Since I made a list of our curriculum for this year I thought it would be nice to share why I picked each of these and what I like about them. I am starting with Progressive Phonics, since we have been using it for while.
There are several reasons that I like this program. First off, I should mention that it is 100% FREE and a complete phonics program.
But even if I had to buy it, I would still use it. It is not as flashy as some' it doesn't have games, songs or lots of manupulatives. But personally, I have always thought the point of reading was to READ, and you don't read manipulative's, games or songs. These things may make learning more fun for some kids, but they are by no means necessary.
So what is this great program, how does it work?
The heart of Progressive Phonics is several series of books. You read them WITH your children, with them reading some of the words and you reading the rest.
The program starts with the Alphabetti series, which introduce the letters a few
at a time, organized by letter shape. These books are set in a series format, with each series focusing on a certain set of letters. There are five Alphabetti series being planned, and the third on is currently being wrote.
We did the first two with Bop and then skipped right to the next level of reading. She already knew her letters anyway, and the last two series teach the capital
letters and alphabetical order. I figure we can come back to those later.
After your children have gone through the Alphabetti books, they will already be well on their way to reading! They will know a lot of words and all the letters.
The next step is the Beginner Phonics books. These are formatted differently then the Alphabetti books. Instead of being an ongoing series with the same characters, these are short stories, normally rhyming, that practice short vowel sounds. There is one books for each vowel.
The Intermediate Phonics books cover digraphs, blends, long vowels, endings, and r and l controlled vowels. There are 15 of these books, and they are in the same format as the Beginning Phonics books.
The Advanced Phonics series is still being worked on, and contains a lot of rule breakers, and such things as more long vowels, 'r' controlled pairs, 'y' as a vowel, etc.
Progressive Phonics also has worksheets for each book and a lot of flashcards. These worksheets include coloring pages, handwriting, tracing pages, word searches, and word cards that can be used in several ways.
Why do I like this program so much?
1. When you read WITH your child, they learn a lot just my listening! But even better, they can really understand the story because they don;t have to sound out every word. It had been shown that when children are first reading, they focus on sounding out and don't follow the story. But when they only read SOME words, that doesn't happen!
2. ANYONE can do this. Really. If you can read you can use this program. It has everything you need, but it is so simple! You just read, with your child on your lap.
3. Your kids don't have to learn all the letters and their sounds before they start reading. Who wants to spend months on the introduction? On with the show! Progressive Phonics has your kids learning the first three letters and then starting right off sounding them out.
4. It is fast. It doesn't take an hour a day to learn to read, with this program you will have to
work to get in 15 minutes a day! Read one book, and do a worksheet if you like. That easy!
If this all sounds too good to be true, go check it out for yourself!