Reading Tools.

Give me the Facts Ma’am, Just the Facts.

Reading. Grammar. Spelling. Writing. Phonics. Outlining. How do you do you pick a curriculum to cover all of these things? 

I thought I’d take some time to visually share three tools that I have used for Just Readin’.  Reading Fluency – Phonics. 



  • you are new to home learning mom looking for reading tools for your pre-K – 2nd grade,
  • you have a child that has learned basic sight words but struggles sounding out words,
  • you have a child who has reading disabilities and needs a structured approach or –
  • have a great reader who would like to work on reading speed –

Then I think the following three Oldie but Goodie books will be an excellent addition to your library, they might already be in there, and can usually be found at used books sales.

  • Phonics Pathways, Easy Reading and Perfect Spelling by Delores Hiskes,
  • Victory Drill Book
  • Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

Starting with Phonics Pathways – The book is a simple to understand book that you work through with your child.  The front of the book gives the teacher plenty of instruction and information on dyslexia, phonics and the reasons behind phonetic reading skills.




The student works his way through all of the letters of the alphabet.  Emphasis is spent on sounding out, instead of learning to sight read words.


The text then moves on  to various parts of words, larger phonic letter sound blends,  suffix, prefix, compound words etc.

The little character gives the teacher and the student some additional game ideas, reading ideas and practice information for extra home work.



Several resources are found in the back of the book for reading instruction which we have used throughout the years.  A handy chart for all of the sounds is below (blurred out the pages so as to protect content) along with other resources.  We used this with Spell to Write and Read, or rather the older version Teach Your Child to Read at Home by Wanda Sensari – and The Writing Road To Reading  – We like the phonics cards.


Recently – we discovered one of the boys struggling with some of the basic sight words.  I pulled out the last few lessons of Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.


You can talk to 10 people about this book – and 4 will say it was the easiest way to teach their 3 year old to read evar, 4 will say they sold it at a garage sale for a buck fifty, and 2 will tell you  how they used it for a resource. But isn’t that the case with any curriculum that gets thrown out there?   We are in the group of the final two.  This book helped us with reading with a finger.  The student starts at the ball, runs his finger along the line, and sounds out anything with a dot then follows his finger through.  This book, the first 40-50 lessons did absolutely nothing but frustrate both of my boys, however, the finger line trick – was priceless.


Later, they drop all of the black dots, string more words together for stories, leave a few phonetic dictionary type devices for the child’s memory and they are off and running on sounding out words. They learn what the symbols and type font differences mean in the lessons. Each lesson has the Teacher’s Words to speak in Red and the hints in black for simple explanations to the teacher. No prep time would be necessary. The stories gain words and difficulty as the lessons progress.




P1040922     P1040923

Out of the blue, our 10 year old 4th grade son started having confidence and reading speed difficulties.  We started at about lesson 85 and worked through the end of the book. Strangely enough, we had lesson 82 turned back, that it could have possibly be where we left off with him, and moved to Library books alone. (btw, the book claims that after the 100 lessons are complete, that they would be at a 2nd grade solid reading level, and gave a list of about 25 books to continue reading. I checked them out of the library the afternoon we finished and Jon read the entire set in 2 days)

Which brought me to this blog post – when we started this back the last week of May, I had him take a speed reading test with the Victory Drill Book. 

P1040928 P1040926

Sure enough, his reading speed level had dropped to 77 words per minute, considered part of a 3rd grade level. (Don’t be jealous of my meticulously neat learning records.)


Yet, after his 15 lessons, he increased to 105 words per minute putting him back into the middle of the 5th grade. We changed lessons to a higher/harder word list, and he maintained the 100 word average.  15 days. Simple lessons, 2- 3 grade level advances.

Again, the book starts at pictures to help identify the 26 alphabet phonic sounds, then moves to simple whole words and progresses on to higher challenges.

P1040932     P1040931


We will continue to use the Phonics Pathway and Victory Drill Book as reading fluency tools.  I would think that we are now completely done with the 100 EL  . Note that having the book spiral bound make it easier to hold for the child.

I thought you might enjoy some oldies but goodies, or see how those dusty books can come off the shelf to help with some current reading struggles!

About +Angie Wright

The Transparent Thoughts of an Unschooling Family of Boys - Answering the question - What DO you DO all day?
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6 Responses to Reading Tools.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi I think you book is an excellent resource for my classes I wonder If it is possible to download as soon as I make any kind of payyment

    Best regards from Mexico city

    my email is

  2. Thanks for the info. Teaching your child to read is very important to their future.

  3. Mrs. Q says:

    That’s a lot of info! Great information. I am going to be using Christ-centered phonics for the first time this year. I have heard good things about it, so when I sold my other stuff I decided to give it a try.

    • pebblekeeper says:

      The most direct thing we have learned these 8 years, is to have a solid grasp of phonograms, then the “program” really is just a tool. Even if the program is living books, the Bible, a letter, or a curriculum. Some days, especially when busy with summer and the start of school – it is nice to have a curriculum to help guide day by day!

    • pebblekeeper says:

      Thanks! It’s hard to write a post about helping a 10 yr old son to get a better foundation! I thought if I was going through it, probably many more were too!

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