Calls to Courage Reader
The Sunrise 2nd Edition made some welcome changes to this dependable, well-done program. Although much of the content remains the same, there is a slightly different organization in the LightUnits and a much more pleasing graphical layout that is full color with color-shaded instructional boxes. Some extra activities such as crosswords have been added.
In this edition, there is a wraparound Teacher Guide for each Reader (Note that Grade 2 has two Readers for the year). Lessons are more detailed with Objectives, Review, Introduction (to literature selection), Oral Reading, and Discussion Questions. Lessons are also broader and incorporate thinking skills along with literary elements and vocabulary studies. Reduced copies of all student pages with answers filled in are provided.
Starting in Grade 4, there is an Answer Key that also provides reduced copies of student pages with the answers filled in. This is a coil-bound book with a landscape orientation. If using the Teacher Guide, you will not have a need for this book.
Also starting in Grade 4, the Sunrise 2nd Edition provides a Quizzes and Tests Answer Key. This book is full-size copies of student pages with answers filled in. Again, answers to both the quizzes and tests can be found in the Teacher Guide.
As the name implies, LightUnit Only Sets include all five LightUnits (except in Grade 3 when there are ten LightUnits). Complete Sets include the Reader, LightUnits, and Teacher Guide.
Note: The Learning to Read (grade 1) program shares much of its general educational methods with the rest of the series but the components are a bit different.
The Christian Light Reading (grades 1-8) series just might have everything you are looking for in a reading program. With a major goal of teaching children to think clearly and logically, the readers are highly readable and include enjoyable anthologies of stories and other prose selections as well as poetry and a generous dose of Bible selections (KJV). These selections have a strong character-building emphasis as well as a foundational biblical and Christian worldview. Vocabulary development is enhanced by boldfaced words that are listed in a glossary in each book along with literary terms.
On a practical note, the hardcover Readers are a nice, just-right-for-small-hands size that lay flat with ease. As you would expect, font size gradually diminishes throughout the grade levels. Colorful covers and an inside accent color produce an inviting appearance, but there is a reminder of the program's Mennonite origins visible in the illustrations which depict their particular mode of women's apparel.
Just reading through the stories would be beneficial, but the support information is also well done. Five Light Units accompany each Reader. These are magazine-size worktexts that review phonics in lower elementary, competently cover reading comprehension (all levels), emphasize vocabulary development, and introduce literary analysis in middle school. Integrating reading studies with the practical application of Bible verses, there is also biblical review and an encouragement toward Bible memorization.
The Light Units are designed so the student can work somewhat independently, with symbols to indicate when teacher help is needed. Each Light Unit has three sections; each section has four lessons plus a quiz or self-check. Units are to be completed in 17 days with day 16 as a review. Day 17 is a Light Unit test. (Unit tests are a pull-out section in the center of each LightUnit.)
Answers to the LightUnits and Unit tests are in the teacher materials which vary with the grade level and edition.