Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. ~ Margaret D. Nadald
Our Father also gifted us with the nature to nurture, keen sensitivity to the Spirit, selflessness, discernment, and heroic faith. No wonder our Father placed us at the heart of the family and thus at the center of the plan of salvation. We are the Lord's secret weapon. ~ Sheri Dew
I'm a pretty open minded person when it comes to the curriculums that we use in our home. While there are some that I absolutely LOVE and recommend to everyone and their dog who asks me about what we use... some of those products have not been as effective for my 5 year old daughter. I've mentioned before that my son can pick up anything and in any method, and while I've always tried to go for fun and/or hands-on methods anyway, I've noticed that some of the products I have aren't as effective for my dyslexic "ADD" daughter.
The box that I received wasn't like anything I'd expected. Expertly packed was a good sized/heavy box that contained 3 First Start Reading- Phonics, Reading, & Printing books (Book A, B and C), Classical Phonics- A Child's Guide to Word Mastery, and a HUGE Teacher Guide for the First Start Reading program. I was pretty blown away by it all and then started flipping through the pages. I was already running numbers with my husband about using these books for all of the children before I had a chance to get home and actually use them!
What makes this program appealing to me is that the Teacher's Guide is very thorough... I mean, the book actually includes a little inlay of each page in the Student's books and prompts all of the discussion for teaching the pages. I don't know about you, but teaching my children reading and phonics has been quite the new experience. I've learned more about how different letters and words work over the last couple years then I ever knew before! I'm just good at memorizing things, they stick easy, never really had to think about anything past that. However, the way that this system teaches allows the child to learn blending without having to learn a lot of phonics rules! It helps my son decode whatever he comes in contact with, and it's a beautiful thing! Anyway, my ramblings are just to say that I appreciate having phonics and reading helps all in one book.
So, speaking of using one book, each student book covers Phonics, Reading, and Printing. Not only does it cover printing, but it offers more room to practice writing then I've had access to in previous writing programs. Additionally, the letters that they are printing follow a pattern that helps the child blend together words easily (which is great for a child that needs a purpose i.e. my daughter always says "I want to read" but just throwing out random letters for her to practice writing can be frustrating. Here she focuses in on a letter and then is able to blend it with others she recently practiced to make words. The illustrations are also nice and big... she loves that! You can see what I'm talking about here. Being able to color in several pictures that start with the letter she's on is fulfilling for her also. I've seen quite the change in her as we've used this product and another (to be posted on later). The First Start Reading Books also provide sentences to write and give the child access to making connections with the alphabet letters and words. Here is a sample for Book B also.
The other product that came in my box was for Classical Phonics. The book itself is not intended to be used alone as a complete language program, but works well with the addition of the First Start Reading program. Here is a link to a sample of the Phonics book. You can see from these that the child has several words lists that are encountered throughout the book, as well as more great pictures which act as a means of helping your child see the connection between consonant sounds and how they fit with short vowel sounds. There's a few pages in the back dedicated to helping you understand the method being used so that you can fluidly teach your child everything that they need to understand about how words come together.
Due to the consumable nature of the books it's important for me that it's cost effective because that means I'm going to have to re-buy it at least 4 more times (possibly more). After thinking about other items that I've bought in the past and how I've used different things in conjunction that is taken care of all in one in these books, this really is a cost effective method. The first time you buy (if you'd like the Teacher's Manual... which believe me, you do), the total is $29.95. Subsequently, just getting a Student set (Books A, B, and C) are $21.00 and the Classical Phonics book available is for $14.95. All can be bought through the Memoria Press website.
I highly recommend this program. If you've tried everything else, or use a combination of product, I think you'll enjoy the completeness of this program. My daughter actually looks forward to these "lessons" and being able to work on things like her big brother. I love it!
If you'd like to read what other crew members are saying about this product feel free to go here.
*As a member of the 2011 TOS Homeschool Crew I was provided a free copy of this product in exchange for my honest review of its content. I have not received any other compensation for the opinions stated here, and they were not promised a positive review.**