ONCE A CHILD LEARNS TO READ, he can learn anything he needs to know. So when a homeschool mom or dad looks for a phonics curriculum, they’re usually looking for a phonics curriculum that:
1) really and truly works
2) uses a method with long-lasting, life-long results
3) carries a child from preschool phonics all the way through 4th grade reading level and higher
4) enables parents who have never learned phonics to teach phonics to their own child
5) includes both lessons and readers
6) is affordable
7) is easy to teach
8) is fun for a child to learn on a daily basis
9) is easy to purchase
10) includes great customer reviews
Are all phonics programs the same? Absolutely not! So how would a parent know if a reading program works? What should that reading program do?
A good reading program should be based upon systematic phonics, and it should enable a child to learn to sound out every word on every page. A good reading program should not leave a child guessing at words or feeling as if his reading lessons are daily, large, dreaded mystery boxes that are painful to open.
Are there different phonics methods presented in different phonics curriculums?
Oh yes! What’s more, the way in which children initially learn to approach words can make a world of difference later as they approach more and more multi-syllable and complex words and sentence structures.
There are basically four phonics approaches on the market. Candy 4WAY Phonics has chosen #4 below for some very good reasons.
1. Word Family Approach
Children are taught to read beginning with linguistic phonics. Linguistic phonics teaches word-family endings and then changes the beginning consonant sounds at the beginning of those endings to form three-letter words. For example, the children will learn the sound of -at and then they will practice several -at words such as bat, cat, sat, and pat. However, this method skips vital synthetic phonics instruction, it skips teaching a proper left-right reading sequence, and it skips teaching children how to distinctly differentiate between the vowel sounds. It places all of its emphases on groups of letters contained at the end of words.
With the Word Family Approach, a child hears the word pronounced in a left to right order, but he “sees” the word from an incorrect right to left order. This can later cause confusion when children approach longer, multi-syllable words. In fact, this can actually cause some children to see with a “dyslexia” tendency when they are really not dyslexic at all.
2. The Word Family Approach presented Inside Little Reading Books
With this approach, word families are not drilled but presented in sentences inside little story books. The story books often lack real story content, never move past “predictable” sentence structures, and offer pages such as:
Chad is sad. Today, he does not wish to play.
Chad will nap today.
Mom sees Chad is sad.
Mom will get Chad to play.
Thus, children do not learn that reading is fun and interesting, and because of the repetitive phrases used in the stories, children learn to anticipate words rather than to approach and sound out words. In addition, these reading programs start out at prices of $250 and higher.
3. The Guided Reading Approach used in Public School Classroom across America.
This approach insists that children memorize hundreds of whole words and then mixes all of that ridiculous memorization with a tiny bit of salt and pepper, embedded phonics. It convinces children that words can be “figured out” or “guessed” by following little “clues.” Children do not ever learn to blend sounds together in words.
This method doesn’t work, it leaves children guessing at words, it is not thorough , and it is the main reason why illiteracy has flourished in this nation since the 1950’s.
4. Beginning Consonant/Short Vowel Approach - The (CV and CVC) Approach
With this method, children are taught to blend an initial consonant with a short vowel. They practice saying all the short vowels sounds with one consonant at a time. For example, ba- be- bi- bo- bu-. After this is mastered, consonants are added to form three-letter, short-vowel words.
Children learn to master and “punch” the short vowel sounds first, then the long vowel sounds, and then the schwa vowel sound, thus giving children a solid foundation in the three distinct ways to pronounce vowels. All three phonics approaches are used: synthetic, linguistic and analytic, and these phonetic approaches are presented in a sequence that produces lasting and lifelong sounding-out skills.
The CV/CVC Method takes a tad bit longer in the beginning because it “builds” children into three-letter, short-vowel words, but children also gain a proper left-right reading sequence,
How does the CV/CVC approach begin?
First, a child is shown an initial consonant in isolation and taught its sound.
Second, a child learns the short vowel sounds.
Third, a child begins his blending skills by blending the consonant sound together with the vowel sound before adding the next consonant. There is no way for the child to go except from left to right, and with enough practice, he will gain an automatic left to right reading habit!
With the CV-CVC approach, daily lessons are mastered before goingon to the next lesson. The lessons use a combination of synthetic, linguistic and analytic phonics. Children proceed to learn every possible phonogram and blend, reading from left to right, and proceed all the way through a 4th grade reading level and higher.
The Candy 4WAY Phonics Curriculum uses Method 4 above, the (CV and CVC) Approach, but Candy’s Phonics also adds another fun approach entitled R’sA Phonics (rhyme, rhythm, and alliteration). This is because at Candy 4WAY Phonics, we desire that homeschooling families receive a solid, phonetic/reading curriculum that is both easy to teach and fun to use but that is also thorough, encouraging children to master one lesson before proceeding to the next and not to quit until they have mastered every possible sound within words.
The Candy 4WAY Phonics Curriculum begins by teaching what each of the vowels sound like as individual letters. Children build into three-letter, short vowel words and go on from mastering short vowel words on to long vowel words, and continuing through all the rest of the phonograms as they are presented in daily phonics lessons and sequenced readers (readers presented after every five daily lessons).
Moreover, a child’s daily phonics lessons include only words, sentences and stories that contain letters, blends, and phonograms he has already mastered in previous lessons. As a result, children learn both sounding-out skills and fluency skills and are eventually able to sound out every word on every page.
The Candy 4WAY Phonics Curriculum is an easy to teach, step-by-step COMPLETE systematic phonics program. It begins a child as young as 4 years old with synthetic, phonetic letter sounding and blending and carries that child all the way through every possible phonogram and blend he’ll ever need to know for the rest of his life. In addition, it presents spelling rules throughout its 100 phonics lessons. For just $10 more, parents can receive the entire curriculum on CD-Rom including an Audio CD-Rom in which they can hear every letter and every word and every sentence read aloud for all 100 lessons, eliminating all the guesswork.
The Candy 4WAY Phonics Curriculum is loaded with fun rhyming, alliterative, and rhythmic sentences and stories that eventually give way to 3rd and 4th grade excerpts, poems and other materials containing connective words and varied sentence openers.
The Candy 4WAY Phonics Curriculum includes 100 daily, step-by-step phonics lessons, 20 story readers with real story content, rhyming alphabet phonics charts, continuous phonics drill and review, rhyming phonics flashcards that enable children to advance from single letter sounds to two and three letter blends, one-syllable words, and multi-syllable words. It also includes rhyming Lifetime Phonics Charts that enable children to remember all the sounds they’ve learned for the rest of their lives.
Candy 4WAY Phonics encourages children to master the distinct short and long vowel sounds, phonogram sounds, and blends until they can fluently read through sentences containing words that make up both simple and complex sentence patterns.
Candy 4WAY Phonics comes as an INSTANT DOWNLOAD that includes lessons, charts, flashcards, and readers that moms can “print as they go.” The curriculum is set up this way to give homeschooling parents a complete phonics curriculum that is both affordable and non-consumable — parents can purchase the program just once and use it to teach all of their children how to read.
Moms, Dads, Grandmas, Grandpas, check us out. Read what others are saying about this affordable, thorough, systematic 4WAY Phonics Curriculum.
And if you haven’t read the true story of little Candy, please take the time to do so. It’s a great story!
Carol Kay, President
Candy 4WAY Phonics