Monday, May 23, 2011

Review of Pearson Education's Reading Street

Through our participation in the Homeschool Crew, my family received Pearson Education's 2nd grade Reading Street program to use the twins.  Although Pearson has published its Reading Street program for years, the 2011 incarnation is brand new for the 2011-2012 school year, and it boasts several improvements over previous iterations.  Reading Pearson's own press release about Reading Street is the best place to begin to get a sense of the program.

Reading Street comes as two glossy, hardcover books and will immediately call to mind the reading textbooks of your public school youth.  I was actually flooded with nostalgia and love for my old textbooks when I opened this package.  Unlike my own reading textbooks, though, Reading Street's selections are unbelievably well thought out and diverse.  The excerpts come from both fiction and non-fiction books, and many are taken from longer books that you can actually find right at the library.  Thus, if a particular selection sparks your child's interest, you can seek out its source and read more.

The Reading Street program encompasses six units, each covering a different type of literature, from fiction and non-fiction to folk tales.  Each genre is first introduced, and is then exemplified through reading selections.  The selections begin with a list of high frequency words, and they end with comprehension questions that you can do orally with your child.  Because this is considered to be a Language Arts program, the books also include grammar and writing assignments.  While it is not a generally used format for homeschoolers, Reading Street could definitely be used as a self-contained reading and writing program.  For homeschoolers who like much more to supplement their reading program, an independent website has a plethora of additional resources.

Each Reading Street textbook costs $43.47.  The student package of both books can be purchased for $86.97.  Additional supplementary materials from Pearson Education can also be purchased.

Although I enjoy Reading Street as a reading book, it is not "homeschooly" enough for me.  It strikes me as public school at home.  For parents who want to mimic the public school experience at home, though, it is a very viable and exciting option.  As with all homeschool curriculum choices, the choice to use or not use Reading Street depends entirely on a parent's goal for her homeschool.

To find out what other Crew members thought of Reading Street, check out the Crew blog.

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