Reading is fun and a skill that transports a child into a whole new world of wonderful. Children should start learning the skill as early as they show an interest. For many children, that may be as early as three, four or five years old. Regardless of the age, you want learning to read to be fun and the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook and R.E.A.D. Review Pack from The Crafty Classroom provides the tools your child needs to make that happen.
The Crafty Classroom is a one-stop online resource for just about everything homeschool. Along with its reading and language arts program, which is part of the Homeschool Curriculum offerings, parents will find other resources like homeschool planning guides, homeschool classroom setup and homeschool freebies.
We had the opportunity to review the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook and R.E.A.D. Review Pack. They are both curriculum for children who are early readers, beginning readers and in kindergarten. The acronym R.E.A.D. means Read, Eager, Able & Determined to READ!, which is just the type of child for which the program was created.
The Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook is a whopping 798 pages. Yes, that is a lot, but it is full of a lot of great teaching material to help your R.E.A.D. child succeed. The program covers 36 weeks of reading and language arts study with children completing assignments over a four-day week.
Each week, students cover a new word family, two to three new sight words and complete an interactive language arts notebook.
Every fifth week, beginning blends are adding to the learning. Children have fun hands-on activities to complete each day.
Canyon is shown here matching pictures to “ag” words.
I really like the practice sheets that show children how to pronounce the words. Notice the arrows under each word that shows the group of sounds that are in each word. After pronouncing the words, Canyon was to match it with the corresponding picture. The sheet also has a Sound It Out section (far right) with more words where they get to practice “deconstructing words into beginning, middle and ending sounds, circling each letter as they go.”
The R.E.A.D. Review Pack contains 28 early readers and coordinates with the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook.
Parents print the reader pages, cut the sheets along the dotted lines and staple them together.
The readers focus on word families and sight words children have learned in the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook. If your child is not using the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook, they may still use the R.E.A.D. Review Pack to reinforce reading fluency.
Although the programs are geared towards younger children, the R.E.A.D. Review Pack may be a good review for an older first through third grader who may need more practice and you want to make it fun for them. When you have an older child who is struggling to read, I think it is important to keep the teaching thorough, but fun. Although you realize the urgency of them needing to improve their reading skills, that concern should not be mixed into the teaching of that child. It may make the learning to read experience more difficult.
I really love the structure and the plans of Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook. Everything is very well organized. The pre-assessment activities help parents determine if their child is ready to start using the program and helps them gauge where to begin. The daily warmup where students practice writing their name, date, weather and more is a nice addition for a new student to learn. The Review & Blends Weeks have a lot of fun games and are a nice break in the regular learning students do during the four-day weeks.
Canyon is older than the suggested age for both programs, but I found the content to be good practice for him. We homeschool year-round and it offered some good review for him this summer.
There are so many features I love about both R.E.A.D. programs. If I had a younger child, I would definitely use it. It is well organized, the directions are specific and thorough are so all the way down to how a video that demonstrates how to cut out the review books and put them together. Those are great pluses. One of the reasons many homeschoolers abandon a curriculum is because of the learning curve for use. Most parents who will be using this program will be homeschooling for the first time. Having a program that is easy to use to build a foundation skill (reading) will be helpful.
The only negative comment I have regarding the programs are the number of pages to print; 798. Whenever you are dealing with a digital program, printing is always an issue. I typically prefer printed and bound books. On the flip side, I believe there is really no way around the digital aspect of both programs, because so much of both are hands on. I did find it was easier to print the sheets I needed. Also, the review pack has to be cut to use. You may always opt to print in black and white, but the color makes both programs more appealing. I guess I am all right with the digital presentation. Also, having a physical product (bound book) may take away from the affordable price of both. One thing I would like added would be numbers on the pages.
I will continue to use the R.E.A.D. Review Pack with canyon.
The Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook (36-week Curriculum) is available for $25 and the R.E.A.D. Review Pack (28 Early Readers that Correspond with R.E.A.D. Notebook) is available for $15.
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