Christian Light Learning to Read Program - Grade 1 (Sunrise 2nd Ed.)

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How often have we been told not to judge a book by its cover? With its rather plain packaging, this phonics/beginning to read program from Christian Light might not fare very well. But, it would be a big mistake to dismiss Learning to Read just because it doesn't have cute graphics or a catchy title. Designed to be preparation and an entry point for their well-constructed reading program, LTR is phonics, and phonics well-done! The general "feel" of the program is wholesome, God-honoring, and rural.

Starting with frequently used consonants and short /a/, reading is begun early (the primers are added with the second light unit) and the decoded vocabulary grows through the introduction of all consonants, short vowels, long vowels, /wh/, /ch/, dipthongs (called vowel sets) ee, ai, ay, ea, ie, oa, oe, ue, ui beginning and ending blends, and finally trigraphs, compound words, suffixes, and special vowel sounds. Consonant sounds, short and long vowel sounds, and some digraphs are introduced using a rhyme as a mnemonic device. Light units include frequent review lessons as well as a review at the end of each unit. Lessons are designed to teach to all the learning styles and include listening to stories, oral discussion, activity sheets, hand motions that accompany the teaching sequences, penmanship practice, several skill-building segments (e.g. working with sounds, blending fun, reading skills), dot maps (copying dot designs), and spelling. Classroom reinforcement is emphasized and includes use of flashcards, games, and the unique Sound Slider (a device for practicing blending).

The four Primers have color covers and black and white illustrations. They progress from single words to multi-page stories. [May I take a moment to rave about the illustrations? They are excellent! Drawings, but well-proportioned and very detailed with meticulous shading. Scenes tend to be rural.] The stories contain new sounds and sight words. Small icon-like pictures substitute for words students have not yet learned. [What a good idea! Stories are much more interesting without the risk of encouraging sight reading utilizing this pictorial vocabulary.] Some stories contain challenge words untaught but can be sounded out which are bolded and listed in footnotes. 50 70 pgs each, pb

Light Units consumable work texts with an accent color that provide phonics reinforcement, reading comprehension, and handwriting activities. One unusual activity is the Dot Maps, which become progressively more complex and develop hand-eye coordination. About 50 pgs each, pb

Practice Sheets blackline masters (removable answer key in middle) that provide additional practice and activities. 52 pgs, pb

Teacher's Guidebooks pull everything together. They are very comprehensive and include a complete overview of the program, a detailed scope and sequence, daily schedule and lesson plans, reading assessment rubric, alternate tests, games suggestions, answers to all student pages/tests, spelling word lists, and grading/record-keeping info. Daily lessons are scripted and include reduced copies of light unit pages. A nice feature; examples are given to help evaluate student work. [One of the disadvantages of homeschooling is the lack of comparison with other students and a good working idea of what is acceptable. Sometimes we're way too hard on our kids.]

Teacher support materials include: Picture Flash Cards (4" x 5") full color illustrations for each consonant, vowel, and the four main digraphs (ch, sh, th, wh) on one side and rhymes on back. Picture Wall Cards (8½ x 11) same as Picture Flash Cards, but larger and without the rhymes. Word Flash Cards (8 x 2¾) both sight words and sound-out words. Phrase Flash Cards (11½ x 4) helps students recognize thought segments in groups of words. Sound Slider, an ingenious device for practicing beginning and ending blends a double-sided laminated strip (4x20) listing all consonants and four main digraphs; five double-sided, laminated "sleeves," each with a viewing window and a vowel positioned on one side for beginning blends and on the other for ending blends. Student or teacher slides a sleeve up and down the strip to practice then turns the strip over and goes through the other side.

It's hard to imagine a more let's-get-down-to-business-and-learn-to-read program. Obviously designed for a classroom setting, the easy-to-use materials will lend themselves well to home use and the total cost is reasonable. Necessary components would include the Primers, the Light Units, and the Teacher's Guides. Nice to have but optional would include the flashcards and sound slider. The practice sheets might or might not be necessary depending on the student. You can expect to spend about two weeks on each Light Unit which leaves just the right amount of time (about 10-12 weeks) to finish up the year with the I Wonder reader from the Christian Light Reading Program. ~ Janice

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Learning to Read 101-105 Teacher's Guide With Answers (2nd Edition) Item #: 048898
Grade: 1
Rainbow Price: $7.00

Learning to Read 106-110 Teacher's Guide With Answers (2nd Edition) Item #: 048899
Grade: 1
Rainbow Price: $7.00

We Live Primer 1 - 2nd Edition Item #: 048910
Grade: 1
Rainbow Price: $5.00

Learning to Read Practice Sheets (106-110) 2nd Edition Item #: 048902
Grade: 1
Rainbow Price: $4.00

We Discover Primer 4 - 2nd Edition Item #: 048907
Grade: 1
Rainbow Price: $5.00

We Explore Primer 2 - 2nd Edition Item #: 048908
Grade: 1
Rainbow Price: $5.00

We Learn Primer 3 - 2nd Edition Item #: 048909
Grade: 1
Rainbow Price: $5.00

Learning to Read Practice Sheets (101-105) 2nd Edition Item #: 048901
Grade: 1
Rainbow Price: $4.00

Sound Slider Item #: 048906
Grade: 1
Retail: $11.00
Rainbow Price: $9.95

Picture Wall Cards (8 1/2" x 11") Item #: 048905
Grade: 1
Retail: $16.00
Rainbow Price: $14.50

Phrase Flash Cards - 2nd Edition Item #: 048903
Grade: 1
Retail: $14.00
Rainbow Price: $12.95

Picture Flash Cards (4" x 5") Item #: 048904
Grade: 1
Retail: $12.00
Rainbow Price: $10.95

Word Flash Cards - 2nd Edition Item #: 048911
Grade: 1
Retail: $10.00
Rainbow Price: $9.50

Learning to Read LightUnits Only Set Sunrise 2nd Edition Item #: LNRDLT
Grade: 1
Retail: $35.00
Rainbow Price: $31.75

Learning to Read Complete Set Sunrise 2nd Edition Item #: LRNTRD
Grade: 1
Retail: $57.00
Rainbow Price: $51.95

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