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Gather Round Homeschool: Ready To Read Review (being honest!)

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Looking for an honest, unsponsored review of Gather Round Ready to Read? You’re in the right place!

Ready to Read by Gather Round Homeschool is a curriculum that teaches children how to read, write and do basic math skills. It is a fairly new curriculum, with a release date in 2020. The program, designed primarily for kindergarten/grade 1, includes all of your subjects. It is blended with a full phonics program that is strategically skill based rather than age. The program has a pretty unique design. It allows you to place your child exactly where they need the help in their journey to reading fluency.

For me, the main appeal of Gather Round Homeschool is its ability to draw in and teach multiple children simultaneously. That is initially what attracted me to the program. But, Gather Round’s regular unit studies don’t really have much focus on phonics and reading. Having kids in these very early elementary years, I knew Ready To Read was something we needed.

Hopefully now you can see why we initially made the decision to use this curriculum! Let’s get on to the review of Gather Round Ready to Read!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.

gather round ready to read for review on dining room table

Our Experience with Gather Round Ready to Read

I’ve been teaching my 1st grader and kindergartener with this curriculum for almost a full school year now. With that being said, I’m quite happy with it! I have been homeschooling for 4+ years and also have a son that is in 3rd grade. I have used a few different programs over the years. These include All About Reading (which I still really like) and The Good & The Beautiful. However, this year I looked into Gather Round as a way to comprehensively and cohesively teach all of my children–together. As a result, I came across its Ready to Read program.

It’s not too expensive, it includes rich reading material and has practical life skills training. Which is important, because children need lots of opportunities to be successful. I love the structure and the illustrations! The program also aligns with Christian values so that was another huge plus for me!

We chose to start in Ready To Read 2 (At The Pond) since both of my boys were already beginning to read very simple words. With that being said, if your child can identify all of their letters, but still isn’t quite reading words, you will probably want to start at the very beginning of the program.

So far this year, we completed At The Pond and are now finishing up Ice and Snow. We are on track to finish On The Savanna (the last portion of the program) by the end of the school year.

kindergartener at table with homeschool curriculum and markers

Positives of Gather Round Ready To Read

One great thing about Gather Round Ready to Read is that it is easy to use. A lot of flexibility is built into the program, so its adaptable to your child’s needs. It is also simple, with straightforward instructions that are easy to follow.

Another great thing about this curriculum is that it is customizable. You get to choose whether or not to do the extra activities listed. You can also tailor the lessons to fit your child’s interests and abilities. This allows you to create a program that is perfect for your child. As I am teaching my two sons, I will often allow my 5 year old to dictate his answers for certain workbook pages while encouraging my 7 year old to go ahead and do all the writing.

Another notable–you can complete 2 lessons a day fairly easily. We have done it several times. After using the curriculum for a bit, I started noticing that usually, the same topic is covered over 2 lessons. The “Bible Connection” portion is based on the same Scripture for at least 2 days as well. This makes it easy to read through 2 lessons in one sitting. We usually do all of the notebook pages from both lessons (4 per lesson). But, sometimes I will cut out the pages that feel more like “fluff” (art, extra science, etc) in order to get through the more necessary material in a day.

Negatives of Gather Round Ready To Read

There is really only one definite negative I can think of with this curriculum series. That is the large amount of cut and paste activities. At first it was fine, but after a few weeks my boys were tiring of having to cut and glue so much. Now I am to the point where I allow them to skip the cutting and pasting and I improvise. I will ask them to dictate the answers or write them in, depending on the situation. Or, we will just discuss what the page is about.

To be honest, I’m not super picky these days as a homeschooling mom of 4. I just want my kids to learn how to read. I also want it to be as easy on me as possible. Ready To Read fits the bill!

overhead shot of ready to read at the pond and ice and snow open book

My Favorite Features of Ready to Read

I love that there is a Bible verse listed for each day. You can either read the listed Scripture directly, or read the passage from a storybook Bible. We have done both. For my boys, it’s more engaging for them to listen to me read from a more simply-written translation such as NIrV, NLT, or CSB.

Another great part of this program is the math practice. It’s simple enough for my 5 year old to understand, while still being challenging enough for my 7 year old to work through on his own. Some of the main concepts that we have focused on in books 2 and 3 are: basic addition and subtraction, greater and less than, and place value to the hundreds place.

I really like that Ready To Read teaches many skills in all different subjects. For example, in addition to basic science facts, the student is getting lots of handwriting and reading practice in every lesson. There is plenty of room to teach things in a creatively-engaging way within the same subject area. There are also extension activity suggestions such as videos, discussion points, and experiments. Everything flows and ties together in a unit study format.

My Review Summary of Gather Round Ready To Read

If you’re looking for a well-rounded, Christian-based reading curriculum that is easy to use and customizable, Gather Round Ready To Read may be perfect for your family. This program has been quite successful in teaching my boys how to read as well as providing extra math and science practice. It is available in both print or as a digital download that you can print yourself. We have enjoyed using this curriculum and I would recommend it!

Need more help with curriculum? Check out The Curriculum Cure, an incredible heart-filled homeschool curriculum mini-course from my friend Jess at Silo & Sage.

Watch me review Ready To Read At The Pond on YouTube:

Read more Homeschooling from Growing Dawn:
5 Reasons Why Homesteaders Homeschool
Kindergarten Homeschool: Keep It Simple
How To Choose Curriculum for Your Homeschool
2nd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Reviews

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  1. I’m so glad to see you have used All About Reading and Gather ‘Round Ready to read. I am homeatly going between the two companies trying to decide which would help my 3rd child (7 uear old) who is a relictant reader.

    Which do you think teaches fluency in reading better?

    1. That’s a difficult question, because I feel like All About Reading was more thorough and goes further, since there are more levels to go through. My oldest did amazingly well with it, but he is naturally motivated when it comes to reading and school. Gather Round Ready To Read was engaging for my more reluctant ones. However, it’s just designed to be a 1 year curriculum whereas All About Reading spans more than 1 year.