Today more than ever it seems that the education world is being inundated with new and “improved” ways of teaching children. However, we are also seeing a decline in test scores and student performance as well. As a mom, I have to wonder if this is due to all of the “improvements” being made to our education system. This is why I was very excited to get the opportunity to review Classical Phonics with the First Start Reading Program from Memoria Press. Here is what we found…
A Little Bit About Memoria Press
Memoria Press is family-run publishing company that works very hard to bring homeschool families quality curriculum based in the classical education approach. They have various curriculum offerings across all K-12 subjects. For this review, the Review Crew families were given a variety of curriculum choices. Our family was given Classical Phonics with the First Start Reading Program, so our review will just reflect those items.
A Little Bit About Classical Phonics with the First Start Reading Program
Classical Phonics is a great book all on its own. It works to help students master their letter sounds and use them to decode words. The First Start Reading Program is a complete phonics program designed for early learners. It is based in the classical phonics approach, rather than the ladder approach. Since the lessons are designed to be used in either a classroom or in a home setting, you will find directions for both avenues. I personally really like that. Trying to modify a classroom focused curriculum to fit within the homeschool environment can be quite challenging.
A Little Bit About How We Used It
Our daughter is an English language learner and has a significant speech impairment. Because of this, we are using this curriculum a little bit differently than a typical child would. We use the lessons not only as a reading and writing tool, but also as a speech tool. Since this curriculum is very heavy in phonics pronunciation, we feel like it is also helping my daughter with learning speech sounds.
Our Week at a Glance
Our goal is to complete two lessons per week. We also work through the corresponding letters in the Classical Phonics book for that week. Each lesson with the First Start Reading Program is set up much the same. We typically begin with the whiteboard, discussing the letters and sounds surrounding that day’s lesson. Then we get out the Classical Phonics book and look at the letters and words that complimented the lesson. Finally, my daughter works through the workbook lesson. To end the day, and as a reward for hard work, she colors any pictures.
As we progress through each of the lessons the overall structure is the same. Each lesson builds on the previous lessons, with a logical sequence. Once my daughter got the hang of how a lesson was laid out, she could simply add the new material, rather than have to learn a new lesson style too.
The lessons have great visuals to show how a word works using it’s letter sounds. Take for instance the word “can.” To learn this word, you would first learn the sounds for the letters “A” and “N,” and then learn how they blend. Once you have that, you can learn the sound for letter “C” and blend it with “AN.” Over time, the student will learn all the sounds in a particular sentence, as each lesson builds upon what was learned in the previous lessons.
This is a very solid phonics program. Although you don’t have to combine both the First Start Reading Program and the Classical Phonics book together, I would highly recommend that you do. This is because of how well they compliment each other. The First Start Reading Program works to teach letter sounds and blending, and the Classical Phonics book gives the student lots of practice using their new phonics skills. Each part works together to build a more confident reader.
Review Crew Thoughts…
You don’t have to take our word for it though. Other Review Crew families have also been working very hard to bring you a great review. Since this review has lots of products from Memoria Press, each family is reviewing different products. Because of this, I highly recommend checking out the other reviews. To do that, simply click the link below.