard”
My daughter loves the clipboard – she can use it as-is, and also slide one of the lesson pages underneath to practice with first before she writes on it with her pencil. The DVDs are for the teacher – they show you step-by-step, lesson by lesson how to work through the program with your child. Watching the DVDs and cutting out and covering the student and teacher cards with clear mac-tac for durability, is all the preparation needed.
The target age group for The Phonics Road is 5 to 7 years old, but I can see where older students who need help with reading, printing, and spelling would also be able to use this. In fact, my son would definitely not have been ready for this program at age 5, and it would have been more suitable for him around 7 or 8 years old. The only way I would have introduced it at a younger age for him, would be to have held off on the written component, coming back to it when he was ready.
Since we started working through The Phonics Road, my daughter has been thrilled to point out the letters we have learned in books we’re reading, the sounds they make, and loves to attempt to follow along. We have not followed the daily schedule outlined in the curriculum, as my daughter found it moved too quickly at her age, instead stretching out one day’s lesson through a whole week. My daughter has very much enjoyed drawing her letters on the chalkboard and painting on the easel in addition to on her “handy dandy clipboard”.
There are also multiple fun games to play with the letters, including a bingo game, and many fun suggestions. Spelling rules are easy to remember, sung to well-known tunes – click HERE to see a sample of these “Rule Tunes”, as well as samples and pictures of the whole program. I can’t wait to get to the “First Readers” section in the student manual. I just know my daughter will love it! It consists of short little stories filling up one half of the page, with the top half blank so the child can draw a picture of the story read. What a terrific idea!
The cost is $268 US. Most of the program is non-consumable, and an Extra Student Package can be purchased. I honestly feel so blessed to have received this curriculum – it was the perfect thing for my daughter at the perfect time, and I continue to thrill in each little step forward my daughter takes while we happily continue to travel through The Phonics Road.
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