We recently were blessed with the opportunity to review some great materials from Memoria Press. We received their First Start Reading program which was created specifically for the Kindergarten level, and my son (who is 5) has been using it daily, and loving eery moment of it too!The First Start Reading program includes a Teacher’s Manual and 4 Student Books. These can be purchased as a set for $42.95, or you can get the Student Set for $28.00. Individual items are $14.95 for the Teacher’s Manual and each book fis only $7.00. They also have Kindergarten Lesson Phonics Lesson Plans for $8.00(these were not a part of the package we received).
First Start Reading is a complete phonics course that focuses on three important skills:
1. Pencil grip and correct letter formation.
2. Mastering one sound for each consonant and vowel first.3. Mastering short and long vowel sounds,
3 letter words and 45 common words.
If the idea of teaching reading and writing to your children is a bit scary to you, don’t worry. The Teacher’s Guide is packed with tons of helpful ideas and tips and material, along with an overview of how to work through each lesson with your children. There is a complete listing of all the lessons included within the student books, and a Phonics Overview, a Phonics Approach, tips to get started and some basic teaching guidelines I really appreciated. This also covers more details regarding what the each workbook teaches, there is discussion on the correct pencil grip and how to encourage it too. Come to find, I still do not have a correct grip when writing. There are also lesson pages; these will show you how to use each page and even includes questions for discussion to follow the stories that are in each book. Being so close to my due date, and short on brain power, I appreciated all these tips very much. 🙂
What’s in these books?
Book A has a total of 25 lessons. It begins with M, and progresses to I am, sentences with capital, sounds of /s/ and /i/, exclamation point, plural sounds, and ends with 3 stories. At the back there is a review and an assessment (I love that it is in the form of dictation so he can hear the word and then write it out).
Book B has 26 lessons which beginning with: /l/, and going through the short /i/ sounds. The lessons then move on to G, L, O, common CVC words with O, B, and D. There are short stories as well to encourage them in reading. My son’s favorite was Mag’s Pig and Dad’s Bad Dog. This book also ends with review and then a final assessment. My oldest son actually took to using this with his brother off and on to drill hom on the words that were being learned (both reading and spelling them!) We always love materials that the kids like to do together 🙂
Book C has 33 lessons and covers E, X, K, J, U, V, W. Y, Z and Q. This book teaches words such as met, net, set, ox, sox, fox, keg, Kit, Kim, van, vet, wag, wax, yet, yes, zap, zig and queen. They also learn about see, for, some and them. There are 7 short stories in this book and it all rounds out with the review and assessment. We are currently working our way through this book ~ My son loves how some of the pages have stories that he can read all by himself, like Ben’s Red Hen. And seeing him enjoying the experience warms my heart.
Finally, we have Book D. This one only has 12 lessons within. But it teaches on the long a, long i, long o and long u as well as digraphs sh, th, ch and wh. This one also covers the final consonant blends, s-blends, r-blends and l blends. There are 6 stories in this book, and as in the previous ones, each lesson has its own assessment at the very end of the book.
If you are not sure if this is for you, you can download samples of these books here.
In the very back is of the book there is an appendix that includes small posters to help teach left and right as well as the diference in certain letters (such as B and D). There are also posters showing the correct pencil grip for left handed and right handed folks and some vowel posters too. And that is so key to me, in all that we do, that it foster a love of learning and a desire to do these things joyfully.