There’s an old-time proverb that says something like this: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Wise words, right?
Well, when it comes to homeschooling, our biggest “fish” is reading. If we can teach our kids to read well, we are giving them the ability to feed their minds for a lifetime.
To take this analogy one step further, language arts skills are kinda like the fishing pole and hook–without them, it’s pretty tough to catch that fish.
I recently discovered a curriculum that teaches reading and language arts using books. What better way to inspire a child to perfect those “fishing” skills than by offering him a delicious piece of fresh fish (or a high-quality book, if you’re following along with my thinking here)?
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Pathways: Reading and Language Arts Using Trade Books
Pathways 2.0 Reading and Language Arts for Grades 1-8 is a comprehensive reading curriculum that incorporates all aspects of language arts. The publisher, Kendall Hunt RPD, believes that “students should not only learn how to read, but also acquire the desire to read, write, and learn.” (Emphasis added.)
Learning how AND acquiring the desire . . . if that doesn’t sound like teaching a kid how to “fish,” then I don’t know what does.
An Up-Close Look at Pathways
Each level of the Pathways curriculum is divided into nine themes, or units, that are repeated in each level of the program:
- Heroes – people who have overcome insurmountable challenges
- My World – how people live in different geographical regions and cultures
- Environment – relationship between people and the environment
- Personal Feelings – personal issues, peer pressure, family relationships
- Friends & Family – relationships within the family and with friends
- Living Things – Creation and life science topics
- Walking with God – spiritual topics **Please note that Pathways is a Seventh-Day Adventist curriculum; this unit will almost certainly contain content that is specific to Seventh-Day Adventist beliefs.
- Yesterday – history through literature
- Social Issues – prejudice, physical and mental disabilities, cultural differences, immigration, poverty
Because of each unit’s focus on a particular topic, Pathways feels almost like a unit study. If you’re a fan of unit studies, I can see plenty of possibilities for adding in extra reading (for voracious readers) or related activities (for hands-on learners).
Each unit is centered around a high-quality trade book. The book we received was Odd Boy Out, the story of Albert Einstein.
This book was absolutely fantastic, with a hardback cover, beautiful full-color illustrations, and well-written text. The very same day that the book arrived, my daughter sat down and read the entire thing!
If you’d like to see the complete listing of books used in the Pathways program (plus lots of other info about the program), please see their digital brochure.
Daily Lesson Guide
Each theme has its own Daily Lesson Guide that outlines the standards taught within the unit, suggested assessments, and other teacher helps. The Daily Lesson Guide is divided into weeks, each with five days of planned lessons. That’s right, you do NOT have to do the planning—it is all done for you!
The daily lessons are divided into three categories:
- Word Study – phonics, vocabulary, and spelling related to the book the student is reading
- Reading Workshop – reading comprehension; guided and independent reading
- Writing Workshop – writing and grammar mini-lessons, guided and independent writing, and handwriting practice
Pathways really does cover everything your child needs in order to be able to “fish” for a lifetime!