Pearson Homeschool Phonics Review

I received this product for free. I am being compensated for my time to use the product and write this review. All opinions are my own and I was not required to provide a positive review.~Lisa

Pearson Homeschool Phonics Review

My little first grader can’t read. In fact, she has only a slight understanding of her alphabet. Not that I haven’t tried, she just has absolutely no interest in reading. Maybe it’s because her big sisters read everything for her, or maybe she’s just a late bloomer in the reading department. I don’t push it. One of her older sister’s was the same way and she reads just fine now. This is one of the reasons I love homeschooling.

When I was presented with the opportunity to review Pearson Homeschool Phonics Level A, I was very excited. I checked out their website and felt their approach to phonics might be just what my girl needed to spark her interest in reading.

I was sent the Phonics Level A Teacher Resource Guide and Consumable Student Workbook. The units help teach phonics by teaching phonemic awareness first, followed my connecting that sound to the letter symbol. There are blending lessons that show how the sounds become words, spelling activities and many “words in context” activities. They provide pretests and posttest assessments to help you monitor your child’s progress.

Why I Love Pearson Homeschool Phonics

Pearson Homeschool Phonics Games

  • Grab and Go – With multiple children being homeschooled in our house, I appreciated that this curriculum did not require much prep work. I was able to sit down in the morning and read over the teacher pages quickly, jumping right into the lesson.
  • Options for Reinforcement - They have a section titled “Focus on All Learners” that gives many options for reviewing the lesson based on the type of learning style your child needs. There are even activities for children who want a little extra challenge.
  • Themes and Ideas - Each Unit has a theme and in the first pages of the teacher’s book, Pearson shares ideas for incorporating the unit theme throughout your homeschool: science, writing, art, reading.
  • Games for Additional Learning - In the beginning of Unit One, they dedicate two pages to a variety of games and activities that can be used to reinforce the lessons. Pile Up, Quick Draw, Wonder Wheel and more! They are great for creating in advance and keeping in an activity bin. My older girls can “play” along with their little sister while I chase down their brother. Isn’t homeschooling with little ones fun?!
  • Colorful - Maybe it’s the kid in me, but I love that it’s full color, bright and easy to read.

Pearson Homeschool Teacher Guides

**********

Pearson is offering 25% off until September 15, 2014, with code BLG25! Check out Phonics for Grades
Kindergarten ~First ~Second ~Third ~Fourth ~Fifth ~Sixth

*********

What Didn’t Make Sense

As much as I am enjoying this curriculum, there are a few things that just don’t make sense. Pearson is a curriculum provider for public schools, but created this curriculum specifically for homeschoolers. However, throughout the book there are references to “Home Connections” that encourage kids to take things home (letters, activities, etc.) to show their parents. There are also sections with bulletin board ideas and classroom activities. These aren’t a distraction for me, I just skim past them, but they did make me scratch my head a bit.

Why My Daughter Loves Her Pearson “Piggy Book”

The books have pictures of perfectly adorable plaid pigs on them. She calls it her Piggy Book, and loves it when she gets to work in it. Here are some of the reasons she likes her Piggy Book:

Student Activity Pearson Homeschool Phonics

  • The pages tear out. This little girl hates trying to write in the creases of a workbook, and since her daily work pages tear out easily, she can lay them flat on the table to write. Side note: I love that each lesson in on one page, front and back, so I don’t have to save yesterday’s work for tomorrow. Workbooks that end a lesson on the front of a page and start a new one on the back make me bonkers.
  • The lessons are short. The attention span of a six year old fluctuates. These lessons are short enough that she can easily remain focused. If she wants to do more, we can add on the activities.
  • The stories/poems are funny. Nothing makes a girl happier than a funny poem about toy tigers drinking tea. The alliterations keep her smiling and motivate her to try to repeat them. Very entertaining way to sneak in some phonics practice!

I’ve had a couple of flops in the past with regard to picking curriculum. This year was no exception. I’m grateful that Pearson Homeschool has created something that is working for my little lady. If you’d like to find out more about Pearson, check them out on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.

Pearson offers several other homeschool resources! Get 25% off with code BLG25 on

  • enVisionMath Bundle Grades K­6
  • myWorld Social Studies Bundle Grades K­6
  • MCP Plaid Phonics Bundle Grades K­6
  • Interactive Science Bundle Grades K­5

Valid through Sept. 15, 2014.

I received this product for free. I am being compensated for my time to use the product and write this review. All opinions are my own and I was not required to provide a positive review.~Lisa
Lisa Baldwin (61 Posts)

Disciple of Christ, Wife, Mother of Four, Homeschooler, Crafter, Designer (Graphics and CSS/HTML), Blogger. I share too much, laugh at the wrong things, and fall on my backside regularly. Thank goodness Jesus ignores all of that and loves me anyway.


A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***ART CLASS curriculum: 10% off + 10% off on all other products in order + FREE SHIPPING in U.S. Code : HSP Offer expires August 31st. www.seethelightshine.com***

When Your Kid Hates Your New Curriculum

 

When Your Kid Hates Your New Curriculum

My head might explode right now.

$400 and she hates it.

I’m having to resist the urge to tell her that the problem is that she is being lazy.

I wouldn’t dare say that out loud. She’s my baby girl. Not the youngest, but still my baby. Even in the 5th grade.

The curriculum is not hard, or over her head. It just requires effort. A different kind of effort than she is used to putting forth, yes, but not something she isn’t capable of doing.

We’re both in tears and now she thinks I’m mad at her.

I’m not. I tell her I’m not. I tell her to go take a break so Momma can think.

There has to be a way to make this work.

**********

Does this sound familiar to you? Have you ever found yourself two weeks into the school year with a curriculum that just isn’t working for your child?

I don’t have all the answers, but I can share with you what I plan to do for my daughter.

Finding Middle Ground

Step One: Listen – Take a deep breath and try to really hear what she is saying. Ask questions about what she doesn’t like, or what she is having trouble with and try (this is the hard part for me) to listen to her answers objectively.

Step Two: Consider what worked last year – I know, if it worked last year I wouldn’t have switched things up right? I’m wondering if the things I changed were the wrong things. Maybe I was wrong in my assumptions about exactly what didn’t work last year, and tried “fixing” the things that were working.

Step Three: Consider what really didn’t work last year – Here is where I need to think about what she said she didn’t like last year, and be open to the possibility that her maturity level has moved up, and what didn’t work then might work now. I also need to get to the bottom of why it didn’t work. Too much reading? Trouble with comprehension? Not enough hands on time? Did my new choice in curriculum eliminate those obstacles? Is it even an obstacle that needs eliminating, or is it something she really needs to just work through?

Step Four: Meet in the Middle – I listened, and what I heard was she wanted me to teach her like I did last year. Last year was more one on one, sitting on the couch, less computerized. Our new curriculum is completely on the computer. I considered last year, what worked and what didn’t and realized, with a heavy heart, that my decision to switch was mostly based on her older sister’s needs, not hers. Dad wanted more grades (or at least a more obvious method of determining retention of material), because their annual evaluations haven’t gone well. The new curriculum fixed that as it records their progress and assignments making it easier for me to show him how we are progressing. But my girl wants more one on one learning and less computer. So, I’m negotiating for a bit.

I printed out her lesson text and the chapter reviews. Tomorrow, we will sit on our couch, and read the lesson together. She can do the review questions with pen and paper, the way she is accustomed to doing them, and then she can key her answers into the software. If after two more weeks, she still just doesn’t like it, I’ll break out our other books (I’m not the only one that hoards homeschooling stuff, am I?) and let her go back to the way it used to be.

It’s a kick in the tail to have to stop, two weeks in, and accept that you may have made the wrong decision. This, however, is one of the blessings I find in homeschooling. I can change. I can adjust her lessons. I can adapt the style to better fit my baby girl. While I do not enjoy wasting money, I have two others that will eventually enter the fifth grade, so if we end up dropping the curriculum it won’t be a total loss.

Do you ever find yourself having to change it up before it even gets going? What did you do to adapt?

What was the biggest learning obstacle for your children?

 

Lisa Baldwin (61 Posts)

Disciple of Christ, Wife, Mother of Four, Homeschooler, Crafter, Designer (Graphics and CSS/HTML), Blogger. I share too much, laugh at the wrong things, and fall on my backside regularly. Thank goodness Jesus ignores all of that and loves me anyway.


A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***ART CLASS curriculum: 10% off + 10% off on all other products in order + FREE SHIPPING in U.S. Code : HSP Offer expires August 31st. www.seethelightshine.com***

Three MORE Truths Every New Homeschool Mom Should Know

Last week, I told you about three Homeschool Truths I’ve learned in my six years of homeschooling. Now I want to share three more Homeschool Truths that, had I really known them at the time, would have helped me tremendously when I first started homeschooling:

Three more truths for homeschool moms. The encouragement in this article is amazing!

1) It’s important to offer grace liberally.

You’re going to be making a lot of changes. So will your kids and your husband. While this isn’t an excuse to allow tempers flare or to let the house become a continual state of chaos, it is a reason to extend grace as all of you learn to adjust to the new norm.

Don’t just stop at offering grace to those within your home, though. Chances are that friends and relatives are going to have a ton of questions and concerns about your decision to homeschool.

Answer their questions lovingly and with kindness, but if others won’t relent, simply state, “I understand that you want what’s best for my children. My husband and I want that as well.” Then change the subject and ask how they’re doing. If they still won’t ease up, politely end the conversation and walk away.

2) The first year of homeschooling will be one of your absolute hardest years.

I heard this advice before I started homeschooling. So I decided to start homeschooling when my oldest daughter was four because I assumed that preschool surely couldn’t be very difficult!

I’ve since learned the first year isn’t difficult because of the schoolwork itself. Not at all. For me, that first year was difficult because selfish behaviors I didn’t even realize I had were ripped right out from under me. I was left flailing around, desperately trying not to fall flat on my back.

I also had to work through deep fears that I was going to screw up my children, regardless of that fact that, statistically, homeschool kids consistently outperform their public-school peers academically, socially, and spiritually.

And I needed to learn how to schedule my time and manage my home while still teaching school (I failed miserably in this area; my house was a complete disaster for quite a while).

Encouragement for new homeschool moms - you will get the hang of this!

The good news is that it does get easier and you will find a groove as you become more confident, so don’t give up!

3) It’s important to find support!

If my father-in-law hadn’t given me a little pamphlet he’d seen about a local homeschool support group, I don’t know how I would have survived that first year.

I called the number listed and cried hard as I blubbered to the poor soul on the other end about how stressed out and overwhelmed I was.

I vaguely remember hearing something like, “Oh, she’s in preschool? It’ll be okay, I promise. You can do this. Why don’t you join us for an event next week?”

Bless that woman’s heart, she was so nice and gentle and didn’t tell me I was insane for sobbing over preschool work! I nervously drove to the activity and was immediately put at ease by the wonderful people of all ages who welcomed us into their hearts.

A few of my closest friends are also women I met at various homeschool events. We’ve bonded over stories of homeschool struggles and successes. That support from someone who understands has been invaluable and, as a wonderful bonus, our children have become best friends as well!

And now, beginning our sixth year of homeschooling? I love the fruit and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

“For whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Galatians 6:7-8 (NKJV)

What would you add to this list of encouraging truths that every homeschool mom should know?

{PS Don’t forget to read three other Truths for new homeschool moms here.}

Davonne (6 Posts)

Davonne Parks is a married Christian homeschool mom who began teaching her children at home in 2009. She blogs about cultivating a heart for motherhood, as well as organization and simplicity, at DavonneParks.com. Davonne believes that some of life’s richest moments happen when we embrace the beauty of imperfection as we extend grace to ourselves and others. She’s written two eBooks, “101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms” (free to her blog subscribers) and “28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person.”


A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***ART CLASS curriculum: 10% off + 10% off on all other products in order + FREE SHIPPING in U.S. Code : HSP Offer expires August 31st. www.seethelightshine.com***