As a homeschool veteran of 15 years I have tried all kinds of curriculum, always in search of the better way/program/style. I have some books that I've stuck with through the years, but far more that just didn't, for whatever reason, meet my standards. Maybe I'm hard to please? I don't know, but I prefer to think I just strive for excellence. ha ha :D We've used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons for every one of our children. I like the book, but I always pre-teach the letter sounds before we begin the book. The book doesn't want/require you to, but I think it really helps. I've never found the right thing to use for this though, I'm unhappy with everything I've ever seen: it's too cartoonish, it's too gaudy, it's too much busy work etc. So, I made my own book. There are 2 beautiful paintings for each sound, each with an overlay like this:And then you flip the page to just view the painting and you see this:
At which point we discuss the painting (Charlotte Mason style picture study). The other "s" painting is snow, BTW.
After the painting we write the "s" sound in cursive. The uppermost big "s" we trace our finger over (gross motor skills) and then she will begin writing s's in the outlines. The next day she will progress to dotted lines to trace over. Each letter will take 4-5 days of activities, repetition and writing before we go on. I will teach letter joins as we go as well as blending sounds.
I'm pretty excited about this, it has been a lot of fun putting it together and I really hope that, at last, I've found the right thing.