curriculum reviews

Classical Phonics and First Start Reading Review

We received Classical Phonics and First Start Reading phonics program from Memoria Press to review.   My kindergarten son (age 5) was very excited that this was for him!  He has been interested in reading and learning his letters, so he was anxious to begin!

Memoria Press is a family owned and operated business, founded in 1994 by Cheryl Lowe.  They are a great resource for Classical Christain educators, offering many products for all ages at affordable prices.  For more information about this company click here.

  • Classical Phonics is a deceptively simple little book our teachers and families use constantly in both Kindergarten and first grade. It consists of phonetically-arranged word lists for students to practice their growing phonics skills. In a word list there are no context clues, so the learner must rely on his mastery of letter sounds. For instance, if your child can pronounce each word in this list correctly – pot, pat, pit, put, pet – he knows his short vowel sounds, and you can move on to long vowels! If not, he needs more practice, and Classical Phonics is the most effective tool I know of to address the repetition that young ones need when learning to read. Classical Phonics can be used as a supplement to any phonics program and covers nearly all English phonograms and sounds taught through second grade. Classical Phonics is your handy tool for phonics practice and for building confident readers.”

$14.95  Click here to see sample pages.  Ages K-2nd grade.

We have found the word lists in Classical Phonics to be very helpful.  They are arranged phonetically to add to your students ever growing list of words.  This great little book would be a great addition to any phonics program.


  • First Start Reading “covers consonants, short vowels, 45 common words, and manuscript printing, accompanied by artist-drawn coloring pictures and drawing pages for every letter. Your child will begin reading in the very first lesson as he progresses through three student books and twenty five phonetic stories, such as “Hogs and Pigs” and “Jog to the Jet.” A Teacher Manual guides you through the program and provides helpful assessments and teaching tips.”

First Start Reading Set $29.95 includes Books A, B, C, & Teacher Guide also available- First Start Reading Student Set $21.00 Books A, B, & C  Click here to see sample pages from Book A and Book B. Ages K-1st grade.

First Start Reading begins introducing a letter in a black and white worksheet. One side has the letter and a few pictures that begin with that letter.  I like that it is black and white.  It is not distracting and you can have the student color it. The other side shows how to write that letter and lines to practice. The top of this handwriting page has a place to draw!

We are enjoying the Teacher’s Guide is very user friendly and guides you to what to say and teach for lesson.  I lean toward not pushing children to read until they are ready (especially boys).  We have really enjoyed the pace and feel of this program.  There has been no pressure to get it all right now.  It’s definitely working because my son is the only student in his co-op Kindergarten class that is putting short words together.

We love how one lesson builds on the next!  We are definitely going to finish these three workbooks.  We are really enjoying them.  The Classical Phonics book will be used for drills and games.

Click here to see what others on the TOS Crew are saying about Memoria Press.

** I received  free copies of Classical Phonics and First Start Reading in exchange for my honest review of it, with no additional compensation.





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