Phonics Pathways and The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading

Phonics Pathways and The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading

There are excellent phonics programs on the market these days. Two of these are Phonics Pathways and The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading. Both of these books begin by teaching the short vowels and end with multi-syllable words.

A child who completes either program will read very well.

Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading

The format of both books is different. The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading is set up by lessons. The lessons are scripted, other supplies (such as index cards) are needed, follow-up activities are suggested.

Games and rhymes are used to reinforce the material, and words and sentences for the child to read are included.

The font size used for the words and sentences to read is only slightly larger than the instructions for the lesson. This creates, in my mind, a cluttered appearance.

It might be difficult for some children to read directly out of the book; if so, simply use a whiteboard.

The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading teaches all the short vowel and consonant sounds before introducing blending. When 3-letter words are taught, first the child learns to read at, for instance, before mat, pat, and sat are taught.

Phonics Pathways and the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching ReadingPhonics Pathways

Phonics Pathways is designed so the child simply reads the large-font words on the page. The book is self-contained.

Periodically, there are sheets to print and cut for re-enforcement if needed, but it’s not an integral part of the program.

While there are a few instructions, the instructions are generally kept to a sentence or two creating a clean look to the page. There are fewer distractions for the child.

Dewey the Bookwork accompanies the child through the reading program giving commentary, proverbs, and jokes along the way.

Phonics Pathways teaches the short vowel sounds first like The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading. However consonant sounds are introduced while teaching blending. So the child learns to read sa, se, si, so, and su before moving on to 3 letter words such as sa-t, se-t, and si-t.

Both of the programs teach a few sight words as the children progress through the books. The two books use a slightly different order to introduce the sight words though.

Phonics Pathways and The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading are both excellent programs to teach phonics but use different methods. As is often said, there is more than one way to skin a cat.

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for your review. Have you personally used either of these programs with your kids? I’m always interested to know how a program works, “when in action.” I agree that the progression of both of these programs is good! It will give a child a nice strong base in phonics. The only thing I don’t care for is that it’s a somewhat “dry” method for learning to read. For younger learners especially, that could pose problems. Anyway, thanks for your review!

    1. Yes, I’ve used Phonics Pathways with my older children starting at 4. We sat down everyday and read a page together for about 2 years. At times we went back 20 or so pages to review when the book became difficult. We didn’t find it dry, but I also wasn’t looking for an exciting program… just one that worked. 🙂

      Currently I’m using The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading to teach the letter sounds to my 4 yo. We’ve been having trouble learning the sounds, and the rhymes are working wonders for her. I plan on switching over to Phonics Pathways because I’m prejudiced towards it, having fond memories of using it with my older children.

      Thank you for your comment!

  2. Thank you for sharing this. O am sharing with a friend who is looking for a program for her 3 year old.

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

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