Phonics Pathways

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  • Reviewed on Saturday, January 25, 2014
  • Grades Used: K
  • Dates used: 2009
Many people love Phonics Pathways and have used it successfully, however, it did not work at my house. I tried it with two of my sons who were learning to read and it didn't last long before we switched to something else.

My boys were overwhelmed by how much text there is on the pages. When one is just starting out reading and the going is slow, it is quite daunting. "I have to read ALL that?" is what I heard many times.

I bought The Reading Lesson, which isn't perfect, but has lots of white space on the pages and my boys have liked it much better.


  • Reviewed on Tuesday, May 21, 2013
  • Grades Used: K
  • Dates used: 2012-2013
A friend recommended this book to me, and I have to admit that I was skeptical. I was just ONE book (with b/w pictures)...and when purchased used was no more than $6.
However, I am super excited to admit that my skepticism was ill-placed.

Of all the products my Kindergartener tried this year, Phonics Pathways was the most rewarding!

She did SO well in the beginning that by mid-book she took off reading on her own ... on a low second grade level!

PP taught her to decode words so well that she is reading beyond where we are in the PP book. It worked faster than I thought, too. :)

I'm super pleased and recommend this book to anyone who asks.


  • Reviewed on Saturday, November 17, 2012
  • Grades Used: Pre-K-K
  • Dates used: 2010-2011, 2012
We have used this book with both my ds and dd when they were each four years old. With my son, we just used it through the vowel sounds and consonant-vowel blends until it all clicked, and we switched to easy readers. He went to ps for kindergarten shortly afterward, so I put Phonics Pathways on the shelf.

This fall, we started homeschooling both him and dd, who is now four. When I realized that I didn't have a good phonics program for her, I pulled it back off the shelf. She was already reading CVC words, so I skipped the earliest stuff and started where she was. And WOW! It has helped her reading so much! Now granted, she does not think the book is the most exciting thing in the world, and we have had to slow down to about 1/2 a page a day. (I don't blame her; who really likes reading random lists of words? I definitely would not make her if I didn't see such wonderful results.) What I do to jazz it up is go to the library each week and get several early readers (we love Margaret Hillert books). Then, after she does her PP reading, I let her read from an actual book, which she loves. In the two months that we have used this strategy, she has gone from one Margaret Hillert book a week, to one Margaret Hillert book a DAY. I largely credit PP's systematic way of teaching with the way her reading has exploded.


  • Reviewed on Friday, October 19, 2012
  • Grades Used: Kindergarten
  • Dates used: 2012
I am a second-year homeschooler and when I began homeschooling my oldest son had been reading for 2 years. He learned at private school using the DISTAR method. When it came time to teach my Kindergartener to read, I was intimidated by the responsibility. I automatically purchased Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons because I saw how well the DISTAR method worked for my oldest son. I know that this book works for many people and I understand the concept and why it should, but within the first few weeks I knew it wouldn't work for my second son. You have to stick with it for many lessons (nearly half way through the book) before you get into true reading and each lesson just didn't seem logical to me. My son was not interested and was frustrated because he was making sounds every day that didn't sound anything like words. My son is fidgety and wasn't enthusiastic and I knew that I needed to get him interested in reading quickly.

I researched quite a few more complicated programs that had a lot of bells and whistles, but the lessons seemed lengthy and again, I wanted to engage my son immediately and not lose him during a long lesson.

I took a chance on Phonics Pathways and couldn't be more pleased! The very first day it "clicked" with my son and at the end of the lesson he asked if we could keep going! You can decide how many pages you want to do a day (ie how long the lesson is). If we are pressed for time we do one page in about 5-10 minutes, literally. On days when we have more time, we do several pages. It is simple, logical, and teaches the phonetic sounds and blending that you need to sound-out words.

About 3 weeks into the lessons we added Explode the Code Book 1 and it is a really nice compliment. I like doing the oral PP lessons followed by a couple of ETC worksheets to reinforce the concepts and vary the activities. Some days he asks if he can do more worksheets too. Per some of the other reviews we also purchased the Bob books and my son read the first Bob book after about 2 weeks of PP. I really can't believe how simple it is and how well it works. Reading doesn't have to be complicated and by keeping it simple, it is easy for them to see their achievements right away and stay motivated. Plus it is less expensive than some of the other options. You could teach reading with just Phonics Pathways if you don't want to add ETC, although they are very inexpensive too.