PRIDE Reading Program Review

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

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.

I have a confession to make:
We've been homeschooling for 5 years and... I've never actually taught a child to read. But that's changed, thanks to PRIDE Reading Program (specifically the PRIDE Yellow Book Program Kit - Level 1).

I know!! I've been so incredibly spoiled. And it's amazing - our older four children all pretty much learned on their own, all on the early (some VERY early) side. But from the get-go, I had a feeling that our #5 child would be a little trickier. He was never particularly interested in numbers or letters the way his older siblings were. He eventually picked up on what all the letters and their sounds were, but balked at any sort of formal reading lessons.

He wasn't ready at ALL. And that's okay! Every few months I'd try again, and nothing would stick. He's still only five, so it's not a concern, except... he wants to be read aloud to all. day. long. And I just knew he would be so much happier if he could finally read to himself!

Having relatively little experience teaching reading, though, I didn't really know where to start. The book I tried (and gave up on fairly quickly) with our oldest daughter was incredibly dry, so I knew it wouldn't appeal to Peter. When I was given the chance to try out the PRIDE Reading Program with Peter, I thought it was definitely worth a shot. It's an Orton-Gillingham program, which I had heard of as a great way to help dyslexic learners master reading. But I had no idea that it also worked great for students who don't present with signs of dyslexia!

We started off by taking the online placement test, which placed Peter in the "beginning consonants" level. I was unsure, because he already knew all his letters and sounds... But I figured the placement test must be correct! However, upon receiving the materials, I quickly realized that Peter already had mastery over all that was included in the book (I checked and they have since amended the error in the placement test, so you don't have to worry about being put in the wrong level). Customer service very quickly helped us with the issue and sent the next level, which was just the right level of challenging for Peter.

This level immediately presented Peter with some tools to start using all the information he had already learned and begin putting together basic consonant-vowel-consonant words in a variety of ways. I loved being able to try out different activities with him to see what worked best to help him learn how to read and spell words on his own! I will admit, it felt a bit tedious to me at first... It didn't occur to me until several lessons in that I could probably skip some of what was being recommended in the teacher guide! If I included every element in every lesson, it would take 40+ minutes to complete a lesson, and neither Peter nor I had the energy for that. So I started picking what worked best for us, and things moved a lot more quickly and were a lot less frustrating for both of us.

There is a decent amount of writing in the program, which is good for older children who have already begun mastering writing, but Peter is still so young that I haven't been having him do many of the writing exercises, and have just had him dictate things to me. As we progress through the lessons, he's gotten more comfortable with his writing but since he's only five years old, I'm not going to push it. In our family, reading skills tend to solidify long before writing skills do!

I always hesitate to actually say definitively that a child is reading until he or she can pick up a book and read through the whole thing but... Peter is really, really getting it! I don't know if PRIDE came along right at the perfect time for him, or if the different approaches are what really clicked with him (probably a little of both), but he finally understands how to properly sound out words, and is doing a decent job not getting mired down in the various ridiculous rules of phonics in the English language.

With the tools that PRIDE has given Peter, we're able to pull out our favorite Easy Reader books and read through them together now, and we're all so very proud!

Learn more about the PRIDE Reading Program on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Read more reviews from the rest of the Homeschool Review Crew here!

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