Writing Road to Reading

Return to Categories


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, July 18, 2012
  • Grades Used: Kindergarten - 1st
  • Dates used: 2012+
I spent the $$$ to buy this curriculum (6th edition), so I obviously see a lot of merit in its principles. I use a lot of the methods informally throughout the day with my children, and I know it will give my children a solid foundation.

I must also say that I have only been using it a few months. But there is a lot about it that I wish I would've realized beforehand.

It is a very complicated method to implement in its entirety. It requires intense study and memorization of the WRTR textbook (the one you can check out from the library) AND the implementation of the Teacher's Guide, which has three separate sections you have to somehow combine together with the textbook. Like I said, it's complicated. I am not an elementary education teacher, but it would be easier for someone trained to be. I'm counting on it getting easier with each child.

You can pay $40 to watch the online videos that teach you the method step by step, but those are only available during the summer. I think that's also ridiculous, but they have their reasons. I'm currently in the middle of the videos, and they are like a real online class. I'm enjoying learning about the method.

Another thing is that while the curriculum focuses on teaching the different sounds of phonograms (which can either be one or many letters), they don't teach that one of the sounds of the letter Y is 'ee'-- such as in Lady, Baby, Happy, etc. They teach that in these instances, the letter Y makes the short i sound (i.e. igloo or into) and that the pronunciation is clipped and the emphasis placed on the first syllable. So those words are pronounced LAdi, BAbi, HAPpi. I find this reasoning really irritating, and I've told them so.

If you are a homeschooling parent who likes flexibility and simplicity, do not buy this curriculum. I wish I'd have realized how very complicated it was. But having invested over $400 into this, I'm determined to learn the method, and I know that if I do it successfully, my children will have a solid foundation for writing, reading, and spelling. That's why I purchased it in the first place.


  • Reviewed on Monday, January 10, 2011
  • Grades Used: K - 6th
  • Dates used: 1990 - 1997
I actually used the 4th Edition of the Writing Road to Reading many years ago when I homeschooled my children. I easily taught both of my younger ones to read using this method despite the fact that my son is dislexic and my daughter was more interested in making up "pretend" stories to go along with the pictures then actually learning to read the words on the page.

I originally chose the Writing Road to Reading because my two oldest were using it at the Christian School they attended before I withdrew them in order to begin homeschooling. What I saw there was more then enough to convince me that the Writing Road to Reading was the way to go, especially my oldest daughter's experience.

My oldest daughter was reading at a 4th grade reading level when they tested her the first week of Kindergarten and was reading on a 7th grade reading level before the year was over. The problem was that she had learned to read by sight... I had never taught her the letters or sounds and she had no idea how to sound out words, having simply memorized entire words while being read to. This meant that she had no concept of how to spell anything. She seemed to recognize the words while reading but was unable to picture them in her head when they were read aloud during a spelling test. In 1st grade she was able to read just about anything you put in front of her since I read aloud alot but was failing spelling!

Because of other issues, at Christmas break we made the decision to switch schools from public school to a Christian private school. The teacher explained the Writing Road to Reading to me and loaned me a set of phonogram cards so my daughter could practice over the holidays in order to catch up with the rest of the class. By the end of January, she was getting 100% on all of her spelling tests.

If I were homeschooling again, I would definitely choose the Writing Road to Reading and will soon be using the phonogram cards again with my 5 year old grandson when he comes to visit for a few months.


  • Reviewed on Friday, November 13, 2009
  • Grades Used: K and 1st
  • Dates used: 2004
This is the book and system I used to teach my two children to read. Now they both read well. The dictation lessons are great and the spelling words are very appropriate. The phonetic emphasis is better than any other program I've seen. I recommend this book to anyone who is trying to teach their child to read.


  • Reviewed on Monday, February 2, 2009
  • Grades Used: K, 1
  • Dates used: 2008 to 2009
This program is GREAT! My dd was resistant to learning to read, but wanted to learn to spell. WRTR was the answer to our prayers. I had the manual tucked under my bed for months because I was intimidated by the method. Once I pulled it out and started to read it, I was sold.

The new edition basically tells you what to do, however, the parent must commit totally to the method. Spelling does not take a lot of time daily once you understand how the program works. I'd say we spend about 20 minutes a day, 4 days per week.

My 6 year old dd (just turned 6 in December) is able to read from books on 2nd and 3rd grade levels with relative ease (reading comprehension is another thing lol). I never once required her to read anything, other than her spelling notebook, before she was ready. Then one day she picked up a book and started to read! If I didn't know any better, I might have called it a miracle. It was not, it was WRTR!! I will never use another method to teach reading!!