Pros: Easy to use, inexpensive, thorough and self-paced.
Cons: Not a typical curriculum, no workbooks. Some may want that type of practice.
I purchased Phonics Pathways after spending a great deal of time fighting with another popular phonics program. Upon first glance, Phonics Pathways seemed too simple to work. After all, didn't I need countless games, songs, bells and whistles to teach phonics? No! What I (and most importantly, my child) needed was a straight-forward, simple guide to teaching letter sounds, and eventually, decoding phonetic blends.
The book is in black and white. No bright pictures here to distract the child from the task at hand. Letter sounds are taught first, then the child progresses onto short, 3 letter words, eventually and incrementally progressing to multisyllabic words. Mastery is the goal and Mrs. Hickes has developed a wonderful method for teaching phonics that works! the book is self-paced, so there is no sense of panic of failure if you're "behind," because the pace and schedule is determined by the child. Phonics Pathways can also be used as a spelling curriculum. Mrs. Hickes explains how on her website, www.dorbooks.com.
If you have a child who is not impressed with tricks, games and gimmicks to teach him/her to read, Phonics Pathways may very well be the phonics guide you need. My 5 1/2 year old is reading at a 3rd grade level after learning to read with Phonics Pathways. I can't recommend this book highly enough!