Book review, Curriculum, homeschooling

Memoria Press: First Start Reading Curriculum Review

Several months ago I heard about an opportunity to review some curriculum through Memoria Press.  Memoria Press provides classical, Christian curriculum in all subjects and for all ages.  I’m not totally sold out on classical education but I’m very eclectic and if it works, I’ll use it.

I contacted the company and after a few e-mails back and forth I decided to review their First Start Reading curriculum with Layla and their cursive curriculum with Madalyn.  We’ve been using it for a few months now and I am thoroughly impressed.  Memoria Press provided this curriculum to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to post a positive review and all thoughts expressed are my own.

There are a few things that I prefer in a curriculum:  an easy to follow teacher’s guide, black and white student pages and short daily lessons.  Memoria Press was a perfect fit and exceeded my expectations.

I’ll start with sharing today about our experience with the First Start Reading program.  I chose this because I was not happy with the phonics part of our current curriculum.  I used the same curriculum for Madalyn and had to supplement it with her as well.  So when I saw the All About Reading curriculum on Memoria Press I knew right away that I wanted to use it.

First Start Reading is a set of five books starting with basic letter sounds.   There are other books that can go along with it but they are great as a stand alone curriculum as well.  Layla already knew all her letters but she hadn’t learned all the sounds yet.  Each lesson we review the sounds and she practices listening for and saying them.

A fun game I play with her is I say a word and I tell her to do some action (clap, stomp, yell) as soon as she can when she hears the sound we are studying.  If the letter is “m” then I’ll say “man”, “movie”, “moon”, and then “amazing”.  This requires her to listen closely for that beginning sound of the word.  The book gives a word for word narrative to use when teaching the lesson and is very easy to follow.  I don’t have to spend a lot of time to prepare and some days I just open the book and go.

There is a lot of writing and tracing required and this may be a struggle for some students.  Some days are better than others with Layla.  Sometimes I let her use colored pencils or crayons just to change things up a bit.

She has enjoyed tracing the letters and learning new words.  She also like drawing pictures of things that start with that letter.  After our recent trip to the movies to see Cinderella, she drew this carriage for the letter C.

I have been impressed with how quickly she is picking up new words.  A few months ago she would look at a word and just make a complete guess out of thin air.  Now she looks at it and takes the time to make all the sounds.  I’ve made her flash cards of the words she has learned so far and she’s getting better at reading them every day.  She has even learned how to read several stories in the first book and likes reading them to her dad and her grandparents.

I love this curriculum and I would highly recommend it for teaching phonics.


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