Saturday, June 18, 2011

PAL-Primary Arts of Learning-Reading-Lessons 1-5

We have been working our way through Primary Arts of Learning (PAL), and I know a lot you are wondering if this program would work for you, so I thought I would share what it has been like for us, and how we are liking it so far.

As the parent you will be using the Teachers Manual each day. This lays out for you exactly what you need to do. 

Normally I don't care for Teachers Manuals. They never lay anything out the way I would, and I rarely use them. 

This one however is perfect. 

It doesn't have a bunch of unnecessary stuff, or useless tips.

Each day starts off with a poem. 

The first day you only read the poem. Each subsequent day, you read the poem and then practice some of the stuff you have been learning. 

You can see here that my son has underlined the ee helpers. (The Squeally-e's)
We also took the word Asters, and discussed what it would do to the word if we took away the s, and what it does to words when we add an s.

You use the same poem for many lessons. 

Next on the lesson plan is to make up the needed folder games. You could do this each day with your child, or you could have them already made up. Whatever works best for you. 

The first game your child is introduced to is Letter Stories
Your child will learn a letter story for each letter to help them remember their sounds. 

For example, a is the angry letter because the boys often pull her hair and make her say aaa.

The second game your child will be introduced to is MUGS.
This is my son's favorite game so far. 

In this game your child will feed Mugs his bones. As they pick up a bone they say the sound of the letter on the bone, and if they get it right, they get to feed it to Mugs!

You will be adding to these games for a while. Each day, in the early days, you will be adding pieces to the already made up games, and adding in new games.

The more your child plays a game, them more repetition he will get. Jill says that a child needs to come in contact with something about 55 times before he really knows it. 

These games will give your child plenty of practice. And it will be fun. Much more so than simply filling out worksheets every day. 

You will also be introducing whole words as well in this program. 

That is part of what makes this program unique. It blends phonics and sight words into one program. 

The first sight words your child is taught are his colors. 

They practice reading their color words in the game Color Palette

They place the words on the correct color. (Sorry, I didn't put the words on there for the picture.)

 They are also taught This, is, and a early on.

Two other games that we have played so far are Letter Parking Lot, and Beginning Consonants 1. 

In Letter Parking Lot your child will lean about vowels and consonants, and will put them in their proper parking spots. 

In Beginning Consonants 1, your child will match the beginning sound letter to the correct pictures. 

You can let your child color these games, or you can leave them blank. 

After you have learned your sounds, helpers, and sight words for the day, your child gets to put stickers on his farm. 

My son loves this part. 

They get to put all of their helpers on their farm. I think this is very sweet. 

At the end of the day you get to take a farm tour, and go over what you have put on your farm so far. 

This is a great review. 

One of the last things you do in each lesson is what they call the agenda. 

There are student work pages that your child will do each day, and there are also reading practice pages. 

These are some of the pages we have done so far. 

They reinforce what your child has been learning in his lessons. 

There are 80 lessons in total. 

How long this program will take you really depends on long you take to do a lesson. 

We take 2-3 days per lesson, but that is because we are really busy around the house right now. 

I do think a lesson could be done in one day however. 

I think it would also depend on the age of the child. Some children may need more practice in one area before they move on. 

There is no time table. Move at your child's pace. 

It also may take you longer if you are doing the writing portion of the program as well. 

I did not get the writing portion, as we already had a handwriting program, and I wasn't sure if my son was ready for spelling, but after watching the webinar about PAL, I wish I would have gotten both parts.

I am hoping to be able to do so soon. 

I have been looking for a good reading program for a while now, and I never bought one until I found PAL.

I thought it looked like it would really work, and would also be fun.

It is really important to me that is fun.

We had been doing Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and while it may work, it is boring.

My 6 year old son loves PAL, and that is the biggest recommendation I can give.

I hope this helps to give you a better idea of how this program works.

This is by no means a fully detailed description of the program, and we are only on lesson 5, but I know there are many of you out there that are wondering what this new reading program is all about, and I am glad to share what I can.

If you have any other questions about PAL, please ask me, and I will see if I can get you an answer.

Let me know if you decide to try PAL with your kids!

Our family purchased this on our own. This was not given to us in exchange for a review. I am not receiving any type of compensation for writing this review.


Heidi said...

Great review! I just recently saw this. Is it for K?

Very Blessed Mamma said...

Heidi. It is for the K-2 grade range.

I love it that it is not grade specific.

My son is 6, and going into the 1st grade this year, but it is perfect for him.

I think it may have been too hard for him a year ago, but all kids are different.

But if you have a child in first or even second grade that isn't reading well, it can def. be used with them too.

Marie said...

Great gave me an excellent idea of how the games work. I'm wondering if I should start the program in the fall with my 4 and 5 year olds or if I should wait until they both know the sounds of the letters before starting?? What do you think, should the child know the sounds before starting???

Betty @ said...

Great review. We will have to see if what we have right now works for my crew.

How big are the letters? I ask because I have a visually impaired child. Thanks

Very Blessed Mamma said...

Betty, some of the letters are pretty small on the game pieces. I would say average of half an inch. So, I don't know if that would be too small for your child or not.

Very Blessed Mamma said...

Marie, they do not need to know the letters before starting the program, as they do learn them, but it may take longer in the beginning until they do know them.

My son does not know them all, but he is doing great, so I think I would give them at least an introduction to the letters and sounds first, and then start the program.

If you do the writing portion as well, I think that would be better because it would help them more with learning the letters and sounds.

This is what I would do. I would take the next couple of months, and play some sound games, watch some of the letter factory videos, and just be getting them used to the letters and sounds, and then I would start this fall. If they take longer to get through it, then it is no big deal. Now, this is only if you are really wanting to start right now. I am of the mind that later is better, so I would have no problem with waiting that extra year.
It would probably be easier to get through then.

My son is 6, and we are just now starting.

Of course it depends on the child.

If you feel your children are ready, go for it.
If you think they would benefit from waiting one more year, then wait.

Either way it is going to fine.

I hope this helps.

Mrs. White said...

I really appreciate this review! Thank you so much!

Mrs. White
The Legacy of Home

Jesse, said...

Aaaahhh...between you and Debra B., I am going to end up buying this yet!!! LOLOL

Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads said...

It's a good thing that we're out of this stage - otherwise, I'd want to be buying more curriculum. lol! Great review.

Giggly Girls said...

I'm your newest follower from the Crew.

I love this review. I've been contemplating what to use with my youngest when she's finally read. This looks like it could be a contender. I'm book marking this.

Very Blessed Mamma said...

Thanks GG.

We are really enjoying it.

Keep an eye out for more info. Several of the ladies on the Crew are starting this as well.

Family Style School said...

WOW! That looks like a really great program, after all the struggles I have had teaching my daughter to read. It looks so worth it.

I can't believe I wasn't already following you, but I am now.


MommyKuehner said...

Great review! Will have to check this out for our girls.

New follower from the Crew. Have a great week!


April said...

Sounds great! Somehow I wasn't already following I am :)

I am blessed! said...

Found you through the TOS crew and following now! I blog at


Alane with Monsters in Tow said...

stopping by from the Crew to follow your blog.

Kara said...

This is an excellent review...and I love that each day starts off with a poem...and if you can find a parent manual/script that you actual like and would use...that is pretty incredible.
Thanks so much for sharing with NOBH...
~Kara @ The Chuppies/NOBH

Jennifer Bogart said...

What a groovy review - thanks! I am looking at this for my second DD, so I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts!

From the crew, grabbed your GFC too :).

Mary said...

Great review!!

A Dusty Frame said...

Nice review:). My son is a bit older though:)
Lizzie TOS Crew

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