Phonics Pathways and Reading Pathways

Phonics Pathways is one of my favorite resources because it is a complete program, clearly and easily presented, and is very reasonably priced. It works for all ages, and it begins instruction with the sounds of the letters. Phonics Pathways is more comprehensive than some other programs in that it includes diacritical markings, suffixes, prefixes, plurals, possessives, contractions, and compound words. It teaches blending using consonant-vowel" combinations such as "ca, co, cu." Different learning styles are addresed with multisensory methods throughout the program.

In the ninth edition, Phonics Pathways added a valuable extra--they incorporated supplemental games that were previously sold separately. These are now printed directly into the book for you to reproduce and create for yourself. (Preprinted games on heavier card stock are still sold separately for those who prefer not to make their own copies.) The games make this a great program for Wiggly Willys and Sociable Sues.

Lessons include practice with syllables, words, phrases, and sentences, so extra readers are not necessary. Teaching instruction is included on each page, so there's no flipping back and forth or referring to a separate teacher manual.

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The ninth edition has an added section at the back explaining correlation to state standards for those concerned.

Reading Pathways, fifth edition, is an optional, companion to Phonics Pathways. The subtitle, "Simple Exercises to Improve Reading Fluency," reflects the content. Earlier editions of this book were titled Pyramid since the reading exercises expand in pyramid fashion from a single word to complex sentences. Within each pyramid, the single word is repeated in each subsequent line, but each time one or more additional words are added to make and then expand a sentence."
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Homeschoolers' Comments

Hi! I recently ordered the Phonogram Activity Sheets" and "Phonics Fun" (phonogram card game) from you. I am very happy with both. :-)

HOWEVER - I did need to make a few adjustments because both of these items are specifically designed to compliment "Phonics for Spelling and Reading" by Bonnie Dittmar. PS&R has altered some of the phonograms (afterall phonics is an art, not a science) and the program does not conform fully to WRTR. I mention this because both of these items are listed under WRTR in your catalog, I think it would be more accurate to list them under PS&R.

I am teaching phonics using the WRTR methodology. I use "ReadingWorks" for my WRTR instructional manual (written by the author of 'GrammarWorks', Jay Patterson.) I also own Wanda Sanseri's "Teaching Reading at Home", which I use as a reference tool. From what I can see, both of these programs reference the WRTR text in their teacher's manuals and are "true" to the WRTR phonogram and spelling-instruction patterns.

The adjustments I had to make to "Phonics Fun" was extremely minimal. I simply replaced my phonograms pronunciation key for theirs. My curriculum teaches five phonogram spellings for the sound /er/ and PS&R teaches six spellings. Likewise, I teach three sounds for 'o' phonogram while PS&R teaches four sounds for this same phonogram. These are the only two differences I have noticed at this time. The solution for "Teaching Reading at Home" users is extremely simply. I would advise them to use the last page of their manual, entitled "70 Basic Phonograms in a Nutshell", as their pronunciation key for the "Phonics Fun" games. That is in place of the phonograms pronunciation key included in the game instructions.

The alterations I made to the "Phonograms Activity Sheets" were more invasive. I tracing and re-did the 'o' phonogram page and the /er/ sounds pages, thus making new 'master copies' for myself. The alterations necessary to make these particular pages coordinate with my phonics program was minimal in comparison to the fun learning experience my daughter will have in doing all of the "Phonogram Activity Sheets". I could have also simply crossed out the portion of the activity sheet which pertained to the discrepancies I noticed, but we are saving all of my daughters completed "Phonogram Activity Sheets" in a 3 ring binder so I wanted them to look nice.

I do not know for sure if I will encounter future discrepancies, I have not taken the time to thoroughly investigate the matter, although I did scan the pages and nothing else jumped out at me as a major discrepancy.

Based upon my experience, I would advise you to move the two items which I just purchased to follow the "PR&S" description, but perhaps stress that both products (especially "Phonics Fun") can be used with ANY phonics program and work especially well with WRTR-based programs.

I noticed in my "Teaching Reading at Home" manual that Wanda Sanseri does if fact sell a set of games which specifically coordinate with her curriculum.

I saw a friend of mine's "Slow and Steady" last week. I hope I get the opportunity to order it soon!!"--Susan Davis, MN

"I thought of something's to add:

I am familiar with "Alphaphonics" (now "How to Tutor") and "100 Easy Lessons". I would strongly encourage those of you who use these programs to consider the "Phonogram Activity Sheets" and the "Phonics Fun" games for multi-sensory supplemental work.

For those of you concerned that the activity sheets promote picture associations with the phonograms (something which the WRTR discourages), I will assure you that these activity sheets promote decoding skills. Also, the coloring and cutting exercises promote small muscle skills. They are truly creative, I never could have come up with these ideas on my own. You could even take the activity sheets a step further by having the students use the words which they just decoded in sentences.

I have played the "Phonics Fun" games with both my 6yo and 3 yo at the same time, I helped my 3yo play and introduced the phonograms to her along the way, while my 6yo worked towards mastery. My girls beg to play "Phonics Fun"! (My 6yo believes that this is the same phonics game which she has heard advertised on the radio. She had been asking for that game for months, so you saved me A LOT of money. :-)"

Susan Davis (MN) Prov. 3:5&6
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