I created a video about this topic on IGTV as well (you can watch it by clicking here) and I basically took said there and wrote it here. You can either watch the twelve-minute video that has some additional information, or you can take three minutes and read this post. Either way, I hope it helps you understand my answer to this popular question!
I get asked all the time, "What curriculum do you use?" My answer usually produces a frowny face because, I don't. I don't use any one curriculum. There are quite a few reasons for this, but one of my reasons is that the research proves over and over again that there is not one package deal that will work for all students, all the time, in any given situation. Seriously! The reason for this? We are all unique. Each student has different experiences, likes, dislikes, hobbies, and struggles. What works for one student may or may not work for another. That's why I love reading what renowned" professors with doctorate degrees in literacy education have to say about it!
"The problem with prepackaged programs is that they are not sensitive to the culture of the classroom, school, and community; the individual children in the classroom; and the instructional style of the teacher. The one-size-fits-all approach adopted by such programs - with, of course, the best of intentions - resulted in programs that met the minimal needs of the students, that lacked the creative flair that only a teacher can give a program, and that absolved teachers of a good deal of the accountability for teaching their students. If children failed to learn to read, it was the fault of the program. The fact of the matter is that many children failed to learn to read up to expectations using prepackaged programs. The results of periodic assessments of U.S. students' reading achievement, most notably the National Assessment of Educational Progress, have demonstrated little, if any, growth in student reading achievement over the last 30 years." - Newton, E., Padak, N. & Rasinski, T. 'Evidence-Based Instruction in Reading: A Professional Development Guide to Vocabulary' p.ix
I know that the components of a good literacy program are phonemic awareness, systematic phonics instruction, automatic word identification/decoding, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. When I consider these areas I develop a routine that benefits my little learner. I've followed a book called, "Phonics Pathways" by Dolores Hiskes (but even this book had aspects I disregarded). And when my little person struggled with -ng endings I stopped and created supplementary activities, pyramid games, found literature, and worked on that sound until it was mastered (see that lesson here). We did not move on until she knew it. Some concepts she mastered in twenty minutes, other concepts took days, but we went at her speed, read books with that sound so she could hear and see it in literature. When she began reading too fast and mumbly I implemented fluency lessons to help her read well out loud. Today we are working on building comprehension and vocabulary skills based on what she NEEDS!
I realize that not everyone has a master's of education degree in curriculum and instruction, but that's the beauty of it! This is my passion! My life's work! If you as a homeschool parent are struggling to identify one literacy curriculum that is working for your reader and writer - don't worry - you are NOT alone! You are encountering the same issue as certified teachers around the world and every other parent on the face of the planet. BUT those certified teachers work together with reading specialists, districts hire consultants to help, special education teachers help differentiate instruction, paras help implement the different plans, and a team of teachers that work together to solve problems they encounter with a student(s). You can spend thousands of dollars on a curriculum that doesn't work for your family. OR you can hire me for $70 per month to help you find a curriculum that does work, create supplementary materials that help your reader master reading, and develop a personalized educational plan for YOUR family!
This is what you receive when you hire me as your educational consultant:
Help you assess your student every semester resulting in identifying goals and creating a personalized plan for you to help your student.
A detailed plan for you to follow.
Scheduled personal parent training session(s) as needed. (Package includes one per quarter (4 sessions), additional $35/session for extra sessions)
Email or text consultation anytime (My response time within 24 hours of receiving.)
25% discount on products offered on TeachersPayTeachers
Taking your current curriculum, I’ll cater it to where your student(s) are by providing 4 FREE personalized lessons or activities based on what that child needs. Additional products will be charged at an hourly price for its creation.
If that interests you, contact me for a FREE consultation.
With that said, I look forward to sharing with you our vocabulary routine!
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