“I do have a question concerning your book. What grade level would someone be at as far as typical phonics/reading skills after finishing Phonics Pathways? My young five-year-old son just reached the pyramid, and was so excited to read his first BOB book after reading the pyramid.”
When someone finishes Phonics Pathways they are technically able to read anything in the English language, uncategorized or unhampered by “grade level.” However, that does not mean they will want to, or understand what they are reading.
For example, you and I technically would be able to read a book about brain surgery because we understand the mechanics of reading, but it is doubtful that either one of us would comprehend what we are reading.
So along with teaching the mechanics of reading, it is also necessary to develop vocabulary and comprehension. As far as vocabulary goes this is best done with good books — reading to them using a wide variety of literature, and explaining the meaning of any words that may be too difficult to understand at the time. (Yet even if they don’t understand all the meanings of the words, just being able to read them and pronounce them is a considerable achievement!) Learn how to use the dictionary.
Good movies can help accomplish this as well, if chosen carefully. I’m also a believer in diagramming sentences as reading develops, to help organize complex sentences into logical patterns. And always, periodically, ask them to explain to you in a nutshell what they just read. Who did what? (You can also ask them how they felt about it, what they think might happen next, etc. but those are conversational questions that don’t directly deal with the content.)
In summary, exposing your young son to a wide use of new vocabulary using a variety of techniques is the best thing you can do to develop his reading skills and comprehension!