Friday, January 8, 2021

PRIDE Reading Program Review

PRIDE Reading Program for students with dyslexia

The following post is a collaboration between PRIDE Reading Program and MommyMaestra. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

The Orton-Gillingham Method

As a self-titled “Orton-Gillingham (OG) fangirl,” I was absolutely delighted at the prospect of getting my hands on a level of the PRIDE Reading Program to review. At the very least, my two oldest children are dyslexic and kiddos #3 and #4 present with similar traits; therefore, no reading program is welcome in our house unless it can claim OG status. For those unfamiliar with the characteristics of an OG program here is some helpful information on what OG means and why it is so effective for dyslexics.

It's important to note here, that this reading program is a wonderful resource for ALL children, not just those with dyslexia. However, those children with dyslexia who struggle with other reading programs will find this one to be easier and effective.

So it was with a hopeful heart and a discerning eye that I began to look through the Pride Reading level titled “Beginning Consonants” and started watching the Pride Reading Training Program videos. What I found, made a deep and lasting impression on me. 

PRIDE Reading Program

PRIDE Reading Program

A Homeschool Reading Curriculum for Children with Dyslexia

For this review of the Beginning Consonants level, I received the online Teacher’s Guide, the Student Workbook, and a set of the PRIDE Sound cards. I found the cards to be surprisingly sturdy, which is perfect for rough little hands. To the untrained eye, the Student Workbook looks plain and boring, but what a parent needs to understand is that kids with dyslexia often get overwhelmed when there is too much visual stimulation on the page. Cutesy pictures and lots of color may end up hindering a student’s progress. 

The PRIDE Reading Program is scripted like other OG programs such as Barton Reading and Spelling and All About Reading, but what I found to be unique about PRIDE’s online Teacher Guide is the layout of the scripts and procedures is so simple that it’s genius. Each step is boxed in bright orange so you don’t lose your place. The directions are written in black and dialogue is written in blue. It could not be any simpler to follow, which I appreciate as a busy homeschool mama of 5. I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve taken my eye off a teacher’s manual, even for a moment, and lost my place. It sounds like a small complaint, but in a scripted curriculum, losing your place is frustrating and cumbersome. Using a Teacher’s Guide that is as user-friendly and open-and-go as this one encourages a parent to continue a program with fidelity. This is key to remediating for dyslexia.

Empowering Parents

E-v-e-r-y homeschool parent, on fire with determination and willingness, knows we will stop at nothing to learn the technique, pedagogy, program, style, etc. that is most suitable for our children. If a homeschool parent determines that being their child’s own dyslexia tutor is the best fit for their family, PRIDE Reading is an excellent choice for the parent new to OG programs. 

The most helpful feature of PRIDE Reading is the online PRIDE Reading training videos you receive access to with each level. Before you begin using this program with your kids, watch the training videos on the PRIDE Reading website. Unless you are experienced with OG programs, you NEED to see these videos to understand how particular OG procedures work such as sky writing and arm tapping. In fact, even if you have previous experience with an OG program like I do, watch the videos anyway. 

After years of using Barton Reading and Spelling (you can find my review of Barton here), I still learned a few tricks watching these training videos. I imagine the name PRIDE, which stands for Phonemic Recognition Instruction Delivering Empowerment, was meant to be directed at the student who is empowered with the skills to read. But these training videos empower the parent to be confident about the remediation they are giving their child. It’s incredibly moving to experience this as a homeschool parent who’s likely been told that they are not qualified to teach their own children let alone a child with a learning issue. Many thanks to PRIDE for creating such a wonderful resource for parents!

PRIDE Reading Program

PRIDE In My Home

I decided to try PRIDE with my 4th kiddo because he is 5 years old, is not already using an OG program, and demonstrates similar dyslexic traits like his older siblings. He already knew some of his letter sounds but not all of them, which made the Beginning Consonants level a perfect fit for him. 

Take the placement check to find the best level for your child.

Overall, the lessons have gone better than I expected. Kiddo #4 is a very active child and these lessons are easily done while he wiggled in his chair or stood next to me. His maximum amount of concentration on ANY lesson homeschool subject is about 10-15 minutes and with PRIDE Reading, it is easy enough to complete a couple of units in that time. 

In Beginning Consonants, there are 20 modules and 3 units in each module making for a simple and organized level. It took several modules for Kiddo #4 to understand all the procedures, but once they are mastered, it’s pretty smooth sailing (I may have also promised gummy bears in exchange for a good attitude during lessons because whatever works, LOL). 

Some children will likely need more repetition and other children will likely blast through this level in a semester. As a parent, you will have to discern how fast or slow to pace the work. I also loved the additional links to past PRIDE articles that enhance learning at the end of each module. For example, at the end of the first module, there is a link to DIY Tactile Tile Letter Cards.

I was delighted for the excuse to break out my sandpaper letters and use them with this program. Like most OG-based programs, the student probably needs to finish a couple of levels before the effectiveness is revealed. I would caution the parent new to PRIDE that Beginning Consonants may not be the game changer, but it lays a solid foundation for the rest of the levels and is a gentle introduction to the ways of OG. 

PRIDE Reading Program

How to Personalize and Supplement the Program

I have just a couple of tweaks I’d recommend to families so that they could get the most out of PRIDE Reading Beginning Consonants. I would recommend that you include picture books at the end of the modules which emphasize the specific sound in the module. For example, I happened to have a set of Jane Belk Moncure’s First Steps to Reading A-Z series and read My “b” Book, following the first module and the other books following each of the letter sounds we were learning. The picture book choices are endless! Blueberries For Sal by Robert McClosky for the letter ‘b’ and Caps For Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina for the letter ‘c’ are a couple of other examples. 

There are many picture book titles that would compliment this level AND celebrate Hispanic culture as well. M is For Mexico by Flor de Maria Cordero comes to mind, as well as ¡Todos Al Celebrar! A Hispanic Customs and Traditions Alphabet Book by Dr. Ma. Alma Gonzalez Perez. If you’d like to pick a picture book to focus on 1 letter at a time, that is more than possible too! Imagine the laughs you will share if you read a book like Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto, while learning about the letter, ‘T’. 

Because I’ve homeschooled for almost 10 years now and have used Handwriting Without Tears with all my school-aged children during those years, it was strange for me to attempt handwriting using the line spacing in the PRIDE student workbook. Although I do not see anything particularly wrong with the handwriting portions of PRIDE, it looks like any standard handwriting program on the market, I appreciate PRIDE including it in their program.

Bottom Line

PRIDE Reading deserves a place at the same table with all the best homeschool reading programs. The ease of use of the Teacher’s Manual paired with the effectiveness of Orton-Gillingham methodology makes PRIDE Reading an ideal program for homeschooling families. 

Visit the PRIDE website to learn more about their program, to find your child's level, or to sign up for their free introduction course!

Want to find this review again? Pin it!

PRIDE Reading Program for children with dyslexia

Disclaimer: I received a copy of level one for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own. ~Stacie


Stacie Servantes Farias is an Army wife and mom of 6 with a “very healthy” obsession for Snoopy, Disney movies, Audrey Hepburn, Dr. Pepper, Whataburger, books, and homeschooling. Originally from Mission, Texas, Stacie and her high-school sweetheart hubby live with their kids and dog in a different home every few years, because that is the military life. She has big plans to write a book exploring her theory that La Llorona drowned her children because they would take their socks off all over the house and then would complain that they never had clean socks!


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