Tag Archives: Phonics

Homeschool Curriculum Spotlight – Spelling, Reading,Grammar

The Phonics Road To Spelling and Reading is the the number one curriculum on my list!  I honestly don’t believe there is a better curriculum for teaching phonics, spelling, reading, and grammar.  There are lots of other curriculum available on the subject but I have to say that this one is the best I’ve ever seen. 

When we started homeschooling, a very dear friend who had successfully homeschooled her son, recommended I use the Writing Road to Reading or what is also known as the Spalding Method.  Also the works of Dr. Samuel Orton, Anna Gillingham and Oma Riggs who were pioneers of phonics based methods.   I bought the book and loved the concepts.  They break the english language down into all the most common sounds which are called phonograms.  By teaching your student the phonograms and learning to write them, reading and writing comes very naturally.  Now, this is only a very vauge and brief explanation of one small aspect of the Spalding method.  After reading the Writing Road and seeing the results in my own student I have been sold on the method.  My problem with the Spalding materials ( The Writing Road to reading) is that it is not a curriculum so to speak.  You are given the information but the vast majority of putting together of a program, integrating all the aspects of this truly wonderful work done by Romona Spalding and those like her, falls on the sholders of an already very busy parent.  I don’t suppose that Romona Spalding quite envisioned homeschoolers as we are today.  She more than likely was gearing her book toward public educators.  I even purchased the teacher manual from the Spalding folks and it was nice and well thought out but I really had no idea what they were talking about most of the time.  So we stalled out.  

With the absolutly perfect timing of God I was introduced to The Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading.  The Phonics Road is all the wonderful knowlege of Romona Spalding’s work and the Writing Road to Reading broken down into very small and manageable pieces.  Barbara Beers has created an incredibly easy and thorough curriculum.  A preschooler can start on the phonograms and a kindergartner can learn to write them and actually complete level one if they want.  I have learned more in level one than I ever did in all my years of learning grammar in school, which is a very sad thing to admit.  Barbara has put together a DVD presentation for every single lesson, walking you through the information and explanations so that you never ever feel like you don’t know how to teach a lesson.  The explanations are brilliant!  She has compiled songs for all the spelling rules and also grammar tunes as well.  My children love the songs and I know they will remember them forever.  The teacher is also provided a notebook that looks exactly like the students, only ours is completed word for word.  The theme so to speak of this curriculum is construction, as in building a house.  We as the teacher are the journeyman and the student is the apprentice.  They get the tools of language and we guide them in the use and mastery of these tools.  The student’s apprentice handbook is their very own notebook just like yours only just waiting to be filled.  Each step of this process is so well planned out and easy to accomplish that your student is going to become very confident in how to use and understand the English language.  And guess what?  You are too! They will write and mark and sing and repeat day after day, each step building upon the next.   Now, Barbara doesn’t stop there, as the student advances she is going to take us into the Latin Road to English Grammar and I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am!  You might wonder, why Latin?  Well, I think you need to visit the website and read Barbara’s explanation.  I can’t say enough about this curriculum and I don’t think I’ve done it justice. 

The only drawback to this curriculum is the price.  It’s not cheap.  You do have to keep in mind that this is a family business and with all the hours and years of work that Barbara Beers has put into her curriculum, not to mention the personal one on one instruction she provides, I think it’s worth every single penny.  Don’t let the price put you off.  This kind of education for your kids is priceless.  

I hope you will check it out!  www.thephonicsroad.com  Don’t forget to look at all the example pages!

Keep Sailing,

Mary Hugill

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