Sunday, May 19, 2013

Scaredy Cat Reading System-Review

For the last few weeks we have been using Level One of Scaredy Cat Reading from Joyce Herzog.  We received a full set including the Teacher's manual, Student workbook, Student Reader, The Story of the LetterMaster, Song CD and a Fun Pack. Scaredy Cat Reading is not only phonics based, it is mastery based as well.

 photo shapeimage_16_zpscb4b99e9.png

Level One of Scaredy Cat Reading familiarizes students with the alphabet and teaches them the sounds the letters make. The Teacher's Manual is a wonderful resource for the parent of any young child.  I cannot begin to tell you the number of ideas that are included in this book.  It is a 45-page spiral bound which includes an introduction, the rules of the Scaredy Cat Reading System (which are not taught to the students in level one), specifics of the program for pre-readers and other general information you need to know.  

The book then describes the three steps of Scaredy Cat Reading level one.

Step One: learn the alphabet
Step Two: learn the names of each letter and recognize it in many different fonts
Step Three: learning the primary sounds of each of the consistent consonants and learning "who" the vowels are

Next you will find a page on Reading Aloud, Games to Play with Letters, Progress Tracking Sheets, Handwriting Hints and several pages you can copy for handwriting practice.

Finally, the remainder of the book is packed with ideas for teaching the letters and their sounds. She has a cute idea of having different styles of days depending on how much time you have or how much you want to work on this in a day.  There are appetizer days to whet your child's appetite, main course days where you spend more time with the child on specific activities, salad days and dessert days are also on the "menu". 

The Story of LetterMaster; Who Gave the Letters their Jobs is a 31 page comic book style story of how each letter was assigned its sound or sounds.  The story is also found on the audio CD.  Unfortunately, this did not really hold the attention of my children (and I can't say I loved it either.)  I'm not one for a comic book to begin with and we just didn't care for the story.

 photo IMG_5080_zps9c3bbb4b.jpg
The LetterMaster comic and one of the reproducible handwriting pages

The ABC Reader is available in a secular and a Christian version.  I was sent the secular version.  It contains the lyrics to an ABC song that is different from the "next time won't you sing with me" version we are all familiar with.  This is to prevent children learning "elliminnowpee".  There are two versions of this song.  The one in the book has secular words, the one on the audio CD is the Christian version.

 photo IMG_5083_zpse013d3ae.jpg
Sadie with the ABC reader

The ABC reader starts out with many pages of the alphabet written in different type fonts and styles.  Capital and Lower case letters are both learned.  There is also a page of the letters in sign language.  Other pages include a pictorial primer, a list of animal names by letter and given names by letter.  It also includes all of the lyrics to the songs.

 photo zscaredy_zps89b273f1.jpg
a worksheet from the student workbook

The Student Workbook has 143 pages.  Step One of the book has 18 pages where students match letters and learning the alphabet.  The final page of this section has students do a dot-to-dot of the alphabet in alphabetical order.  In Step Two students learn the letter names on pages like the one shown above.  There are 53 pages in this section.  Step Three teaches children the letter sounds.  Letters are taught individually in groups.  The First Letter names are taught first.  These are the letters that say their name first like B and D.    There are a couple of pages for each letter which include a page of pictures where the child circles words that begin with the letters and and/or cross out ones that do not followed by a page of letter activities.  For example, for the letter T some suggestions are to touch your toes ten times, listen to a tuba or a trombone, and taste tea by the teaspoon with your tongue.  Lots and lots of ideas for each letter.  The final pages are by the different groups of letters (first name consonants, last name consonants, hard working consonants and vowels).

The Audio CD begins with a reading of the LetterMaster which takes about 25 minutes, followed by a variety of simple songs sung acapella.  Most are more like jingles or rhymes than songs and I don't find them all that catchy.  The kids don't enjoy listening to it.

The Fun Pack comes on light cardstock so I laminated most of it. There are Bingo cards, and Alphabet Spinner, cards for uppercase and lowercase letters, letter pieces to put together to build letters and cards with pictures to match sounds with.  There are some magnet sheets as well with letters and pictures for learning and reviewing concepts.

 photo IMG_5081_zps6f7dde4d.jpg
 A few of the games and activities from the Fun Pack

I have mainly focused on using this with 5 year old Ellie.  She loves the fun activities and the workbook.  She often asks to do it and for that I am thankful.  We try to do some part of Scaredy Cat reading each day. We don't always manage to fit it in, but I really like that she enjoys it and is learning.  My 3 year old also likes to join in and sometimes even the older kids will as well.  (Especially if we play BINGO and Skittles are involved! Forgot to take pictures of that.)

 photo zscaredyElllie_zps061c1c68.jpg
Ellie playing a matching letter game.

 photo IMG_5086_zpsa2b99bd2.jpg
Ellie loves learning her letters. She put them all in order herself.
I plan to use a lot of this program with my 3 year old when she turns 4 in September.  I think it will be fun for her to have her own "school" to do next year.   While we do like this, I don't think we will purchase future levels.

My favorite part of this curriculum is the flexibility and the wonderful ideas (and fun pack) to really help children learn pre-reading skills.  If you are looking for something to teach your child reading in a fun way, I do think this is worth taking a look at.

There are 4 levels of Scaredy Cat Reading.  You can have your child take a free placement test to determine which level you need. There is also a page of free downloads.

The crew is reviewing a wide variety of books and curriculum from Joyce Herzog including: Scaredy Cat Reading System Level 2Scaredy Cat Reading System Level 3Scaredy Cat Reading System ExpressLearning in Spite of Labels (A great book!  I have this.), Timeless Teaching Tips,  Choosing & Using Curriculum SetLuke's Life ListLuke's School ListStepping Stones to Praise and Worship,  Stepping Stones to Bigger Faith For Little PeopleBudding Authors6 Weeks to Understanding GrammarBible Quotes and Educational Dice Bag.  Lots of fun stuff to read about!

Here is a video from author Dr. Herzog about the Scaredy Cat Reading System:

Scaredy Cat Reading System level 1 is available for $75.00.  Additional student workbooks are $30.

Author Dr. Joyce Herzog is well known in the homeschooling community.  She taught learning disabled students for 25 years in public and private schools and has written many books and curriculum for homeschoolers.  Read more about her.
 photo joyceherzog_zps3c5942dd.jpg
Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew.


 photo DisclaimerGraphic1_zpsf612f371.gif

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...