Classical Phonics: Child's Guide to Word Mastery 2nd Ed.
Classical Phonics is an integral part of the Memoria Press (i.e. Highlands Latin School) approach to reading. Both an underlying foundation to First Start Reading and a comprehensive "next step," this little book puts a complete series of phonics instruction in the hands of your child. Both the student and the teacher have the advantage of seeing the whole scope of phonics as well as each part in its relation to the whole. And it's all in one small, well-organized, attractive, concise book - a thorough update of a pint-sized, turn-of-the-(20th) century gem, Word Mastery, by Florence Akin.
Newly revised, the 2nd edition Classical Phonics offers even more teaching support with phonetic introductions for each unit written by Cheryl Lowe. Other revisions include updated word lists, reorganized content to align with the Traditional Spelling program from Memoria Press and fewer words per page.
Classical Phonics has been incorporated with the First Start Reading and Traditional Spelling programs. As each FSR workbook is completed (and put away), Classical Phonics provides word lists for continuing practice. With the recently developed Traditional Spelling, families who finish FSR and continue in the Memoria Press scope and sequence will find that all the page number references within Traditional Spelling align with the 2nd edition of Classical Phonics. An excellent compendium of all the phonics that a child learns in K-2, this handy little review book could be used with any phonics program. While it is not a complete language program (there are no sentences - only words - for reading and no printing practice), a resourceful teacher could add those elements.
Classical Phonics has eight units in four parts. Part One starts with the alphabet and CVC words, plurals, possessives, consonant teams (ck, ng, nk, ch, sh, th, wh), double consonants (Double f, l, s, z), consonant teams with silent letters (kn, wr, mb) and consonant blends including final and initial blends, and three letter blends. Part Two focuses on long-vowels and covers silent e words, long i & o, soft c and g, and the three sounds of y. Long vowel teams are then covered including oa, oe, ow, ee, ie, igh, y, ai, ay, ei, eigh, ey, ea, ey, and the three sounds of ea. Part Three covers special vowel sounds including the special sounds for oi, ou, oo, and o plus the r-controlled vowels. Part Four, Advanced Phonics, teaches advanced phonograms, suffixes and prefixes, spelling rules, syllables and variable endings. At the end of the book is a short but insightful section, Suggestions to Teachers, which carries the admonishment "do not put this book into the hands of your pupils until you have carefully studied these suggestions." Developed by the original author, this section presents a simple four-part plan for teaching phonics - ear training, tongue training, eye training, and word building. A summary of taught Phonics and Spelling Rules are listed along with the Most Common Words. Spiralbound 139 pgs, pb. ~ Janice/Deanne
Memoria Press has produced a spelling program that incorporates teacher-student interaction plus classical methodology woven together into a user-friendly format. With a phonics organizational base, students have lists of words for each lesson. Phonics grouping, word study questions, identifying letter chunks, and informational stories using the words in context - plus a variety of dictation activities - are completed during the week before taking a final test. Activities involve more than just copying words and have an emphasis on phonics and word meanings. The high level of teacher-student interaction coupled with some independent student work leaves the student well prepared for the final test on the last day of each week. Designed to be used after First Start Reading or when students have mastered consonant-vowel-consonant (i.e. short vowel) words, this program references Classical Phonics and utilizes Phonics Flashcards.
The Teacher Guides provide everything the teacher needs for her part in the teacher-student interaction that is the foundation of this program. While marginally helpful in many spelling programs, the TGs are the core of this one. The General Lesson overview and Sample Lesson Plan found in the beginning are just a prelude to comprehensive daily lessons. With reduced copies of the Student Book, teacher info is "around the edges." After a brief introduction which reviews the Phonics Focus, each of the 34 detailed weekly lesson plans includes a Teaching Overview, Definitions, Word Study Questions, Activities, Dictation, Guided Student Work [teacher-student activities such as spelling riddles, word equations (i.e. king k + s = _______), and missing sound words] and a Test. There is variety in most of these activities/work, but two tasks are consistent through each lesson. Colorful Letters requires the student to write (in pencil) words with "bullets" between syllables and then go back and write over vowels/vowel teams in red and consonant teams/blends with blue and slash through silent e. Dictation is the other important part with one day devoted to various aspects: writing letter or letter teams that spell a sound, writing spelling words, and writing a sentence from an informative paragraph included in the student books that features a number of the weeks words. The appendix includes a reproducible weekly spelling test form, spelling review games, spelling rules reference sheets, a list of common English contractions, a phonics overview for the teacher, and (the important) Colorful Keys answer key.
Student Books include sidebar notes with the weeks Phonics Focus plus space to write words for activities and dictation as well as the interesting word-usage stories on various topics (with spelling words in bold). There are ten words per lesson (written in manuscript form) in Book I and fifteen words per lesson (written in both manuscript and cursive) in Book II. A Dictionary of course words is provided in the back of both Student and Teacher Books. Spelling Practice Sheets have the word lists for each lesson plus lined space to write each word twice. Handwriting lines in Book I are 1/2" with dotted midlines, and in Book II the lines are 3/8" with dotted midlines. Teacher books are 180 pgs, spiral-bound. Student books are 148 pgs, spiral-bound. Spelling Practice Sheets are 38 pgs, pb. ~ Janice
Requires the following Memoria Press Resources:
048076 Classical Phonics and063860 Phonics Flashcards
A surprise from a publisher known for its Latin programs! First Start Reading from Memoria Press is deceptively simple with an emphasis on vowel-consonant/word-families phonics and a serious focus on correct pencil grip and letter formation. Yes, in a day and age when penmanship is often ignored, they've chosen to make it a central part of their approach to reading. And, I have to confess it makes sense. After all, it serves as a kinesthetic reinforcement activity.
First Start Reading is a traditional and uncomplicated approach to phonics. After starting with ear training, vowel-consonant blending with unvoiced (m, n, s, r, f, t) consonants is first. Teach one sound for each phonogram at a time. Practice the new phonogram and its sound in a word family list with extensive practice in CVC words. Practice reading words and sentences as early as possible and reinforce learning with manuscript printing and that strong emphasis on correct pencil grip and letter formation. Include a small number of sight words. Throw in a couple of clever "tricks" for dealing with b-d confusion and you're done! Once mastered, these skills should take the student competently into a first grade reading level.
The entire program consists of four Student Worktexts (A-D) and a Teacher's Guide. The worktexts are about half letter presentation, blending, and reading practice and half writing practice space - on facing pages. Black and white line art drawings that can be colored keep the look clean. Letter formation clues include directional arrows on sample letters and starting point "dots." The four Student Worktexts are from 70 to 108 pages. The Teacher's Guide starts with an introduction that covers all the basics - syllabi for the Worktexts, the phonics approach, getting started, phonics recitation (an important element of the program), and pencil grip instruction. The rest of the book - except for a few reproducible visuals in the appendix - are wrap-around lesson plans. The lesson plans include general information for the teacher as well as scripted instructions for the student. As mentioned, half of every lesson is writing instruction, which serves as phonics reinforcement.
We expect easy-to-use from Memoria Press and we're not disappointed here. There's an amazing amount of quality phonics/reading instruction in a very reasonably priced package. You might be wondering what to do after this course. Perhaps Memoria will publish a sequel but until then they recommend Primary Phonics as a follow-up. First Start Reading is obviously designed as a lead-in to another new program from Memoria: StoryTime Treasures. Check our reading section for more information. ~ Janice
Memoria Press now offers complete Curriculum Manuals and grade-level curriculum packages for PK-10 using the classical methodology. Recitation is used in every level for memorization of basic facts, systematic phonics and good books are used for reading education, copywork is used for teaching Bible truths, and music and art are included for enrichment in the early (K-3) levels. Each Curriculum Manual contains complete lesson plans for a one-year course of study.
The Curriculum Manuals are well-formatted and easy to use. In the front of each book you will find a checklist of the materials needed at that level, an explanation of this curriculum, instructions for lesson implementation, a recommended schedule and blank schedule for your own planning purposes, and 33 weeks of detailed lesson plans. Lessons include assignments from the books used at each grade level, as well as activity suggestions. The appendices include a variety of material for that grade level, and may include: prayers, letter activities, recitation, memory verses, read-aloud book list, poetry list and selections, and a paintings/music list for kindergarten and first grade. These pages are reproducible for family or classroom use.
Although most of the guides have been available for several years, the curriculum was restructured in 2015, with many of the programs originally included in 3rd grade now with a slower pacing to span 3rd and 4th grade. Guides for grades 3 and up have been modified to reflect this change, while the lower-level guides have only had minor changes. If you are already midway into the program with the original guides, you can still continue in that track with the older guides, now titled Acclerated Classical Core Curriculum Manual. You can find these along with the complete list of curriculum resources used with them on our website.
We have complete grade-level resource packages, consumable packages for “refill,” new user packages for levels that reuse resources from a previous level, read-aloud packages for each level and science and enrichment packages for the early levels. Curriculum resources are also listed individually (see website for specific contents of consumables and read-aloud packages). Please note that several of the programs include First Form Latin and Classical Composition, which should be completed in order, regardless of what is in the grade level package.If you have a student entering the program after fourth grade, you will need to start them in Classical Composition: Fable Stage and/or First Form Latin instead of what might be in the package.
This series is for the parent who wants a good classical curriculum which is outlined and ready to use. Simply open the book and follow the instructions. You will be well on your way to a quality education for your young ones. ~ Donna
There will be families who are very thankful for the appearance of this curriculum; for years it's seemed as though classical education and special needs might be incompatible. Then comes Cheryl Swope who just...does it. Not only did she start walking down the classical path with her special needs twins, but she quickly realized that it was the very best possible educational path for them. The combination of systematic repetition, language skills emphasis, gracious implementation and quality content has reaped amazing results, transforming their challenging lives into those with meaningful expressions of beauty and service.
Simply Classical Curriculum, written by Mrs. Swope, is essentially a set of lesson plans coupled with a choice reading list that moves gradually into some of the Memoria Press curriculum products (i.e. First Start Reading and Classical Phonics) as well as other early level curriculum products (i.e. Rod & Staff preschool workbooks). A quick look at these lesson plans might cause you to conclude that it is simply a typical classical program slooooowed way down. You're not exactly wrong, but you're not exactly right either. It's rather that the possibility of slowing way down is built into the lessons. The daily collection of lessons - rich in quality literature - progress slowly and surely through the process of laying a very solid foundation in classical learning. The plans/program offers 10 key features:
- - The rich, beautiful content of a classical Christian education
- - A slower pace with ample review
- - An emphasis on books with elegant illustrations to cultivate a taste for excellence
- - A multi-sensory presentation of material
- - Oral language components
- - Skills checklists
- - Integration across subjects
- - Themed levels
- - A trivium approach
- - Socratic questioning
Introductory information for each level includes a program overview, readiness assessment, FAQs concerning where to begin, list of read-aloud books, supply list, brief teacher notes, and a week-by-week chart for recitation and memory work. The detailed readiness assessment for each level covers language, cognitive ability, emotional development, fine-motor skills, and gross motor skills and is followed by a set of skills in each area to develop during this level of the program.
Other than making sure you have read-alouds and supplies for the day, prep is practically nil. The four-days-a-week, weekly lesson plans provide a daily checklist with specific tasks in each of several areas such as calendar, alphabet/numbers, and motor skills. In levels B and C, Simply Classical Crafts is incorporated into the arts/crafts tasks. Opening and closing the learning period with prayer is not only encouraged but prompted with suggestions for prayers to learn. There are 34 weeks of plans plus eight weeks of review. 110 - 180 pgs, pb.
The Core Curriculum Packages include the Curriculum Manual (Lesson Plans) plus books/workbooks used throughout the year. The Read Aloud Packages include all the books used as read alouds for the year. The Supply Packages are a collection of school supplies that are needed to complete the program. ~ Janice
Programs in this section focus primarily on teaching children to read, and may not provide comprehensive instruction in reading comprehension, spelling, writing, or other language skills. Arranged roughly by grade.
The Kindergarten level provides instruction in reading, correct pencil grip, letter and number formation, and basic arithmetic counting, adding, subtracting, telling time, and counting money. Children ages 4-6 can use the program if they are reading ready, have the ability to count to 10, print their name, recognize most letters, rhyme words, and segment sounds.
Theme is Animals, Alphabet & Aesop. Emphasis areas are wonder, nature, alphabet sounds, number values, writing, fine-motor skills, and prayers. Approximate mental age for this level is 4-5. Daily areas include prayer, devotion, recitation, calendar, alphabet/writing, show and tell, number lesson, activity/craft, literature/language, poetry, enrichment or therapies, and closing prayer. Prayers for Children illustrated by Eloise Wilkin is a required supplement for this level but is not included in any package.
In the preface Cheryl Lowe writes, "The beautiful simplicity of Classical Phonics keeps everybody focused. It is a compendium of all of the phonics the child learns in K-2 in a handy little review book. Whatever phonics program you are using, Classical Phonics can be your vademecum (go-with-me) review book for years to come."
It starts with simple, single letter sounds and works through all the major phonics rules (short vowels,silent e and long vowel teams, blends, consonant teams, r-controlled vowels).
I found this to be a helpful supplement with Veritas Press Phonics Museum for both kindergarten and first grade. It was very useful for extra practice and review.
Memoria Press First Start Reading incorporates spelling lists and dictation for Kindergarteners at about week 10 of their program.