Introductory Note: I purchased these on my own. I did not receive a free copy to review. Hence, these are my honest opinions and assessments on the curriculum.
This is my all-time favorite program. This was also the first program I ever used in homeschooling.
The concept behind the method is based on explicit phonics (teaching the sounds of English in isolation, without key words and pictures) using the Socratic Method where kids think through the answers based on questions. Spelling words are dictated once the phonograms (sounds in English) are mastered as well as spelling rules. Then reading begins where kids “decode” the text by using their spelling rules.
Level 1 is for Kindergarten students and first-graders. It goes through teaching the phonograms, dictating spellings, introducing letter formation and writing, and grammar/spelling rules as the book progresses. It contains 160 Lessons to be used throughout the year. It recommends doing a lesson every other day for kindergarten students and every day for first-graders.
My old charter school taught the phonograms to the kids. Admirable but not enough, I thought.
The method relies on you integrating all of its components so following it to a T.
Admittedly, I do not. I use a separate writing program, a separate grammar program, and a separate hand-writing program (all of which is covered in Riggs). I guess I’m one to believe in more is better.
Level 2 continues right where Level 1 left off with spelling, grammar, syntax, and composition all integrated.
My favorite surprise of Level 2 is it contains a free copy of Essentials of English by Henry Carr Pearson and Mary Kirchwey. What a gem! My kids and I are going through this slowly and it is a wonderful addition to their other English lessons.
Conclusions: I credit the Riggs Method for the reason my girls are such good readers and spellers. When coming upon a new word, they almost always can sound it out or spell it. If they miss it, they miss it with one of the other phonic sounds such as ea instead of ee. Joy always fills me when this happens.
Having had my daughter in a traditional public school for a few months before I began my homeschooling journey I can attest to the fact teaching key words and one sound of the alphabet is horrible. My daughter was lost and she was placed in a remedial class for help.
Naturally, I was horrified and couldn’t figure out why. Until I started this book.
Blessedly, she was only in that school for 2 1/2 months but I had to undo what that school did.
Look-and-see only works for memorizers but I believe they will be hindered for life if they don’t know the why behind it all. I know because this was me.
I cannot recommend this program enough. If you do nothing else in homeschooling, this is the one I’d buy. It’s worth every penny and your child will reap the rewards.