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When it comes to finding curriculum for teaching, math and reading are two of the most popular subjects. It seems that everyone has their favorites, and as soon as things go wrong, people are always willing to share “what has worked” for them.
I am SO glad we are set in both subjects. I am currently working on teaching my 3rd child to read using our favorite reading program…Alpha-Phonics! Why do we love Alpha-Phonics? It is no-nonsense. The kids are learning to read right away and from the beginning lessons they are reading full sentences from the sounds they have learned.
I will admit, I have had “grass-is-greener” syndrome. I have seen all of the flashy new phonics programs and have fallen for their lure. But as soon as we start using them I wonder what I have done. Phonics programs don’t need anything fancy…they just need to teach a child how to read. Every time (and there have only been a few) we return to Alpha-Phonics. I know it works and we have seen the results.
As a part of this review I was given not only the main Alpha-Phonics book, but also the CD-Rom (which is now included with the book), the set of How To Tutor Little Companion Readers, and the Companion Workbook. We have only ever used the book, so it was nice to have these “extras”! Moose was so excited to open the package and get started!
I have to say, I love having the CD-Rom to go along with the book. If I have questions on the teacher instructions (which are all in the back of the regular book) I can check that lesson on the CD-Rom. Our family room is right around the corner of the kitchen, so I can be working with Moose on his lesson while I am cooking dinner or cleaning up the kitchen. He is so excited that he can do school work on the computer!
When it comes to the readers, I just let Moose pick one up and read when he wants to. I don’t really schedule it since he is only 4 and I don’t want to push him. We go at his pace. But I am surprised just how often he will pick one up and start reading! He loves having his own books that he can read…what an encouragement for him!
Although we haven’t really used the workbook yet, I do see that it will be a great learning tool when we do. Moose is not a huge fan of workbooks, and I want to make sure he has solid handwriting instruction before I have him try to write letters. But I am thinking I may just use some small letter tiles and have him do some of the workbook that way. I love the fact that the binding of the workbook is on the top! This would have been great for Caspian since he is left-handed. I think Little Bear will benefit too since it looks like he is another lefty:)
A typical reading lesson takes us about 10 minutes or so. Some of the longer lessons we break up into smaller pieces so Moose doesn’t get overwhelmed. Once I have the lesson introduced, sometimes an older sibling will step in and finish the practice words and sentences with Moose. I love to see the kids willing and happy to help each other out!
I am so happy that we found Alpha-Phonics when we were just beginning homeschooling. I have two great readers, and one more is following close behind! I don’t know why I ever wandered from it…even if it was only for a little bit. It is a very solid program that gets the job done. We love it and I vow to never use anything else!
Alpha-Phonics has also agreed to give away a complete set to one of you lucky readers! This set will include all of the materials I mentioned above: the book, the CD-Rom, the readers, and the workbook. If you have ever struggled with teaching phonics I highly suggest you check out Alpha-Phonics! Just click on the link below for a chance to win!