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.
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Over the past 4 weeks I have had the opportunity to use the PRIDE Reading Program with my 8 year old son, Caleb. I am so excited to share with you about our experience using this excellent reading program. As a former special education teacher, now homeschool mom, I have used many different reading programs with kids who’s reading abilities were anywhere from struggling to advanced. I have enjoyed using the PRIDE Red Book Program Kit – Level 3 with my son Caleb and I believe it would be extremely helpful to many homeschool families. Today, I am thrilled to tell you why!
What is the PRIDE Reading Program?
The PRIDE Reading Program is an Orton-Gillingham based phonetic reading program that provides an easy way for parents, teachers, or tutors to teach beginning or struggling readers. Orton-Gillingham is a, researched based, multi-sensory, phonetic approach to teach struggling readers. Most teaching methods and curriculum developed for children with dyslexia and other reading disabilities are based on this approach. Reading specialists, teachers, and tutors pay thousands of dollars to receive specialized training to teach reading according to the Orton-Gillingham method. Many of these reading programs require training to use, and the programs are very expensive.
Fortunately, this is definitely not the case with PRIDE Reading. The kits are affordable, as the price is comparable to most homeschool reading curriculum kits I’ve seen. When you purchase a program kit you also receive an easy to complete online training course that will teach you how to use the program. This allows anyone to provide reading instruction to their children. No degree, certification, or expensive training required! The lessons are very clear and completely scripted for you as the teacher.
As a former Special education teacher I have used many different scripted reading programs. To be completely honest, I was not sure I would like using PRIDE Reading, because as a teacher I didn’t like many of the scripted programs I used. I found that my students and I would get bored with them very quickly. This, however, has not been the case with PRIDE Reading. The lessons are not overly wordy, and the directions are very clear. Each Unit contains a variety of different short activities, so the program is far from boring. Because of the scripted lesson plan, there is absolutely no planning or guessing about what to do on your part as the teacher.
Also, the PRIDE Reading Program is specifically tailored to meet the needs of individual students. You are able to work at the pace that works best for your child. You can do as much or as little as your child needs each day, and repeat lessons as needed.
Who is PRIDE Reading for?
First of all, this program is perfect for beginning readers. If you want to build a very strong phonetic foundation with your child you can start at the very beginning with your pre-k or kindergarten student with the Beginning Consonants Kit. Then you could work through each level as your child learns and grows.
PRIDE reading would also be an excellent curriculum for teaching a child who has been struggling to learn to read. Any student with a specific reading disability like dyslexia, would benefit from being taught with their systematic, multi-sensory phonetic approach.
The other group of kids I think PRIDE Reading benefits is the one that my son fits in. These are kids that may have gaps in their reading ability, where they are not decoding (sounding out) words easily. Caleb is not one you would think would fit into the struggling reading category. He reads at about a 3rd grade level and actually has good comprehension.
However, recently I had noticed that Caleb was making a lot more mistakes in his oral reading and he struggled to read words in isolation. I realized Caleb was relying a lot more on the context to read words and was not able to quickly read words phonetically. After administering the placement test provided by PRIDE Reading it was recommended we start with Pride Reading Red Level 3. In this past month we have worked through the first 4 units. Already, I have noticed a significant improvement in his ability to slow down and decode words, due to the practice of specific sounds in this program.
What do you get in a PRIDE Reading Program Kit?
PRIDE reading is affordable and everything you need to start immediately is included. The placement test is available for free for you to quickly assess your child, so that you know exactly what level kit will be appropriate to start with. The instructions for the placement test were very clear and it was easy to administer to my son. After you purchase your kit, you are given access to login to the website. You then will receive access to the PRIDE Reading Program training, so that you can learn everything you need to start teaching your child as soon as you get their kit. The training provides very clear text and video lessons to demonstrate how to use the program with you student.
As I mentioned earlier, you will also receive access to the online step-by-step teacher guide for your level. One thing to not is, it is necessary to have online access for each lesson as the teacher guide is only accessible through their website. If you do not have a regular internet access as you teach, you may want to contact customer service before you order to find out it it is possible to receive a printable or physical, teaching guide.
When you purchase any PRIDE Reading Level Kit you will receive a physical copy of the Student Workbook and a full set of PRIDE Sound Cards. Most Level kits also include a set of PRIDE Letter Tiles and a PRIDE Activity Kit. One thing to remember is that the sound cards, letter tiles and activity kits are the same for each level. Therefore, as your child progresses and you want to move to the next level you simply need to purchase the next workbook and online teaching guide for the next level. You will not have to buy the entire kit for each level.
What Caleb has to say about PRIDE Reading!
“I really like the flash cards. It is good that each time you add a new sound rule you just add in 1 more card. I like playing the games a lot. We are working on the 4th unit. (On the Fluency Practice Pages) you are reading a lot of rows of words with the sounds we are working on. A lot of the words are there multiple times so you can read the word again and fix your mistakes. I like reading and spelling the red words (sight words). “
“I really like the stories we read and the questions you ask about the stories. There is just so much to do (in the program). My favorite part is making the words with the flash cards. The nonsense words we make and I read are funny and just “nonsense”. I also really like the way we do the spelling sheet. We spell sounds, then words, and then write sentences. It has helped me a lot.”
How did we use our Kit?
Since we received our Red Level 3 kit, Caleb and I have worked through lessons of the PRIDE Reading Program 4 days out of each week. We have worked through about 1 Module each week. There are 3 units to each Module: an introductory lesson, a practice lesson, and a reinforcement lesson. Each lesson has 9 or 10 steps. Some days we were able to finish all the steps of the lesson. Others we needed to spread it out 2 days. Remember, this is not independent work for your child. You will need to be actively going through each step with your child, following the lesson steps.
One small modification for us…
We followed each step and I read the scripted directions and questions just as directed. However, there was only one part I modified for my son. You may notice in the pictures that Caleb has a limb deficiency on his left hand. In the Spelling steps lesson, PRIDE Reading directs the student to first spell the sounds/words on their palm. Then they are directed to spell the sounds/words on the paper. We tried this the first few lessons, and he really struggled with it. He was frustrated trying to use his left hand to “write” the letters on his right palm. Also, he felt he didn’t have enough space to “write the letters on smaller left palm.
So, instead of pushing this we used a different way to include some multi-sensory practice. I simply got out our sand tray we have used for other spelling practice and had him spell the words with his finger in it before he wrote the words on paper. I definitely recommend following the directions in the program exactly first. However, if you have a complication see if there is a way to substitute an activity and get the same results. If you have a problem and are unsure, PRIDE Reading has excellent customer service. They will have specialists that can help you figure out what will work for you and your child.
A Few Tips from us for using PRIDE Reading
- Our kit came with an extra box for letter sounds cards. I used it to separate the cards into 2 groups. One box, I marked with an “R” for “Review”. It holds the sounds we know and are working on that we review each lesson. The other box holds the sounds not taught yet. This ensures you are ready for the “Review Sounds” step at the beginning of each lesson and you don’t have to sort your cards each time.
- You also receive a huge set of letter sounds tiles with your kit. You most likely will only be starting with a portion of those letter sounds. Sort out your sounds into different ziploc bags. I promise this will make the “Letter Tiles” activity so much easier! Keep all the tiles you are currently using in one ziploc bag and label it. Then sort the others by color in bags so you can easily find sounds as you learn them.
- Store everything together. Use the bag and pouches they include with the kit to make sure that everything you need is there when you start the lesson.
Why should you use PRIDE Reading Program?
If you have a child who is struggling with reading in any way, the PRIDE Reading Program is an affordable, and effective program that will give you all the tools to teach you child. The free placement tests makes sure you don’t have to make a guess about which level is appropriate for you student. Also, you won’t have to struggle or work to plan out lessons for you student. The training program will equip you to teach your child from home just as a reading specialist, or tutor might.
After using this program with my child, at home, I can honestly say that PRIDE Reading is a tool I wish I had access to during my time as a Special education teacher! I have used other Orton-Gillingham based programs and the PRIDE Reading program has everything those other programs have and more. The main difference is that it is much easier to use!
To find out more about the PRIDE Reading Program be sure to check out what other reviewers from the HomeSchool Review Crew have to say!