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Phonics Pathways, tenth edition

Publisher: Jossey-Bass/Dorbooks, Inc.
Author: Dolores G. Hiskes
Review last updated: November 2014

This is one of my 102 Top Picks!

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Phonics Pathways

See the complete review in 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.

Phonics Pathways is a complete phonics program, self-contained within one large book so you do not need a separate teacher’s manual.
The program will work for all ages as well as for remedial readers. Sounds of the letters are taught, beginning with short vowels. As each consonant is taught, it is immediately used to begin making blends with the short vowels. Beginning blends are taught “consonant-vowel” (i.e., "ba, bi, bo," etc.). Because of the quick movement into blending practice, children are soon reading three-letter words....

Multi-sensory learning methods (hearing, saying, tracing, writing) are used with each letter. Upper and lower case letters are shown from the beginning, although children work primarily with lower case letters. You might need to take some extra time to work specifically on recognition and writing of upper case letters, although this could be done late in the program.

Each new concept taught is followed by words, phrases, or sentences for practice, so no extra reading material is necessary. Reading practice is designed to improve tracking skills from left to right. Some of the phrases and sentences are purposely nonsensical or humorous to keep it entertaining. The “Dewey the Bookworm” character and positive-thinking type proverbs are also used throughout the book for the same reason.

The program covers all phonetic sounds, diacritical markings, suffixes and prefixes, plurals and possessives, contractions, and compound words. Teaching instruction is on each page, and it is brief enough that no significant preparation time is needed....

Phonics Pathways introduces “pyramids” as another reading strategy within its lessons. Reading exercises expand in pyramid fashion from a single word to complex sentences. Within each pyramid, the single word is repeated in each subsequent line, but each time one or more additional words are added to create and then expand a sentence.

Phonics Pathways is among my Top Picks because it does a great job of teaching phonics, it is very reasonably priced for such a comprehensive program, it is easy for parents to use, and it has options that can make it more multi-sensory.


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    Instant Key

    • Learning Styles: all
      Suitable for: 
      beginning readers
      Need for parent/teacher instruction: 
      Prep time needed:
      Need for Teacher's Manual:  n/a
      Religious perspective:

    Publisher's Info

    • Dorbooks, Inc.

      1331 Red Cedar Circle
      Fort Collins, CO 80524

      (800) 852-4890

      Jossey-Bass/an imprint of John Wiley & Sons

      (800) 956-7739