Veritas Phonics Combo Homeschool Kit
Category Description for Veritas Phonics
Of all the multi-sensory programs we carry, this one is by far the most weighty - and I do mean in pounds! On a by-the-pound basis, you get the most for your money here! Retailing for less than the Sing, Spell, Read and Write Combo Kit, this program will definitely appeal to parents using the Classical approach, parents who want solid, moral readers (by Christian authors) with historical and biblical content, and parents who love the idea of incorporating art appreciation into their phonics program.
The museum theme is a wonderful concept that is carried throughout the program, beginning with The Alphabet Quest, a story about a boy and a knight (actually a suit of armor) who find objects beginning with each letter of the alphabet on a trip through a museum. At the K level, as you progress through each letter sound, students will "hang" a painting showing this object in their own museum. The flashcards, likewise, have reproductions of all the pictures referred to in The Alphabet Quest. Illustrations throughout the workbooks and playing cards have an "antique" look as well - in keeping with the museum theme.
There's a lot to like in this program. First, it very thoroughly covers the phonetic constructs from letter sounds to silent consonants and everything in between. Secondly, I love the student workbooks. This is the first phonics course I've seen in which the student books are actually thicker than the teacher manuals! They are chock full of useful, well-conceived activities to teach phonics skills. I appreciate that handwriting (D'Nealian-style) is included and instructions for forming each letter and for writing in general are in the teacher's manual. Instead of having children form letters from a model or dotted line, "hollow" letters are supplied and children write within them. This is a sensible approach. It gives young children boundaries until good writing habits are formed. Another good idea here is the introduction of both printed and written forms of the letters right from the beginning. Then, the 31 Primers. These are real books, many about real people, places and events, not just slapped together for phonics practice. The eight Kindergarten Primers, for example, are stories about Pan (Greek god), St. Patrick, the Pilgrims' trip on the Mayflower, Pepin the Short, the Oregon Trail, Greek mosaics, Ben Franklin, Daniel in the Lion's Den, Axum (the historic kingdom in northeastern Ethiopia), and the Civil War. These books are quality constructions with nice, glossy covers and colorful illustrations with original art done by a variety of artists using a variety of media. In fact, all of the components of the program are impressive in quality.
Another facet of the program I think most parents will appreciate is the incorporation of real art activities for students to complete, correlated to the instruction. In Level K students make apple prints when learning the letter "A," construct a monster mask for "M," make butter for "B", and so on. In First Grade many art activities are based on the stories from the Primers. As in the K level, these use different methods and media. Reading comprehension exercises are also welcomed into the mix of student sheets in First Grade.
Teaching instructions for the program are very complete and easy to follow, but not scripted (Yea!). Minimal preparation time is required. Daily lessons tell you just what to do when and how, correlating worksheet exercises, games, and other activities to the skills. Workbook instructions are here as well, along with the reduced student page, so you don't have to juggle two books when preparing. It would be helpful to read through each lesson before teaching. No time estimate is given, but with all the worksheets, art projects and activities, I would expect each lesson to last about an hour. Two games (with variations) are also included and used by both levels of the program. At the K level they practice letter sounds and letter recognition. In first grade they practice blends, long vowel words, sight words and phonograms. Unique puzzle pieces are also supplied and used to construct sound combinations and words.
I guess the only component of the program that I'm not personally thrilled with is the music CD. The vocal and production quality is great, but they strike me as more entertaining than instructive. I was a little surprised at the rock 'n roll and contemporary beats here - being from a publisher of Classical materials. The tunes are catchy, even zippy, and include a variety of styles. However, the lyrics, speed and musical composition of the songs would make it difficult for children to sing along. It's confusing to me that "wr" is treated as a blend in the blends song and in the program, but also covered with the silent consonants. I thought a blend was a blend of two sounds... It's difficult to make out the lyrics to the Ing Ang Song (sung as an Al Jolsen-like vocal), though the lyrics are included in the back of the Teacher Manual. While I grant that this CD is more entertaining to listen to than your standard phonics fare, I would have preferred something with less vocal range, more repetition, and blander music that was easier to imitate and learn from. Sometimes, simpler is better. Bob thought the music reminded him of something from Sesame Street, that would be heard as various letters or visuals popped and jumped across the screen - only sans visuals. But the music CD here is more an ancillary to the program - it's not used as a core instructional tool in the way the songs are in Sing, Spell, Read and Write. So this is not a major consideration if you're considering the program.
My only other quibble is minor, also. In the K level, a third sound of "a" is introduced as "ah" as in father. But, included in the instruction are words like call, ball, fall, etc. I would have trouble pronouncing call as "cahl" rather than "cawl." Then, in First Grade, you ask children what sound is made by "a" in "All," "Call," "Fall," and "Wall." After the student responds with the "Ah" sound, you proceed to explain that, when "ah" is followed by "L," both sounds change a little and together make the sound of "aw." Then you "affirm that this is a completely new sound." If I were using the program, I would omit the initial, less-than-correct teaching at the K level.
And I would most definitely use the program. In fact, if I were Siskel and Ebert, I would give this program two thumbs up!
The Combo Kit contains everything you need for Grades K and 1. Included in the hefty Combo Kit are: The Alphabet Quest (book), 31 Primers, Kindergarten Teacher Manual, Kindergarten Workbook, First Grade Teacher Manual, First Grade Workbook, 1 Deck of Kindergarten Archives Game Cards, 1 Deck of First Grade Archives Game Cards, 2 Decks of Playing Cards (alphabet), 2 Decks of Playing Cards (digraphs), 46 5"x8" Flashcards, 1 Pop-Up Museum/Game Board, 1 Music CD, 1 Packet of Game Pieces, 1 Deck of Fine Art Cards, 1 Paper Doll Sheet, 1 Paper Clip Packet, 1 Iron-on Museum Bag Decal. The Kindergarten and Grade 1 kits contain everything needed for that specific grade. The Kindergarten Kit includes all of the components from the Combo kit except the Teacher Manual, Workbook, and Primers for Grade 1, and the First Grade Game Cards. Likewise, the First Grade Kit likewise includes all of the components from the Combo Kit, except the Teacher's Manual, Workbook, and Primers for Grade K, and the Kindergarten Game Cards. Additional student sets are available with and without primers.
Customer Reviews5.0 / 5.06 Reviews<p>My son has been using this program for both K and 1st grade It is very easy to use with almost no prep time I appreciate the worksheet pictures in the teachers manual The readers are too long for a beginning reader but we get around that by using a round robin with my older son and myself participating The art pages have been handy because I think art is important but seldom have time to prepare a project The worksheets are interesting and my son loves using them When I think he needs more I supplement with Explode the Code worksheets and other materials There is a lot to like about this program so we're sticking with it</p>February 12, 2009<p>I am currently using this with my 4 and 6 year olds (K & 1 respectively) I really like it My 6 year old already reads very well so I think most of it is review of stuff he has just figured out on his own but it helps with spelling to really know the phonics sounds The prep time is minimal and the kids really enjoy the variety I love the materials They are beautiful and in addition to phonics the kids really do learn art appreciation My four year old is doing great with the K level She is even able to do the handwriting because of the way they form the letters - like mazes It minimizes frustration and really teaches her the correct letter formation earlier than I think her fine motor skill would allow with tracing or merely copying letters Easy to use beautiful to look at and thorough-- highly recommended!</p>October 9, 2006<p>Although highly recommended by several sources I was disappointed in this program I did like the way art is incorporated with phonics however I would not consider the readers to be "moral" or "solid" They are stimulating to look at but many are void of Christian ideology The program authors mention that we are to learn to read in order to read God's word But the very first kindergarten reader is about a false god It would have been just as easy to make the first reader about the True God I didn't think false gods were appropriate study material for 4-6 year olds even though the authors explain why they chose mythology for the first kindergarten reader on its back cover</p>October 25, 2010<p>I feel that Rainbow's recommendation for the Veritas Press Phonics program is an over-inflation of its real worth I have had my kindergartner and first grader working through the program this year First of all based on the content of this program I can only very loosely classify it as Christian and providing "solid moral readers" From the book on jazz to exposing my children to Greek mythology as well as the weird (for lack of a better word) illustrations I have not been pleased with the readers There is one exception in all of the books we have covered so far Lexi's Hope which is part of the first grade curriculum </p><p>Second of all the curriculum is very simplistic and perhaps geared toward a slow learner or young K or 1st grade student My child in 1st grade who used a different curriculum last year has gotten to lesson 87 and only learned three things that she didn't already learn last year I believe that unless the student has already done the Veritas K program the 1st grade program is a waste of time and money</p> <p>Finally the teacher manuals are not designed as well as they could be For example a word list is introduced in one lesson and then five lessons later you have to flip back to find the word list It would be easier to correct and go over work if the answers were alongside the lessons (When you are working with multiple children these things make a big difference)</p><p>Overall the idea of this phonics program is neat but I feel it is very poorly executed</p>February 1, 2005<p>This program came highly recommended by some moms in my support group but it just didn't work for us The readers are nicely illustrated and well-written but they are just too long and the print is too small My son was overwhelmed by the length of the reader even though he was not required to read the entire book in one sitting For example the second Kindergarten reader A Pet for Pat contains 244 words! My children enjoy listening to the CD and my preschooler loves to color the blackline art pages but overall I would not recommend this</p>July 22, 2005<p>I have been very pleased with the Veritas Phonics program We initially began the Kindergarten program when my daughter was four but due to moving from one state to another we set it aside She is now 6 and we are just finishing the Kindergarten level and are beginning the First Grade My daughter loves it</p>November 10, 2011
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