Do you have a young and emerging reader in your household? With so many curriculums to teach reading, there is certainly no shortage of choices for the homeschooling families. I have loved Memoria Press products for years and used them on occasion since our first year homeschooling. But I had never used their early learning reading program, so when I was given the opportunity to review their First Start Reading program, I was excited to give it a try with my 5 year old.
What is First Start Reading?
First Start Reading by Cheryl Lowe includes 4 student workbooks (books A-D) and a Teacher’s Manual. This complete phonics course is a program that can last for a one full year if done at the pace suggested by the published, or may be spread out over a longer time or easily sped up if some of the material is not new.
The course features pencil grip emphasis, letter formation instructions, consonant letter sounds, short and long vowel mastery, sight words/common words, early reading skills and beginning sentences.
The workbooks each have about 25 lessons, a word mastery review section and assessment pages. Each lesson builds on the previous and each workbook builds on the previous. Each lesson features various activities like tracing letters, coloring illustrations, drawing a picture, blending or completing words having missing letters. Each lesson is 2 pages long in Books A, B, and C. Book D has lessons as long as 6 pages, but the lesson content is still very manageable.
The Teacher’s Manual is one book that directs the teacher’s through all 4 student books. It is packed with assessment suggestions, various approaches to teaching, suggestions for teaching single or multiple children, and easy to understand instruction on the point of the lesson and how to help the child.
We received the complete First Start Reading program which includes all 4 workbooks and the Teacher’s Manual. All 4 student workbooks and the Teacher’s Manual are high quality and well laid out. They are easy to use. The workbooks do not have crowded pages and are clean looking.
How We Used the Materials
Memoria Press’s First Start Reading program. We used it each day as our phonics program. The lessons only took about 15 minutes each day. Sometimes maybe 20 minute if the child gets into drawing or coloring but, I’ll be honest, I have a boy, he usually doesn’t get too into the coloring or drawing. Now, I can imagine that if I had used this with my daughter it would have been a little longer because she can really get caught up in drawing and coloring.
But, we usually took about 15 minutes to get through the lesson. And this is NOT rushing it. My son liked the lessons and was excited that he had his own books and seemed excited for his time. He surprising did not mind the tracing and liked the drawing. He didn’t really care to color so we didn’t do that often. He was VERY excited to read a full sentence by lesson 3. He thought that he was pretty great (and so did I!)
What We Thoughts
I loved how the lessons were laid out and how they progressed. I very much liked the emphasis on pencil grip and letter formation. The layout of the pages was clean and easy to read. The Teacher’s Manual is very well laid out and full of helpful information.
I loved the lessons were short. My wiggly 5 year old son does not need a long, drawn out lesson. I thought it was great that he felt accomplished with the lessons right away. I very much enjoyed the lesson lay out and they worked well for him.
All the workbooks have the same quality, well-laid out, clean look and the progression of the lessons seems to be natural and well-paced.
Overall, I love the program and look forward to continuing it with my son. He is happy with his lessons and is proud of his progress. I look forward to seeing his reading skills and writing skills improve throughout the workbooks.
You can purchase your own First Start Reading Program through Memoria Press for $42.95 for the entire program (4 student workbooks and the Teacher’s Manual). I love that it is very affordable for a complete phonics program.
Be sure to check out Memoria Press’s First Start Reading Program on their website as well as many of their other great products for classical education. You can also click on the box below to check out what the rest of the TOS Crew had to say about the First Start Reading Program as well as the Memoria Press cursive program.
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