Madsen Method - English for Life

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  • Reviewed on Tuesday, February 21, 2012
  • Grades Used: K-1st
  • Dates used: 2011-now
I am so thankful for the Madsen Method English program. When my oldest son began K last year, we used a popular phonics program and he was so frustrated. He showed auditory processing and focus issues so I believed that was why learning to read was so difficult for him. When talking with the Madsen’s, I discovered this problem was with the curriculum, not my son. What great news!
So this year my two sons and I are learning English with the Madsen method and they can focus! They speak the scripted words while they write, and it works wonders especially for my oldest son. They provide a lot of information and help to begin the program and it may seem overwhelming at first because it is so unique. Yet it is this uniqueness that makes the program brilliant for my family- because it works! We began by learning the very basics; like how to sit and hold a pencil. This was great for both my students because they were beginners and they are starting out right. (My friend who has an older boy (9) likes this through start because her son never had learned the right way to hold a pencil. He had struggled with writing and spelling but is now quickly learning these skills.) Once past the foundation of the program, the Madsen Method moves right along into the shapes needed to draw numerals and then the phonograms that make up words. We are first learning to write, spell, and then they can read.
I find it very easy to use and I really enjoy the scripted lessons. (Even though I am a Charlotte Mason, unit study, artist type) These lessons allow me to pick up the spiral bound, non-consumable book where I left off, change words as I see fit, and get right into teaching. As a mom with four kids, I need a curriculum that doesn’t require much preparation. Now I simply read ahead. My son needs a program that is multisensory and enjoyable so he can focus and learn. The Madsen Method program meets all our needs.


  • Reviewed on Tuesday, December 15, 2009
  • Grades Used: 2-5th
  • Dates used: 2007- to current
As a former special education teacher, I had a familiarity with many curriculums to help students learn to read. I was finding nothing to help my son that was working untill I found Madsen Method.

Through the Madsen Method, I realized it was poor auditory memory skills as well as poor auditory discrimination skills that was keeping the ability to learn the letters and their sounds despite what I saw as a child who loved media.

In the second child I was doing this program with, I saw a child who's idea of coloring was a 10 second scribble change to a child who started to focus on coloring in between the lines and spending hours coloring and drawing. This child has some apraxia issues so the writing and learning sounds has been harder for her, but I have found that the Madsen's were most happy to send me additional materials to use with this child.

Both children are reading and writing and I know that I credit it to this program that makes 4 neurological pathways to the brain.

I found it very easy to use with little prep.

Tamsen J. Warren

  • Reviewed on Monday, July 6, 2009
  • Grades Used: K-3
  • Dates used: 2008
Painfully slow and detailed method of presenting the material. My children did not like this and it was time-consuming and difficult to teach. I did not like flipping back and forth through the book to recite every question exactly as the text presents. Maybe this program would work better with upper elementary grades, but this was not a good fit for my early elementary kids. The program insists you wait until all students have mastered the material before anyone can move on. My 3rd & 2nd graders were extremely bored while the K felt stressed when she couldn't master the handwriting as soon as the older kids did. There is a lot of focus on handwriting in the beginning, so my children's handwriting did improve, but not without a lot of tears. This program was probably just OK for my 3rd grader, but we will be switching to something else this year.