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Best Phonics Program for K


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I know this question has probably been posted a million times so I would first like to apologize. Second, I would like to thank you for taking a look at my post and offering your advice/opinion.

 

This will be my first year HSing so I am researching curriculum's. My DS will turn 5 in July and attended preschool this past year (just finished today)! He knows all of his letter sounds and is reading level 1 books and level 2 (or set 2) in the BOB books. So I would like to work with him on blending sounds and phonograms. I really like Horizons Phonics and Reading, ETC and Phonics Pathway. I also was turned on to a new program called Wordy Worm Reading (website - wordywormreading.com). So needless to say I am really confused. I don't think my DS will do good with just workbook work which is one of the reasons I am shying away from Horizons Phonics and Reading. He needs to be engaged instead of just sitting and learning. So give me your best advice/opinion! TIA!

 

Jacque

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Jacque,

 

I have personally used the K12 Phonicsworks program for two of our boys - it's multisensory and active with just a little bit of writing. It comes with a LA program that I do NOT use, but will continue using the phonics portion with the rest of my children....that said, Phonics Pathways is also a great program and I have had success with it in my "teaching" days before I had my own children and started homeschooling. I have four active boys, and workbook type programs don't work in our house, so I understand the need to be engaged. You can PM me if you have more questions.

Blessings,

Melody

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Hi, Jacque!

 

I've only used Phonics Pathways, as I'm a semi-newbie myself (I've been "researching" - a.k.a. addicted to this board - for years, but have only homeschooled K and 1st grade). Here's how I used it:

 

DS just read down a page a day in K. That's it!

 

After he learned how to write (1st grade), I had him write three words of his choice from the page of the day and circle the letters that made the day's sound. That's it!

 

It's short, to-the-point, and great for the natural reader! It's not very fun, per se, but very solid. It did take us two years to get through it.

 

All that to say, I'm not sure it's what you're looking for, but that's how we used it!

 

HTH :)

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Hi, Jacque!

 

I've only used Phonics Pathways, as I'm a semi-newbie myself (I've been "researching" - a.k.a. addicted to this board - for years, but have only homeschooled K and 1st grade). Here's how I used it:

 

DS just read down a page a day in K. That's it!

 

After he learned how to write (1st grade), I had him write three words of his choice from the page of the day and circle the letters that made the day's sound. That's it!

 

It's short, to-the-point, and great for the natural reader! It's not very fun, per se, but very solid. It did take us two years to get through it.

 

All that to say, I'm not sure it's what you're looking for, but that's how we used it!

 

HTH :)

 

:iagree:

I'm using Pathways for my ds4, ds6 and I just finished the book with dd7.

I use the instructions she gives in the book for dictation and or copywork and adjust for the child's skill level.

We throw in BOB books for fun and also the Reading Pathways book by the same author as Phonics Pathways.

That's all we need. And as a bonus, it is all completely reusable. It was not expensive and by the time we're done, I will have used it to teach 4 children.

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I have just decided to put my similar 5 yr old in Alpha Phonics - a very simple approach - NO writing.

Heard Susan Wise Bauer this weekend who said pull writing and reading apart. I tried her Parent's Guide to teaching Reading with another son. We got bogged down in it.

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I'm on my 5th trip through Phonics Pathways. It's simple, it's quick, and it works. My guys read anywhere from 1/4 page to 2-3 pages a day (depending on how well they're doing or how well they're paying attention). It's so easy to adapt.

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I've used Funnix for my two little boys as it seems to keep their attention and is really well laid out. I found the program after trying multiple times to complete "How to teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons." A little too boring and overwhelming for them. My oldest just completed Funnix 2 yesterday and now reads at a 2nd or 3rd grade level from what I understand, but it has all the phonics pieces in it as well. I haven't used any of the other programs listed or I would comment on them as well. Funnix starts with recognizing letters and learning to write them, with lots of practice. And progresses at a good pace. The program is based on the computer but is not like a computer game. After the story you move on to due the workbook writing. I didn't like how teacher intensive it was at first, but you really need to make sure the kids are pronouncing words and letters correctly. Plus it has really paid off for my 6yr old. I hope this helps.

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The best program is one that will get done consistently. What did it for us was Funnix as well. My oldest is about halfway through Funnix 2 now. FWIW, we do the worksheet questions orally because I agree with SWB about teaching reading and writing separately.

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We found success with Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. I think a few other programs are also great, such as Phonics Pathways, but we ended up preferring the scripted lessons. It's very thorough with phonics and goes up to a fourth grade reading level.

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We started out by learning all letters and their sounds mostly through Melissa and Doug puzzles. DD then started hooked on Phonics and after she understood basic blending, she did just the first set of Bob books. After that, we went straight into Dr. Suess books like "The Cat in the Hat" since DD already knew "AT" words. We used the book to practice blending other sounds and from there kept adding other beginning readers, Arnold Lobel books, Amelia Bedelia books, etc.. until she was a proficient reader. We did not use anything after BOB books 1 other than regular books. We just kept going to the library and getting more books. Now that DD reads well, we do plan on going back to phonograms while we do Phonics Road. I know many people use curriculum to get their children to read, but it sounds like your son is already there, he just needs to "take off". I think that once they have the basics they will increase their reading ability best by reading more books. After DD was reading BOB books, I tried to go back to Hooked on Phonics, but she was not as interested. She learned better by doing it naturally. This has been our experience, but our daughter was a natural reader. I just wanted to offer it up as an alternative approach.

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I'm going to chime in here for Saxon Phonics. Not the cheapest program, but I'm VERY pleased with how well it is working for my wiggly ds. We started it last fall, and have worked on it VERY casually since this is a preschool year for him - averaging about 2 lessons a week. We are halfway through the K level and he can read quite well on the 'The frog sat in the hot sun' level & he really enjoys the lessons. I especially like that there is a lot of repetition of the same skill in various different activities - this allows me to skip some of the activities that he doesn't want to do and not worry that he is going to miss out on a skill. I like that nearly every lesson has some physical component to it - jump on the letter that you hear me say, clap your hands to count out syllables, stand up when I say a vowel, etc. It is a good fit for my active son! I wish I had looked into it for my dd too, she did Phonics Pathways which she learned from well enough but didn't like much. And of course that is the most important thing is to go with the curriculum that works best for your kid!

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I've used the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading (OPG on the boards) for all three of mine. We use a magnetic board with magnetic letter tiles for daily practice as well as BOB books and the Explode the Code workbook series. They are now age 10, 7 and 6 and I have two very solid readers and an emerging reader. OPG is the best resource out there and is full of great activity ideas and other early reading suggestions from an experienced home educator and reading teacher. HTH

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We have used Spalding, but are moving to Spell to Read and Write. They are basically the same. I did however, concentrate mainly on learning the phonograms with my Kindergartner. He hates writing, so I have held off on the writing intensive part. As far as phonics programs goes, this is truly phonetic. There are NO sight words. We started with Phonics Museum, which I LOVED until they introduced sight words, and I couldn't understand it. After learning the Spalding method, I can phonetically break down words that they had on their sight word lists.

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