Memoria Press: First Start Reading & Classical Phonics {TOS Review}

I have already successfully taught two of my children their phonics, how to read, and although their penmanship is a work in progress, they both do a pretty good job for their ages. It only made sense for me to continue using the same phonics program with my baby who is really no longer a baby. I have never really opted for making sense, but rather lean toward what works and I am finding that the approach I am taking towards his education is a little different. With the little different also comes different curriculum as I teach him phonics and how to read.

First Start Reading is a classical phonics, reading, and printing curriculum that focuses on the traditional approach of teaching by introducing the vowels and consonants and then moving to combining them with word families. More attention is given to learning the sound of the short vowels (ex: a – apple, e – egg, o – pot, etc.) which the lessons provide the student with more practice than do other phonics programs.

There are three levels of books (A-C – see sample of book A and sample of book B) that take the student through a comprehensive study of the alphabet while teaching them how to properly pronounce the letters, learn how to form words, and pronounce them along the way. In lesson three of Book A, the student is already sounding out one consonant and two vowels to read his first two words – “I am (child inserts his name).” Since Canyon is already able to spell and read his name, that gave him a total of three words he was able to read.

First Start Reading also comes with a teacher guide that has step-by-step instructions for each lesson which points out areas where the teacher should pay particular attention to while covering the lesson with the student. The following steps help the teacher ensure the student has a good understanding after completing each lesson:

Introduction: The student identifies the pictures that begins with the featured letter and asks any questions he may have about the picture and offers any comments because children are always curious about something new that is presented to them. I see this as get all of the busyness out of the way so they can begin the learning part of the lesson.

Letter Name and Sound: The student is now ready to learn the letter name and pronounce the sound(s) of the letter.

Ear Training: The student listens to a series of words and identifies which ones begin (and end) with the featured letter.

Letter Formation: The student prints the letter in uppercase and lowercase with a pencil check that follows after each. The pencil check is as important as learning how to read and pronounce the letter. During the pencil check, the teacher is supposed to check to see that the student is not only following the arrows for writing the letter and writing the letter legibly, but also that he has the proper pencil grip (which is also taught in this curriculum and this “pencil grip particular mommy” loves that) as he is writing.

Conclusion: The student writes the new letter (or combination of letters) in uppercase (if applicable) and lowercase, free-hand. After that, he gets to color the picture as well as draw his own picture of something that begins with the letter.

Classical Phonics – A Guide to Word Mastery (see a sample), which is based on Florence Akin’s Word Mastery is a supplemental book of word lists that the student can use to practice their building phonics skills. This book is a great “have-a-long” as you are using this curriculum especially as your child learns more letters and their sounds. It is also one that can be used along with other phonics curriculum because it covers almost all of the English phonograms and sounds that children are taught through second grade.

If you have a new or young reader, then this curriculum is one that will keep them interested long enough to learn because the lessons are concise. Children will also get to see a reward early on with their ability to read smaller words soon after beginning the study. This curriculum, which is geared towards kindergartners, will make any student’s introduction to learning a joyful experience.

Memoria Press offers First Start Reading and Classical Phonics at very reasonable prices. First Start Reading, which includes all three book levels and Teacher Guide, retails for $29.95 and the supplemental Classical Phonics is $14.95.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.

The product featured in this review was provided to me free of cost by the manufacturer or representing PR agency as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.
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