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.***

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 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.***

Lesson Planning Made Easy with Lessontrek {review}


Are you like me and write things on scraps of paper, only to lose them later when you need them? How about keeping several separate notebooks, binders, and even computer files so that all your thoughts and plans are scattered and stored in different places? I’ll confess to being guilty of that one, too.

I wanted to try something that could keep things organized and in one place with a system that I could use consistently. Lessontrek is a new online record-keeping software designed to make homeschool lesson planning and grading so much easier for parents.




How It Works

Lessontrek offers monthly ($6) and yearly ($60) subscriptions.  The interface is straightforward and easy to use.  Setting up students is a quick process.  This is a screenshot of the student profile setup:


Lessontrek Student Profile screenshot

  • Lesson tracker
  • Grade recording
  • Drag and drop lessons to another weekday
  • Copy/paste lessons across weeks
  • Copy/paste an entire week of lessons
  • Print weekly lesson plans
  • Secure information storage
  • Customer support
  • Ongoing improvements based on your feedback

As a new product, Lessontrek is being improved all the time.  New features are in the works, including transcripts, attendance tracking, gradebooks, and more.

Lessontrek also offers a free 14-day no risk trial so you can see how it works before committing to a subscription.

How I Used It

My girls are 12, 7, and 5.  We are relaxed homeschoolers, though our state is highly regulated.  We tend toward delight-directed, almost unschooling, literature-rich studies.  Record-keeping and lesson planning are necessities, but they aren’t easy for us.

Even though we don’t fit neatly into a homeschool method category, Lessontrek worked for us because it is so flexible.  You can plan ahead and create assignments for your kids, as well as assign grades for those lessons. This works well for my oldest daughter who is starting middle school studies this year.  I’m beginning to consider things like credit hours and transcripts for the future.  *gulp*

Or, you can use the system as a way to keep records of what you have actually completed rather than what you plan to complete.  I often write things down after the fact because my two youngest girls are still little and we don’t do everything in a formal way.  I still need to keep track of it for the school district and Lessontrek works well for this.

Like any tracking and grading system, whether paper or digital, consistency is the key. No system will work unless you make it work for you as part of your routine.  That’s where I’ve fallen apart in the past.  I like pen and paper systems, but I often end up spilling tea on them or accidentally tearing pages.  The storage issue is a problem, too.  I want to make digital work for me because it really is practical in the long run.

Some of the features I like best include copy/paste and drag and drop.  These are big time savers and make things a lot easier for me since I tend to move things around when our studies change due to delight-directed detours.

I used Lessontrek on my desktop PC running Windows 7 and a Firefox browser with no issues.  It also works with Chrome, Safari, and Internet 10+.

Save 50% off a yearly subscription

Lessontrek would like to offer ALL of our readers 50% off a 1 year subscription. This makes it very affordable for even tight budgets. Families can get a full year access to Lessontrek for just $30.  Just click the $60 yearly subscription choice and enter the code 2IOL50 in the Payment Info section.  Your credit card will be charged $30 for a full year and then renew for $60 each year thereafter.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use digital homeschool lesson planning and tracking system that can be accessed from anywhere with any of your computers or devices, you should consider Lessontrek.



Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Lessontrek.  I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed here are my own.


Sara (25 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.

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.***