Monday, April 13, 2015

Memoria Press ~ First Start Reading

I had the opportunity to review the First Start Reading Program by Memoria Press. The program is for Kindergarten level and covers phonics, reading and printing. Memoria Press provides easy to use Classical Christian educational materials.

First Start Reading covers:
  • consonants
  • short and long vowels
  • 45 common words 
  • manuscript printing
There are thirty one phonetic stories such as, "Hogs and Pigs", "Pups and Cubs", and  "The Queen" spread throughout the four workbooks. For each letter of the alphabet, there are pictures for the child to color, that start with that letter. The child is asked to draw a picture  for each new letter learned that begins with that particular letter. I personally love when a curriculum asks a child to express themselves using their imagination. The workbook pages are simple, black and white, so as not to distract the child from their work. At the end of each workbook there is a section entitled, "First Start Reading Word Mastery Review", covering all words learned in each workbook. At the end of each book, there is an Assessment which includes word lists, dictation, and an assessment record to keep track of your child's progress.

The curriculum is black and white, except for the covers. For some children this is good since whimsical, colorful curriculums can be distracting. If you prefer fun, colorful material then you may be disappointed. 

First Start Reading Teacher Guide
The guide covers all four books (A-D) in the series. At the beginning of the guide there are really helpful charts explaining the contents found in each book.
  • Letters/Sounds
  • CVC Words and Common Words
  • Reading Skills
  • Sentences
  • Page

Lesson Plans are provided for each lesson and cover such topics as: letter formation, pencil check, ear training, letter name and sound. The plans make it very easy for the parent or teacher to follow and guide the child as they work. Having taught six of my children to read, I know how overwhelming the task can be. This guide provides the tools to make the process of learning these essential first skills successful for both parent and child.

After your child has read the stories, there is a comprehension guide of questions for your child to answer.

How I Used First Start Reading
My six year old daughter worked her way through the workbooks. Because my daughter is already an emergent reader, some of the basics such as the letters of the alphabet were too elementary for her. Not all was lost because the handwriting practice for the letters was perfect to reinforce proper letter formation. My daughter enjoyed drawing pictures that corresponded with the letters of the alphabet. She loved reading the stories and illustrating a sentence from the story. She worked through the first three books at a good pace since it was pretty much review. Book D fit perfectly with her current level of learning. We took a much slower pace on this workbook. My daughter enjoyed the activities such as Find and Color, Help the Chick Find its Mother, and the Word Map that were included in Book D. Working through Book D helped reinforce the current phonics and reading skills my daughter has just recently learned. She enjoyed working through the workbooks which is helpful when tackling very important educational skills. 

Phoebe reading, Zeke the Pup, from Book D. 

Final Thoughts
There are so many phonics and first reading curriculums on the market for parents and educators to choose. If used, I would suggest that this be used as a supplement along with a more in depth core phonics/first reading curriculum. For my children, utilizing several programs that compliment one another, has been the key to developing strong readers. Where one program is weak, another is strong. The beauty of learning is having many options to explore until the perfect fit is found. 

To read more review click HERE

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