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Nursery Rhymes (PK-K): Developing Reading, Rhyming & Phonetic Skills Review by Melissa Cummings

On The Mark Press
PO Box 433
Clayton, NY 13624

Right from the beginning of the book, I found myself following along easily with Nursery Rhymes. The format of the book is concise and simple. I had no questions about what I was supposed to do or what would be included in each lesson. The ten lessons are laid out in an easy-to-understand, easy-to-implement, and easy-to-teach manner. Each lesson has five sections: Picture Discussion, Teaching the Rhyme, Rhyme Discussion, Vocabulary Skills, and Phonetic Skills. The half page worksheets at the end of each lesson are a great way for the children to review the discussions. The emphases of rhyming, letter and word recognition, and phonetic matching are well incorporated into these worksheets, which are simultaneously fun for young children.

The hands-on activities that can be used with each lesson are delightful, and the possibilities for changing the format from lesson to lesson is inviting. There is much freedom within the suggested implementation. I particularly appreciate how the nursery rhymes are categorized for the teacher: Musical Nursery Rhymes, Musical Action Nursery Rhymes, and Nonsense Nursery Rhymes. Also, the ten lessons may be used in any order, and could even be used repeatedly in different manners.

In addition to the ten lessons, there is a section of matching and sequencing activities to reinforce skills the students learn in the lessons. While these could be used in a larger group setting, they seem particularly suited for small groups or individuals. This is an excellent portion of the book to be used for review.

The size of Nursery Rhymes and quality of printing are perfect for the intended use. However, it was tedious to photocopy pages out of the book, and the binding started to pull just a little bit due to that. I decided to have the book spiral bound, and now it is much easier to use. Even adding on the cost incurred by adding a spiral binding, I believe the $15 price tag for the book is very reasonable. I did not know the musical tunes for all of the included Musical Nursery Rhymes; that it might be helpful to have music notation included in the book or even an online resource with musical renditions of the rhymes.

I really appreciate the way language is introduced by sound patterns and repetition in Nursery Rhymes. My young son thought it was fun to participate, and he followed along easily. The arrangement and comprehensiveness in Nursery Rhymes makes it ideal for a homeschooling format. The step-by-step instructions and Teacher Notes are very clear, giving confidence to even a first-time PK homeschooler like myself.

Product review by Melissa Cummings, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December 2010