This is a long over due review that needs to come first before any other post I make regarding my absence from the blog world...
Lucy and Ziggy are ALL ABOUT READING!
With a myriad of reading curriculum choices out there, picking the right one for you and your family can be quite daunting. I remember when I started this journey a year ago, I spent months researching and asking others what they are doing.
I started the year with what I thought were good fits. Soon after we began I realized a few things that weren't. One of which was my reading program. After talking and looking some more, I made a new purchase for a new program and the transition was amazing. No longer did I have a child that disliked learning to read, but instead I had someone that was content with the lesson time and the activities presented.
My oldest child (Tony) already knew the alphabet and sounds so I started on "All About Reading"- Level 1 and within a couple of weeks he was reading in the provided reader. The excitement and jump we made to reading was truly a huge testament to the program. It took the frustration and anxiety out of reading and made phonics such an enjoyable experience for him. One of the things that drew me to this curriculum was the provided "readers." If you have done any searching for books at the library you will find "Level 1" readers, but often they are published by companies who have a high influence in "Whole Literacy" or "Balanced Literacy." What this means is it is an educational term for having a varied approach to reading. It's basis might be phonetic in part, but it is not solely phonetic.
For an early reader, this can be somewhat frustrating. My son knew his sounds early on, but was not "blending" them together. Each book I picked up was usually a book of the "at" family and provided such a limited storyline that he quickly lost interest and preferred other books. The All About Reading readers are truly phonetic and focus on vowel sounds rather than word families. So instead of the "at" family we had the short "a" sounds. Thus providing a better book of interest.
I finally felt like we had made a break through. Reading was coming together and I knew it was the right fit.
Around December I started to feel the nudge to have a curriculum for my 3 year old daughter. I needed focused and simply laid out lesson plans. I needed to make letter recognition a goal in which I could not be deterred. So I spoke to some friends again and decided to try the All About Reading Pre Reading Level. At the generosity of the owner I received that level for review on this site.
So by spring I had the "All About Reading- Deluxe Package- Pre Reading Level", which you can get through the link on my page. With my daughter I felt the pressure to catch her up" to where her brother was at age 3. This curriculum helped me to alleviate that pressure and relax in my hurried approach.
Here are the details of the package...
She absolutely LOVED "Ziggy" the puppet. Although we have many puppets, I was impressed with the high quality in "Ziggy." I was also completely surprised at how much she loved learning the letters because of "Ziggy." By the end of the first week, I knew this was a perfect fit.
The Student Packet includes an activity book with age appropriate activities for kids 3-5. She loves doing the assignments and felt like she was a "big girl" doing school like her brother.
The books provided are rhyming books that allow them to hear the sounds of the letter they just learned. The Picture cards are great easy activities that offer her pre reading practice with rhyming and simple matching activities.
Lucy was excited and motivated to learn and study right along side her brother. The fact that she had a set curriculum also helped me to give her adequate time throughout the day.
I know many moms do not start any reading curriculum till their kids are 4 and sometimes 5. Each family makes those decisions of when you are ready to bring in that child. However if you have an eager learner and a child that is sitting at the table for 10- 15 min, they should be ready for this program. I'd recommend this for any child that doesn't know all their sounds and letters. We will continue to use this curriculum for this next year, as she is soon to be a 4 year old.
Before Ziggy gets busy teaching, she always gives Lucy hugs and kisses. These are such sweet pics because I love seeing her affection for this reading puppet. Precious memories were made in our house with Ziggy.
For Tony, I had him in the Level 1 Materials and Reading Interactive Kit- Basic Package. He continues to want to read with this and we are taking it very slow, it will last us through his Kinder year. Once we are half way through the Level 1,
I will start the All about Spelling Level 1 for him as well.
Something that makes it different from other reading programs is it's a "mastery" program. What that means is instead of a grade level program it actually wants you to start from the beginning as to make sure your child has all the foundations laid down for them. If you had your child in schools prior to home schooling, chances are they were taught with a "whole literacy" approach. This program is completely "phonetic" and for that reason is important to start from the level they suggest on their site. They have placement tests that are easy and simple for your child.
Do not be deceived about the numbers, as a former teacher, half way through Level 1, I'd say this closely matches a beginning first grade reading level or exiting Kinder level. Most importantly, it's so solid I don't want to skip a lesson and always love how easy the teacher manual is for me to follow. It's truly a pick up and go manual.
Best of all they offer a full money back guarantee. They allow you to try it for a year and if you don't like it return it. AMAZING, I know. But if I wrote this curriculum I'd be that confident that you will be so happy you wouldn't return it.
If you are one of the few that hasn't bought your reading curriculum yet, I'd recommend this curriculum without any hesitations. You can go to my home page and get their direct link from my sidebar. If you already have your curriculum for the year, just file this post in your head as a great alternative in case yours doesn't work for you. Curriculum junkies and procrastinators unite! I'm proudly a member of both of groups.
My last words of advice is don't hesitate to make your reading program the best- it's well worth the investment. In my opinion, this one will always be right up there.
If you already use this and have any comments about your experience, I'd love to hear it!
If you have more questions, you can contact me via email or on FB. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blessings to all!
My next posts will be about a book I read months ago, our personal update of the move, and coming into a great place in which God wants us and the freedom He offers us all!
As for CC, we decided not to do it again this year :(
and therefore I will not be doing lessons plans that correlate.
My desire is to do unit study approach. Whatever I make and create I will put up on the website for free. The units will correspond with CC's subject matter, but not follow their calendar perfectly. I will explain all of this more in coming posts.