Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Learning to Read: Review of the PRIDE Reading Program

A Mom's Quest to Teach logo; Learning to Read: Review of the PRIDE Reading Program; PRIDE Reading Program logo; cover of Beginning Consonants

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Learning to read is such an important skill to acquire. Sometimes our children need a little bit of help in mastering the skills necessary to read. That is where reading programs like PRIDE Reading Program can step in to help parents and schools. It is a structured literacy Orton-Gillingham curriculum that is suitable for children of all ages. PRIDE Reading Program "uses engaging, multi-sensory methods to teach reading, writing, spelling and comprehension." Before ordering our Program Kit to review, our daughter took the Placement Assessment to determine which of the eight programs to select. We ended up with the very first one: PRIDE Beginning Consonants Program Kit.

Shortly after ordering and signing up, I received a welcome email demonstrating where to find the PRIDE Reading Program Training Course that needs to be completed before instruction begins with a child. I have been able to work my way through the training course unit by unit, one or two at a time, depending upon how much time I have available. At the end of the units, there are questions to ensure that you understand the videos and text presented. And while I understand this is a general training course, I wish I didn’t have to watch all the videos that didn’t pertain to me as we are using the Beginning Consonants workbook. 

screenshot of training video from PRIDE Reading Program
This is one of the training videos that didn't seem to apply to the Beginning Consonants level.
But the information presented could prove useful.

In some respects, I almost wish I had gone with the next level of the reading program (PRIDE Yellow Book Program Kit - Level 1) as our four-year-old daughter already knows her consonants and can read age-appropriate books but when taking the placement test she struggled with writing the letters and – even though she read them all – she got frustrated and started making mistakes. So, if I had this all over to do again, I would use the PRIDE Scope and Sequence to help me pick the appropriate level rather than the placement test.

Cover of Beginning Consonants book from PRIDE Reading Program

What is the PRIDE Reading Program?

The PRIDE Reading Program uses a step-by-step method where students must master each concept before progressing onto the next one. Instructors, in this case homeschooling parents, follow the script and allow their children to move at their own pace. With the PRIDE Reading Program, learning to read should be fun and rewarding and learning should not be stressful or a struggle.

PRIDE Reading Program Logo; A Mom's Quest to Teach logo; clipart of girl reading; cards from PRIDE Reading ProgramThe program uses the Orton-Gillingham method which will work with all students but is designed with students who are dyslexic or have reading struggles specifically in mind. If you wish to read more about the Orton-Gillingham method, you can find more information on the PRIDE Reading Program site but in general it is a reading and spelling teaching method composed of the following components:

  • Structured 
  • Sequential 
  • Cumulative 
  • Explicit 
  • Multi-sensory 
  • Systematic phonics 
Because the program is scripted, you can easily follow this method in your homeschool. And if your children thrive on routines in their homeschooling journey and prefer to know exactly what will happen next, this will be a valuable resource in teaching your children to read. It also takes a multi-sensory approach incorporating auditory, tactile, and visual teaching methods to help your children.

What is Part of the PRIDE Beginning Consonants Program Kit? 

The very first part of the reading program contains three pieces: 
  • PRIDE Beginning Consonants Workbook - 2nd Edition 
  • PRIDE Beginning Consonants Online Teaching Guide - 2nd Edition 
  • PRIDE Sound Cards 
The Beginning Consonants Program Kit focuses upon the following letters: b, c, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z, and d. Each letter has three pages in the workbook which include a page with a picture of animal or item that starts with the letter, a page for your child to practice writing the lowercase letter, and a sounds page that looks at pictures and works that contain beginning sounds, ending sounds, mixed sounds, practice sounds, and reinforcement sounds. Finally, there is a page for sound dictation. 

The workbook is black and white while the back of the Sound Cards are colorful (the letters themselves are printed in black). On occasion, our daughter wanted to color in the pictures. She has wanted to color in the jellyfish, child jumping, and koala.

sounds pages from Beginning Consonants colored in

The online teaching guide is organized by steps with the instructions for each step placed in separate boxes. It is very easy to read the directions and move through each step. Each letter in the Beginning Consonants has three units and as you complete each one you hit 'mark as completed' to move on to the next unit.

You can very easily see where you are within the program by looking at the course progress page where you can access all the lessons, too. I appreciate having a visual to see just how far our daughter has come using the PRIDE Reading Program and what will be coming up in our homeschool in future weeks for us.

overview of lessons for PRIDE Reading Program Consonants

We also received a poster of a sound chart which we hung up on the wall in our dining room. It is good to review the sounds while waiting for dinner to start or anytime our daughter walks through the room.

Sounds Chart from PRIDE Reading Program

How Did We Use the PRIDE Reading Program in Our Homeschool? 

Before you can start using the program you need to complete a training course which uses a combination of text and short video presentation to demonstrate how to use the program. It was quite easy to access the training lessons and work through them. There were questions at the end to make sure you understood the concepts being taught that you had to answer correctly before you moved onto the next training lesson.

After I completed the training course, our daughter and I started with the first lesson in the Beginning Consonants Level. The very first sound and letter worked upon is b. We spent time reviewing what the lowercase letter b looks like, the sound that it makes, how to write the lowercase letter b, and reviewing the sound at the beginning, end, and middle of words. We then continued this pattern for the letters c, f, g, h, j, k, and l so far.

Each lesson using the Beginning Consonants materials takes anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes depending upon how much redirection is necessary with our daughter. She definitely enjoys the parts of the lessons where she is able to get up, move around, and be active.

During the the middle of the review period, I asked our daughter what she thought of it so far. She said she loves learning about the letters. She specifically flipped to the letter h pages and talked about "H being a great letter."

Her favorite activity so far has been writing out the letters using chocolate chips (which was one of the extension activities). I created index cards and slipped them into a plastic bag so she could fill in the letters with the chips.

Making letters using chocolate chips

She also loves the parts of the lessons where we take turn thinking of different words that start with the sound we are currently studying. She enjoys taking turns and trying to come up with different words. She gets very excited when I get a word correct.

Step 4 from PRIDE Reading Program

Each lesson only takes us about 10 to 20 minutes depending upon how active our daughter is during the lesson. Due to the short nature of the lessons, they fit quite well into our homeschooling day. If there is an extra learning activity, the lessons can take a bit longer if our daughter is having fun with the activity.

Things to Be Aware Of

In the Beginning Consonants workbook, there are several illustrations and word choices that some may have trouble with including: ghost, witch, and reindeer (it is drawn in a way that I think resembles Rudolph). Personally, our family has no problem with reading about or using these words in our homeschool lessons but I know some families would rather stay clear of images associated with Halloween or the secularization of Christmas.

Sounds page from PRIDE Reading program for letter g
You can see the ghost image here on the page where our daughter is
pointing out the different images and words for the letter g.

What Do We Think? 

Unfortunately for our family, I do not think that the scripted structure of the lessons is a fit in our homeschool. While our daughter loves knowing what comes next and anticipating the next step in a lesson, she also tries to jump ahead while I am going through the script. She also has a tendency to try to do things her own way which makes it hard to stick to a script.

I asked our four-year-old preschooler to share what her favorite parts of the program were during the review period. She liked the letter b because she liked the pictures for the sounds page such as baby, bus, and baboon. She also enjoyed tracing and writing the letter c. She told me her favorite activity is the sounds page and looking for the letter to circle in each box. Our daughter really enjoyed repeating the actions that went along with each letter sound because she loves moving while she is doing her homeschooling. She wanted to do this step each day – even when it was not part of the script.

PRIDE Reading Program Cards box

PRIDE Reading Program Cards

I like the idea of the program and I think it would work really well for some families whose children are struggling reading. I think our daughter has pleasantly surprised me with how quickly she has absorbed the information being presented and we could probably skip through some of the steps if I wasn't following a scripted program. As I said earlier, I think a later program in the PRIDE Reading Program would fit our daughter's learning even better.

Even though the PRIDE Reading Program was not a perfect fit for our homeschooling family, I would recommend it for families who are looking for a scripted program that will help their children become successful readers.

Do You Want To Learn More?

PRIDE Reading Program logo

Don't forget to see learn more about the other levels of the PRIDE Reading Program by checking out the Homeschool Review Crew!

No comments:

Post a Comment