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LLATL Blue book (1st grade) question...

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Is this program sufficient to teach or reinforce reading/phonics skills? I'm using Red, Yellow, Purple and Green books now for my other dc and am looking ahead to my ds5's 1st grade year. By that time I hope to have him reading CVC words and some sight words. Would this book be sufficient for phonics? Or, would I need to supplement with something else? TIA

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Blue is sufficient by itself. The first 2 lessons are pretty light reading readiness stuff. The next section spends a long time on CVC words, but it takes it to a higher level than the bob books or other K readers. You spend a long time gaining confidence with more text on the page at this stage. Section three spends 6 weeks on consonant blends and digraphs. Section four is 12 weeks of long vowel sounds (silent e and vowel teams are introduced at the same time). Sight words are introduced at a rate of 2-4 a week, so they're not overwhelming.


Depending on your child's progress and learning style, you might want to add in more worksheets (ETC fits very nicely with LLATL). This isn't necessary for every kid, but mine need pencil practice to cement the phonics. You will probably want to add in extra reading practice once you get to section four. That's the point at which a child can read early readers (SL's readers fit nicely- Little Bear, Cat in the Hat, Put Me in the Zoo, etc.) I also added Pathway readers for fluency practice, but this depends on the child too. You can start Pathways when you're about half way through LLATL.


The nicest thing about LLATL is using classic children's books to teach some grammar and literature concepts. It adds in a nice cuddle time twice a week that my kids look forward to. Only one book is hard to find and my manual included an addendum with an alternate lesson plan, so it's no big deal.


The phonics is gentle, but effective, and LLATL ends up covering all the standard first grade reading topics by the end of the 36 lessons. In fact it covers a bit more than ETC 1, 2, and 3. I don't spend more than 20 to 30 minutes a day on LLATL and it gets the job done. Since it's gentle and doesn't have much handwriting it's a great choice to use for a 5 year old who's started reading CVC words but needs to practice and consolidate before moving on to blends and long vowels. The thing to keep in mind is that LLATL is gentle but it's not easy. It may not seem like much each week, but it adds up over the year to being able to read.

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We're about halfway through the blue level (almost to the end of the CVC word section)-and we've really, really liked it. In doing the CVC words, it goes through all the letter sounds, and there are lots of opportunities for practice-using letter cards to blend CVC words, playing games with letter dice, using word cards to practice the words in the stories each week, and only introducing a few sight words at a time. And it also introduces basic grammar concepts like punctuation, capitalization, plural, and etc.


I think it definitely gives a good grounding in phonics and reading, marrying the sounding-out process with other literature concepts like characterization and plot. And it also includes some hands-on stuff-cutting and pasting type stuff-that my kids tend to really like.


We're going to add a little bit of ETC just for extra practice/reinforcement, but you don't really need it-for phonics and reading I think LLATL Blue is enough all by itself.

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Thanks Julianna and Flo. That's what I needed to hear. As soon as my body is my own again :D ds5 will start MFWK. He's still not 100% on all his letters and sounds. Almost, but not quite. We'll do a condensed schedule of MFW K (5 days instead of 6 per letter) and hopefully start 1st grade work by spring next year. I really would love to use MFW 1st b/c I love the Bible Reader, but many say the phonics gets really tough, really fast. So...I was considering adding LLATL as reinforcement as well as some ETC (which he does now..the Primers). Thanks for your helpful replies!

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