Released in August 2020! Designed for 5-8 years old, Grade 1 (or higher; please see note at bottom).
This is a printable e-book curriculum in pdf format. It is a full-year fun and comprehensive program with several sections!
Section A has teacher’s notes, example schedule, etc.
Section B has short reading story “tests” for weekly literacy (rather than drills of lists); it comes with alphabet-based word list posters and also pages to make one’s own “dictionary” (based on nouns, action verbs, etc.).
Section C contains basic phonics lessons for the year. (It can also coordinate with our Phonics is Fun! series if you want more in-depth phonics practice. There is a chart within Section C to help with that option. You might also wish to purchase the Hallway Display: Vowels. It is useful for both Steps 3 and 4, especially for a visual learner.) Phonics skill topics for the Step 3 level are:
- Consonants (including soft/hard c, g and silent letters)
- Short and Long Vowels, Y as a Vowel/Consonant
- Beginning Consonant Blends and Digraphs
- Basic level for plurals, inflectional endings, roots/suffixes/prefixes.
Section D provides 30 weeks of introductory spelling lessons with a thematic literacy emphasis. These reinforce phonics concepts, word expansion skills, and review sight words without the boredom. They specifically reinforce the literacy method of little words inside big words and spelling patterns. (This is the same “gingham and calico” Grade 1 spelling that was originally printed on cards at this link.)
Section E is essentially a refreshing reading comprehension book for the first year of writing and drawing to introduce these important skills (e.g. sequencing story parts, fact vs. opinion, following directions, personification, symbols, genre, summarizing the main idea, etc.) ! The pace for this section is suggested to be once-a-week time period (for approximately 30-33 weeks) and the lessons are loosely based on reading a piece of literature. A chart with recommended titles is provided but once again, this curriculum remains “literature-independent” so YOU choose what is read. 🙂 We sell some of these titles in our Step 3 Literature Bundle.
Section F contains alphabetically-organized optional Bible verse mini-posters to display and reinforce reading skills.
All-in-all, this adds up to 320 pages in the e-book + 27 in the accompanying printable posters – fun literacy/spelling/reading comprehension curriculum for both teacher and students! Many pages can be printed just once and reused for future siblings and many pages are simply black and white so it is very economical to print and easy to pull out to use!
Once again, we emphasize teaching reading by actually reading; written work is definitely part of this level however, it is not the focus of the methodology used for Step 3.
After printing this curriculum, organize it in your binder with dividers, and gather your choice of book titles to read together! 🙂
To download sample pages, including an example schedule, please go to this blog announcing its arrival! 🙂
Notes about the “level”: “Peppermint Stick” considers it our grade 1 level however, if you are just beginning school lessons in grade 1 (instead of kindergarten) AND your child has not yet begun to read or print, we would suggest you begin with Step 1 (or 2 perhaps) before moving on to this level. In other words, you can arrange “Step 1 and 2” into one year and do Step 3 in “grade 2”. You could even do this curriculum in “grade 3” and it still would be appealing.
If your child however is quite a bit older, for example, pre-teens or older and is still struggling with fluency and confidence in reading, we suggest that you use “Step 2” instead, partly due to the types of “how-to-read” skills which are taught in that curriculum and partly due to the style of presentation appealing to both young and older students. (Step 3 is very “primary-level” in its appearance, especially for spelling lessons, and the story “tests” are written as what young children find fun and appealing but older ones might not. Step 3 was designed especially for the primary stage, to reinforce and strengthen their reading skills.)