The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Jenny Higgins and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

Right Track Reading Lessons: A Highly Effective Step-by-Step Direct Review by Jennifer Land

SystematicPhonics Program, 2nd Edition
Miscese R. Gagen
Right Track Reading, LLC
PO Box 1952
Livingston, MT 59047

Teaching a child to read can be a daunting process because the English language is complicated and children need a good foundation! Right Track Reading, LLC has published a book with explicit instructions and lessons called Right Track Reading Lessons: A Highly Effective Step-by-Step Direct Systematic Phonics Program, 2nd Edition.

This softcover book is 359 pages and costs $30. It includes scripted lessons and examples for parents to use with their students to teach them to acquire the skills to become proficient readers. The program is recommended for beginning readers in kindergarten or first grade. It will also work well for novice readers for first or second graders needing to advance to higher level skills. Struggling readers in first, second, or third grades can also use Right Track Reading Lessons as a direct intervention program so they learn the effective reading strategies they need to succeed.

There are several sections in Right Track Reading Lessons. First, it gives an overview on reading itself, facts about the English language, the biologic process of proficient reading and information about difficulty reading and dyslexia, as well as how an effective reading program can develop a proficient reader.

Next, the book discusses the skills needed to become a reader. It discusses the skills necessary for phonologic processing, developing correct phonologic processing, advancing to skilled reading, and a chart showing the processes required for proficient reading. This is followed be a section on the elements of an effective reading program.

There is a section on explanations and instructions for the reading lessons. This part is important to read, because it gives you a guide on how to use the lessons in the book, basically. It notes the structure and format of the lessons, tells you what materials you will need, gives instructions for the lessons, and activities, and finally gives some tips.

There are 10 sections in the Reading Lesson portion of the book: Basic Sounds and Foundational Skills, Alternate and Additional Sounds, Vowel Combinations, R-Controlled Vowel Combinations, Silent Letters, Infrequent Sounds, Common Endings, Reading Multisyllable Words, Instructions for Guided Reading, Building Fluency, Developing Reading Comprehension Skills, and Expanding Vocabulary Knowledge. It is followed by a section of spelling lessons. In all, there are 98 reading lessons, 12 multisyllable lessons, practice suggestions and activities for higher level skills, and 31 spelling lessons.

Finally, there is an appendix section with supporting information, such as instructions on letter formation, a summary of spelling patterns for sounds, and even a lesson progress chart. These helps are especially good for using the book with younger students or to accommodate students needing extra practice and activities.

This reading program recommends spending 20-45 minutes, four to five days a week on reading sessions, depending on the student’s age. Lessons are not meant to be completed in a single sitting, so once you have completed the approximate amount of time for the day, you just stop where you’re at and pick it back up next time. Lessons are taught in a deliberate sequence and will take longer for a beginner than for an advanced student.

Very few materials are needed besides the book. You will need paper, a pencil, sound cards you will make on index cards, a sound tile kit you will make from small ceramic bathroom tiles and a marker, as well as a template for word making made from posterboard. These supplies are all inexpensive, easy to find, and reused from lesson to lesson. Once you have your supplies gathered and created, reading lessons are open and go.

My six-year-old son is learning to read and has needed more structure in his lessons. Right Track Reading Lessons has been great for him because everything is simple and in black and white. This program does not distract kids with colorful cartoon characters, flashy websites, or illustrated practice books. Lessons are scripted, specific, and simple for me to implement in just 20 minutes a day with him. He has been excited to do the program, because he got to start reading words from the very first lesson.

I like that there are simple games to play to reinforce the information. He has been having fun changing sounds to create new words, using his tiles to make words, and practicing writing the sounds he has heard. The word lists in the lessons are used for spelling lessons once all 98 reading lessons are completed, so I like that we get to reuse the information in the book even after my son becomes a strong reader.

I can tell that my son is learning a lot. Having short sessions has fit nicely into my busy schedule and keeps his attention well. He gets to celebrate small victories every time we do the lessons because he is learning to read many words each lesson and can see how much he has been able to do in such a short time.

Families needing a strong, direct, and inexpensive program to produce proficient readers will love Right Track Reading Lessons. It is open and go, scripted, and complete. It is reusable, so perfect for large families to use again and again. It is good for brand new readers and struggling readers in early elementary school. It is very tactile, so works well for kinesthetic learners as well. There is plenty of practice built in, so students are sure to master the content. The time commitment per day is fairly low, and students will start to see results quickly. My son has enjoyed the program more than I thought he would, and I love how easy it is to use.

-Product review by Jennifer Land, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June, 2018