My daughter, Zari, is starting to learn to read simple words and print letters. She is preschool age and is 4 years old right now. We have already been working with her on how to hold a pencil correctly and trace letters. I love the First Start Reading from Memoria Press! It is a perfect first start classical curriculum for having your child start learning phonics, reading, and printing. Even though these books are actually for Kindergarten age I felt that Zari was ready to learn the Memoria Press First Start Reading lessons.
The package I received included the Teacher Book and Books A-D. The Teacher Book is a guide for the student books A-D. It will guide you through the four student books while providing assessments and helpful teaching tips along the way. In the introduction of the teacher manual it has an Alphabet chart in the front which shows the proper way to print the letters A-Z in both uppercase and lowercase. Then it goes on to include a phonics syllabi for books A, B, C and D, a phonics overview, phonics approach, getting started, general teaching guidelines, proper pencil grip and letter formation, printing lessons, and games. The teacher guide covers lesson plans for all 4 student books. It is very easy to follow the plans in the teacher guide and it gives you prompts to use with your child in case you can't think of any on your own. It also has an appendix at the end that includes posters to scan and print out to use with your lessons.
The books teach a more traditional and classical vowel-consonant approach combined with word families to teaching phonics instead of the ladder approach of consonant-vowel blending. It also lays down a great foundation for the essential short vowel mastery of phonics. First Start Reading is a great first start phonics program that covers consonants, short and long vowels, 45 common words and manuscript printing. Each page in books A-D has artist-drawn coloring pictures and drawing pages for every letter.
|Memoria Press First Start Reading Book A Lesson 1|
We started Zari with the First Start Reading Book A workbook. We had her work at her own pace, about 1-2 lessons per day that we did it. This workbook has a total of 25 lessons with work on letters/sounds, CVC/common words, reading skills, and short sentences which eventually form phonetic stories. The book starts out teaching M and A in both uppercase and lowercase. The first and second lesson has the black and white picture of a man and a moon to color to go along with the first lesson of M and an apple and ax to go along with the lesson second lesson of A. Besides pictures to color each lesson has a spot to draw something that starts with the letter learned. For example, Zari drew a moon and mommy in one and an alligator in the second box. By lesson 3 it goes into the words "I am" in which my daughter drew herself. When taught words Zari learns to blend the sounds of the letters together. We would also take this one step further with Zari and try to find things around the house that started with the letter. This book teaches 10 letters (M, A, S, N, R, F, T, H, C, P), one digraph (th), 36 words with these letters, sounds of s and i, and one final consonant blend (st). By the end of the book the student will also learn reading skills such as period and exclamation point placement, articles a and an, how sentences always begin with a capital letter, the use of 's, plural nouns, and inflected verb endings. The last three ending lessons are 3 phonetic stories. There is a review and assessments at the end also with word mastery and dictation practice pages. By the end of Book A Zari was getting a lot better at printing, letter association, sound-symbol association, and reading common sight words in short sentences. I was very pleased with her progress.
|A is for Apple, Ax, and Alligator|
Each consecutive book in the First Start Reading series builds upon the learning received in the ones previous. First Start Reading Book B has a total of 26 lessons with work on letters/sounds, CVC/common words, reading skills (all dictation with one other lesson on the question mark), and phonetic stories. This book teaches 6 letters (I, G, L, O, B, D), 116 words with these letters and the ones learned in Book A, and 13 stories to read with the words learned. First Start Reading Book C has a total of 25 lessons with work on letters/sounds, CVC/common words, reading skills (primarily dictation, quotation marks, and paragraphs), and phonetic stories. This book teaches 10 letters (E, X, K, J, U, V, W, Y, Z, Q), 132 words with these letters and the ones learned in Book A and B, and 7 stories to read with the words learned. First Start Reading Book D has a total of 12 lessons with work on letters/sounds, CVC/common words, and phonetic stories. This book teaches long vowel sounds, 4 digraphs (sh, th, ch, wh), final consonant blends (ft, pt, xt, lf, lp, lt, lk, nd, nt, mp), s-blends, r-blends, l-blends, 12 words with these letters and the ones learned in Book A-C, and 6 stories to read with the words learned.
The entire set of the Memoria Press First Start Reading Teacher's Manual and 4 Student Books can be purchased for $42.95. If you want the Student Set of Books A-D only, you can purchase them just for $28.00. If you would like to purchase individual items you can at $14.95 for the Teacher's Manual and each student book for $7.00.
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