The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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Power Readers Review by Dawn King

By: Susan M. Ebbers
Susan Ebbers
4758 Sutter Gate Avenue
Pleasanton, CA 94566

I love using Phonics Pathways to teach my children to read because it's so simple. But I constantly wished that there were readers that followed its unique sequence. Susan Ebbers has solved my problem.

The Power Readers set is composed of 28 books, each book focusing on a different phonetical pattern. The series follows the Phonics Pathways sequence closer than any other series I've seen, although it does not follow it perfectly. The books cover: short vowels, -ck ending, ending blends, beginning blends, -y ending, twin consonants, -sh ending, -th ending, -ch ending, -ng ending, -nk ending, and -ing suffix.

Ebbers has written a wonderful set of the books. The stories are decodable, containing only a few of the most common sight words. Each story is six pages long. That's long enough for a plot to develop, but short enough to be read multiples times and avoid frustration. The stories are set in a variety of places with a cast of repeating characters. My boys have enjoyed reading the books and love the simple line drawings. One book I do have to mention is The Hulk. It is about a picture a little boy draws and he imagines what the Hulk would do. It's not like the movie hulk, but more like an imagined creature or monster. Some Christians may find the book objectionable, but we did not. The rest of the stories are just fun and should appeal to most children.

Each book contains a valuable list of comprehension questions for moms like me who don't like to make those up. A list of vocabulary words for each story is also included. I used these words to practice spelling.

Power Readers are perfect for Phonics Pathways, but the could be used with any phonics program. Just chose the reader that emphasizes the pattern you are working on.

-- Product Review by: Dawn King, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine