Friday, November 04, 2011

Memoria Press Classical Phonics ~ TOS Review


We are only in our 3rd official year of homeschooling and my daughter is going to be the first of our children that I will be teaching from the very beginning. To say I am nervous is an understatement. I have been thinking about which approach to use to teach her and which curriculum will work for us for a few months now and even though she isn’t yet 3 I know she is slowly getting more interested in her letters, words and sounds. I don’t want to push but want to take advantage of her interest.

What I am looking for is something very laid back and simple. After looking at Memoria Press’s Classical Phonics and First Start Reading program I think it is just what I have been looking for. Classical Phonics is a simple little book based on a 1913 text, Word Mastery, used to teach phonics. Since we use Charlotte Mason methods in our homeschool the word family lists work perfectly for our children’s lessons. Starting with the alphabet and progressing through the various phonetic lessons, Classical Phonics is a handy compendium for students to use as a review of all the phonics learned in K-2.

The first section of Classical Phonics has been incorporated into First Start Reading providing a very fluid and familiar program. Consisting of 3 work texts and a teacher’s guide First Start Reading is a very simple phonics, reading, and printing curriculum. Since my daughter is not yet 3 we are not using the printing lessons but that is easily accommodated in the teacher guide. The lesson plan is divided into sections that train the tongue, ear, and mouth and then separately teach the letter formations.
My daughter loved the simple hand drawn images that go with each lesson. We spent a week or so on one letter just basically getting her to recognize the sounds of each and the words that use that letter. After a bit she would ask what the letter was and is beginning to recognize the difference in upper and lower cases. I love that these books are set up with both on each lesson and that they quickly learn how to make words from the letters they know.  After seeing how she is interacting with this curriculum I have no doubt she will be reading in no time and my job will be much less scary than I first thought.
Memoria Press has done an excellent job of providing a simple and effective instruction program based the solid method of phonics. Sight words are included as well for those words that do not fall into a phonetic category or are otherwise very common. During a time when the whole language approach is causing much frustration to many children, Classical Phonics and First Start Reading is a welcome revision of a tried and true method of learning how to read.
Classical Phonics $14.95
First Start Reading Complete set $29.00 without the Teacher Guide $22.00
Memoria Press provides a 60 day guarantee on all purchases. You can check out these and other products at
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Disclaimer: I was provided with one copy of the above curriculum for free in exchange for my honest opinion. Not other compensation has been received.

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