If your pre-reader has trouble learning his letter names and sounds or guesses at words instead of sounding them out, then the Gideon Learning to Read program is for you and your child. Beginning with the consonants, this program teaches not just letter recognition, but the sounds of the letters as well. Learning to read means breaking the alphabetic code. Our Word Builders booklets provide a step-by-step program with ample practice that allows the student to combine phonetic sounds to decode words. Research concludes that students who are skilled decoders are shown to have increased fluency and improved comprehension. Proper letter formation is also addressed. A list of the most commonly used words in children’s literature is included in our program. Since these words are studied in kindergarten and first grade, children who master them have a good foundation for beginning reading.
The Gideon Reading Program begins with an early comprehension series designed to promote reading for meaning. Concepts included are finding the main idea, sequencing, determining fact or opinion, and making inferences. These beginning comprehension booklets also develop new vocabulary each day. The curriculum continues with a nonfiction series that contains great diversity in subject matter with excellent thinking questions. Each child advances to more challenging material as he progresses in the program. Our incremental approach builds focus and foundational skills in order to deliver a more confident reader.
Gideon believes in a strong and direct approach to grammar beginning with first-grade work. This early start helps to build a firm foundation in a subject many students find quite difficult. Our program simplifies the learning of grammar concepts through daily drills. Proper sentence construction is a byproduct of having excellent grammar skills. Proficiency in sentence diagramming completes our full grammar curriculum.
Preparing our students for the yearly state standardized testing is included in the Gideon reading program. These booklets are designed to provide practice drills for each objective addressed on this test. The reading comprehension exercises are presented in a typical standardized testing format. Practicing these skills throughout the year prepares confident students on test day.
Research has shown that a strong vocabulary is essential for strong comprehension. The Gideon vocabulary program creates challenging activities to advance and strengthen basic language skills. Sentence writing using our weekly vocabulary words is also an important part of the program. Our more advanced vocabulary series consists of exercises which allow the student to apply his understanding of the meaning of the word in a variety of ways.
Short writing exercises are a focus early on in the curriculum to learn proper word order, punctuation, and capitalization. Later, the exercises require more creative thought focusing on more advanced words.