It’s not often that I review faith-based curriculum here on the blog. I mean, given the fact that I’m married to a minister, I should be knee-deep in it. However, I usually find them a bit stuffy when it comes to teaching. We’re more of a faith in action type family rather than what can be seen as heavy or preachy material. I’m reviewing Pathways2.0 for my 5th grader, and as usual, I have some thoughts. You may be surprised with them of course, but that’s the point of these types of reviews right.
I should also take the time to state that this is a compensated post for my time in learning to use Pathways2.0 Reading and Language Arts Curriculum and share it with you. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Pathways2.0 Reading & Language Arts Curriculum Overview
Pathways2.0 is a comprehensive, easy-to-use elementary reading program with integrated language arts for grades 1-8. This approach allows students to follow a variety of avenues to become readers, writers, and learners. Organized around broad themes and a scope and sequence of skills, Pathways2.0 uses award-winning trade books that children want to read to deliver the skills that they need.
The program is based upon the belief that students should not only learn how to read, but also acquire the desire to read, write, and learn. Pathways2.0 provides all students with the opportunity to become passionate learners, readers, and writers and the curriculum includes components and activities that address ten key principles:
- Reading Instruction that fosters inquiry and deeper student involvement in learning
- Spiritual Growth that helps students make good choices in life as well as in reading content
- Reading Motivation that helps students develop a lifelong passion for reading
- Writing and Expression that grows from reading and learning and helps create meaning for students
- Selective Topics that support and encourage writing practice for different purposes and audiences
- Reading Comprehension that grows from systematic instruction and learning strategies that students apply to literature and content subjects
- Phonics Skills that are developed through a sequential program of phonics that includes systematic, daily practice
- Spelling Instruction that is systematic, coordinated with phonics instruction, and addresses the specific developmental level of each student
- Assessment that not only provides teachers and parents with information and tools about student development, but helps students assess their own growth
- Classroom Management that includes whole-class, small group, and individual student activities.
What’s Included in Pathways2.0 Reading & Language Arts Curriculum
Each curriculum comes with a teacher’s daily lesson guide, correlating text: ours is Dinosaurs, Where Did They Come From and Where Did They Go? and worksheets to use right away. The daily lesson guide has hard copies of these worksheets for future use with other students.
For the purpose of this review, I’m discussing the level 5 curriculum covering the environment. Selections in this theme stress the interrelationship between people and their environment. The literature deals with the survival of people in nature and the exploration of God’s world. Students also study ways to appreciate and protect the environment. People of faith believe in a coming Earth made new; however, as good stewards commissioned in the Garden of Eden, we still have a responsibility to care for God’s creation. For level 5 this happens to open us up to a discussion about dinosaurs and their impact on the Earth.
Too many Christians don’t know the truth about dinosaurs. With this book for children of all ages (and their parents), author Elaine Graham-Kennedy, a Seventh-day scientist who believes the Bible story of Creation and spent her life studying dinosaurs, has much to share with kids. Dinosaurs is filled with information and ideas about these now-extinct creatures.Kendall Hunt Website
My daughter isn’t the happiest of readers, but she thrives in creative work. She just let me know recently that if it isn’t exciting, or her preferred genre she’s not really going to be that into it. Surprisingly, she didn’t give me much pushback with this curriculum even though it still wasn’t in the genre she loved. As we were preparing for the first week’s lesson, I caught her thumbing through the accompanying text and randomly asking questions about what she was skimming. I also noted that the combination of flashcards with their corresponding definitions really helped her with analyzing the text she was reading. Given that we were also reading nonfiction, it helped reign in her ennui for subjects studies in general, and we had a pretty extensive conversation about dinosaurs as presented in the text. Expanding her critical thinking skills is becoming an important foundation builder this year.
Every week, there are a variety of vocabulary words that you will learn and you’re given options to give spelling tests, vocabulary expansion and phonics exercises. With each word printed on one side of the flashcard with the definition directly on the back, it’s easy for her to build her vocabulary in short bites rather than extended study periods. It’s perfect for her learning style, and it helps me with the ability to focus on presenting the curriculum in a comprehensive way. It doesn’t hurt that each week’s lessons are planned out for me and I don’t have to worry that I’m missing something.
In essence, this curriculum is perfect for homeschooling families on a budget, and those who aren’t as gung-ho with curriculum planning. Everything isn’t for everyone, and everyone isn’t great at creating a curriculum for their children.
If you’re interested in purchasing a faith-based reading and language arts program for your homeschooling children, consider the Pathways2.0 Reading & Language Arts curriculum.