(Lulu using the whiteboard for a multiple phonogram activity)
Since I began homeschooling Peachy 4 years ago (then aged 6), I have used LEM Phonics by Light Education Ministries with each of my girls to teach English. Peachy’s school used LEM and I remember being quite impressed with the methods used in teaching her to read. I decided that I would continue to use LEM in our homeschooling, and have never looked back.
I love using LEM. There – I said it!! I think its great in teaching how to read, and has a really easy way of helping children to write. It continues through the years with really practical activities to do each week, as well as incorporating workbooks and there are lots of tools for them to succeed.
Peachy was taught the first year at school, and so was a confident reader by the time I took her out of school. Lulu and Jewel had no time in school so I had to teach them from the beginning. I was extremely SCARED to say the least with the thought of their reading being my complete responsibility. LEM really took the pressure of the how to and amazingly each child has learnt to read successfully. Each of my girls are very different personalities, as well as having VERY different learning styles. It was a good fit for all three.
So here is some pros and cons I have found using LEM.
It gives a solid foundation for learning to read and write
They take the reading and writing as a whole and teach the student to learn how to do both. It is important to get them to write as well as learning each sound (especially if your child is a visual learner)
Has teachers notes together with the students activities
There are lots of extra tools to help (hearing each sound on cd, interactive PDFs so they can click on the sound and then hear it)
The little reading books work on each multiple phonogram so they can read a book with success
Main idea is never move forward until they have grasped each concept (time is your friend!!)
Workbooks are simply laid out and don’t require the student to do lengthy activities Christian based curriculum (general edition is also available)
Thorough with how to explain each rule Kids learn rules quite easily and have many opportunities to review over the years
Offers daily tasks to cement rules and all the learning tools you need for life long reading and writing
Can easily and quickly pick up when they have not learnt a rule or concept and address it there and then IT WORKS!!
Workbooks are not colourful (which can be boring for some kids, though mine never really cared)
Can seem scary at first seeing all those numbers and lines around each word when teaching the word lists
The HOW DO I START is a bit overwhelming. It would help if there was a really simple booklet for homeschoolers to explain the methods and the “how to’s” really simply to show just how simple this program really is.
I completely understand this program is not for everyone. I get it. A few of my friends have found it overwhelming and either cut back on what was required or stopped using it all together. You always need to consider what is a good fit for your kids and yourself (as you will be teaching and directing this curriculum). The first 6 months of teaching this, I was pretty much on autopilot. I just read what I was meant to do and tried to teach and learn the best I could. I wish I had someone I could have talked to about it so as I could have learnt the ins and outs of it real quick. Someone to tell me its not as complicated as it looked.
Light Education Ministries are a great place to call and ask questions. A few years back I was actually able to talk to Evelyn Garret (who created this curriculum) and get a bit of advice from her. It was comforting to know that I was able to call and that I wasn’t completely alone!
Please note: I received nothing for reviewing this curriculum, nor was I asked by LEM to review it. The opinions in this post are my own and are provided to be of some assistance with how this curriculum works.