I was recently given the opportunity to test out and review First Start Reading by Memoria Press . I got this program for my little Princess, who just turned 4 last month. In my huge package I received the following: First Start Reading: Phonics, Reading, & Printing Books A-D, and the teacher guide that covers all four workbooks. It was like Christmas when that package arrived in the mail.
When I showed the workbooks to my husband, he said, “I wish you were doing this with all of the kids.”
To which I replied, “We can, if you’d like. The individual books are only $7.00 each.” Yes, you read that right. The whole package I got in the mail would easily stretch over a year (or more) of phonics, reading, and writing work and is just $42.95 for everything. It’s less if you already have the teacher’s manual and only need the workbooks. For a family like ours with 4 kids being homeschooled, something inexpensive that fits our needs too is a huge find.
When I flipped through the teacher’s guide, I found it to be really well put together and easy to follow. I like that with each lesson plan, they show a picture of the page your child will be doing that day. This makes using the guide with the workbook seamless. I also like that there is coloring and drawing included in the lesson. While this would have been a point of contention with my oldest who hates drawing with a passion, it is a selling point for my daughter who loves to draw.
Getting Started with First Start Reading
Your child only learns 2 letters before sounding out their first word. It seemed counter-intuitive to me at first, not teaching the whole alphabet before reading. The more I thought about it, the more I liked it, though. It gives your child a chance to really feel like they are succeeding from the very beginning. Here’s a picture of the Princess’s first lesson:
I drew some really big letters for her to trace as well. I had her trace them multiple times in different colors before starting the lesson and trying to write the smaller letters. This is something we have done in the past, so I wanted to continue with that. It was very challenging for her to write the smaller letters.
We were able to work through the beginning of the book, but we didn’t make it as far as I would have liked. I went very slow, using our Leapfrog songs throughout the day, and having the Princess use the fridge magnet that says letter sounds for assistance along the way. I probably could have waited to get her started, but she has been so eager to “do school” with the big kids. It was still a good experience, and at her age, I’m not worried at all about going really slow.
Summing it Up
The Princess loved having her own school books to work out of, and I’m glad we were able to review this product because it is a really great value and well put together. In the introduction, it states, “First Start Reading is a traditional and uncomplicated approach to phonics.”, and it is. Truth be told, I don’t know that little miss is ready for this “grown-up” of a workbook. I’m hemming and hawing over starting the Toolman on Book D and buying what comes next when he finishes it. It’s perfect for where he’s at if I can bring myself to start one more new thing with him right now. I will probably continue working through Book A with the Princess, just very slowly.
If you are interested in reading about how other families used the curriculum and their views on it, please visit the Review Crew by clicking the banner below. We all work hard to bring you information so you can decide what will work best for you and your family.