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Reading Lessons Through Literature

A blogging friend introduced me a  reading program called Reading Lessons Through Literature

I have been using this for the past 5 weeks with Caleb, Brent, Ethan, and Lance.

We both have struggling readers and spellers and challenged each other to use Reading Lessons Through Literature for 6 weeks. Once the 6 weeks are over we’d both reevaluate and see if we want to continue or try something else.

Reading Lessons Through Literature 1 
Thankfully this program is inexpensive. You can purchase it in pdf format at Lulu or the physical book at Amazon or Lulu’s.

What we both liked was the program uses the Orton method with an Elson Reader twist! The phonogram spelling list are organized around the Elson Readers which are included in the book or pdf.

Kathy Jo DeVore the author of Reading Lessons Through Literature (RLTL) reformatted the Elson Reader Primer.
Reading Lessons Through Literature 1 page
There are 75 phonograms for the child to learn. These are reviewed daily. The phonogram sounds are included in the book. All you really need to start this progam other than the book is a set of phonogram cards which you can make, purchase from another publisher, or print them yourself and a notebook.

There is an optional workbook in pdf format which includes practicing the phonograms and exercises too for $12.50. You don’t need this and again it’s optional. Since my kids are older I decided not to use it.
You can click HERE for a free pdf file from the author of Reading Lessons Through Literature. She also offers for free the Handwriting-Elson Reader Primer Copybook!

What I love about Reading Lessons Through Literature is the program is one of the easiest to get started. There are no color pencils, extra cards, magnets, etc. You can add all that in if you like but what I’m looking for right now is something without the extra frills. At least for the three older boys.

Included in the program is a schedule for the younger child and an accelerated schedule for older students.
Reading Lessons Through Literature 1 youngerSchedule
The younger schedule introduces 2 new phonograms a day while the accelerated schedule teaches 4 new phonogram.
Reading Lessons Through Literature 1 accelerated Schedule
The schedule is not as detailed after the 12th week but still helps to keep you on track by scheduling the spelling lists. By this time you pretty much know what to do.
Reading Lessons Through Literature 1 Spelling Schedule
With Caleb and Brent my older boys they are going through 4 lists a week which is about 40 words.

Here is how we use it:
I always start with reviewing the phonograms. We do this one of two ways.
~orally where I flip the phonogram card and they say the sound
~By a phonogram quiz, I dictate the sound and they write it

Next we either go over misspelled words. I dictate the word, they spell it, we correct it together. I write and say each sound on the whiteboard.

If it’s a new spelling list day then I dictate the new words. First I finger spell, they write the word, I write it on the board, the boys make any corrections.

If they misspell word I write it on an index card for review. You can read more about how I use Reading Lessons Through Literature HERE and HERE.
The kiddos actually enjoy their reading and spelling lessons and I’m getting two subjects in at one time. Yay!

With Caleb and Brent I hope to complete the first book with them in the next 6 weeks and start Level 2.
Reading Lessons Through Literature 2
My main goal with them is to get them reading. Spelling is a bonus for us with using this program. The children have improved in their spelling in the past 5 weeks with using RLTL.

With Ethan I’m going at a slower pace but I’d like him to finish the first level by June.

There are at total of 3 levels.
Reading Lessons Through Literature 3
I have enjoyed teaching RLTL so much that I’m looking into Kathy’s other books: Language Lessons Through Literature.
Language Lessons Through Literature
Once I’ve used the Language Lessons Through Literature I’ll write a bit about them as well. From what I’ve seen (I own levels 1, 2, and just purchased 3) I think I’m going to like them.
(There are no affiliate links, I just liked the program and thought I'd write about it.)


  1. Hi Blogging friend! This is one of the best OG spin-offs I've ever used. I like that the list has been re-organized to follow along with the Elson readers. So smart. We will keep using it even after the 6 weeks are up!

  2. Me too, I love the ease of use. Reading is actually getting done. Wahoo!

  3. I like that this teaches the phonogram sounds! And that it has you review them. But, I also like that it is visual and learn them in the context of literature. So happy it is working for you and you are sticking with it!

  4. I am so glad that you are finding things that are working for you and are able to stick with them.

    ~Giving praise!!!

  5. Thank you, me too. I am tweaking RLTL but so far I really like it.

  6. I noticed that you have used Phonics Road in the past. How would you compare the two? My 8 year old son is struggling to read and I can't decide between these two programs. Thanks for the help :)

  7. How long did you end up using RLTL? I am using it for the first time this year with our youngest sons, ages 8, 10, & 12.

    I LOVE the way you kept track of their progress on the note cards!!! I am going to start to implement that today!

    Thanks for blogging,

  8. I used the first two books. Phonics Road is a whole LA program and as much as I loved it my boys still were not reading at the level they should when they finished the first level of PR.

    With that said, I think my boys are dyslexic/working memory issues and the many rules of reading/spelling confuse them.

    Caleb & Brent completed a whole level PR, then 2 levels of AAR (3&4) and they still struggle. And RLTL in between :)


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