I’m always on the lookout for a curriculum that will touch on both reading and writing for the girls. We’ve finally gotten Sophie to enjoy reading (we never see her without a book!), but she is not a strong writer yet. Bella is still fighting us on the reading, but unlike her sister she actually likes writing. At times our homeschool days are a tad frustrating on both ends as I struggle to have Sophie write and Bella read.
Disclaimer: We received the above materials and were compensated for our time with this review, but were not required to write a positive review. All thoughts, opinions and photos are my own.
We were given the opportunity to review Pathways Reading and Language Arts from Kendall Hunt Religious Publishing Division earlier in the year and after a successful review last fall I was excited to give it a go! Before I dive in, I’d like to share some information about the company with you.
About Pathways Reading and Language Arts
Pathways is a comprehensive elementary reading program with integrated language arts. This approach allows students to follow a variety of avenues to become readers, writers, and learners. Organized around broad themes and a scope and sequence of skills, Pathways uses award-winning trade books that children want to read to deliver the skills that they need.
The program is based upon the belief that students should not only learn how to read, but also acquire the desire to read, write, and learn. Pathways provides all students with the opportunity to become passionate learners, readers, and writers and the curriculum includes components and activities that address ten key principles:
- Reading Instruction that fosters inquiry and a deeper student involvement in learning
- Spiritual Growth that helps students make good choices in life as well as in reading content
- Reading Motivation that helps students develop a lifelong passion for reading
- Writing and Expression that grows from reading and learning and helps create meaning for students
- Selective Topics that support and encourage writing practice for different purposes and audiences
- Reading Comprehension that grows from systematic instruction and learning strategies that students apply to literature and content subjects
- Phonics Skills that are developed through a sequential program of phonics that includes systematic, daily practice
- Spelling Instruction that is systematic, coordinated with phonics instruction, and addresses the specific developmental level of each student
- Assessment that not only provides teachers and parents with information and tools about student development, but helps students assess their own growth
What I liked about Pathways Reading and Language Arts
We received Pathways of Reading and Language Arts Grade 2 materials, and I planned on using them with both girls. Sophie is currently in Grade 4, but struggles with writing. Bella is currently in Grade 2, but struggles with reading so it seemed to be a good fit for both of them.
The curriculum is laid out very well and is quite through. The daily lesson guides are just that- a full guide on how to exactly plan each lesson, down to removable pages in the back for your students to use. If you have more than 1 student you are allowed to make photocopies for each student, which can be cost saving.
Each Daily Lesson Guide and book study are designed for an 8 week study (similar to a unit study), which includes spelling lists, arts and crafts, science and writing prompts. We did not dive in as deeply as the guide suggested simply because it is a lot of information and it was a little overwhelming. I’ll get to that more in a moment.
The two books that we received were new to us and great new reads! First Flight: The Story of Tom Tate and the Wright Brothers was a great perspective on that first plane ride. The girls knew all about Kitty Hawk, but this story took their excitement to a new level. Of course, as we were studying it we were also getting on a plane to go to Disney World, which allowed for some fun comparisons as we traveled through the air.
The second book is called The Salamander Room, and it is the perfect book for Bella. She loves animals and animal babies and being outside is her happy place. This story was about a boy who imagined bringing nature and animals into his room to live. I was all for it, until she got to the part where the boy takes off the roof of the house so that the trees and flowers can get sun and rain. Even she decided that she didn’t really want her room to get all wet!
Final Thoughts About Pathways Reading and Language Arts:
Overall this is a great curriculum. It is incredibly through and well thought out, with lots of ways to incorporate all facets of language arts into the classroom. I found the daily lesson plans to be too much for our homeschool day, and ended up picking and choosing what I wanted to focus on. I love the idea of a word wall and once my girls get a little better with spelling I’m going to utilize the spelling lists that were included with each daily lesson guide.
There is a fair amount of writing and this is where we struggled the most. I ended up having Sophie verbally tell me what she wanted to say and I wrote it for her. This worked really well and seemed to alleviate most of her stress about writing.
The extra craft and science ideas really round of this curriculum and make it engaging and fun. Since we are still in winter here in the northeast we weren’t able to complete all the activities suggested, but the girls made a list for Spring, so stay tuned!
I should also note that Kendall Hunt Religious Publishing Division is a Seventh Day Adventist curriculum, however I found nothing that would keep me from using it in our Christian homeschool. To learn more, please follow Kendall Hunt RPD on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.