Archive for July, 2010

Choosing the Best Phonics Curriculum – Are All Phonics Programs the Same?

Posted in best phonics program, systematic phonics, systematic phonics instruction | Comments Off on Choosing the Best Phonics Curriculum – Are All Phonics Programs the Same?


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 available to anyone, anywhere on the globe, in printable, non-consumable format for just $9.97.   


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-consumableparents 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


Teach an Older Child to Read – Teach an Older Child Phonics – Teach a Struggling Reader How to Sound Out Words

Posted in how to teach an older child to read, phonic | Comments Off on Teach an Older Child to Read – Teach an Older Child Phonics – Teach a Struggling Reader How to Sound Out Words


Mom, Dad, are you grieved because your older son or daughter cannot read?  Do you feel that you’re the only one in your child’s life who really cares?  Indeed, you might be the only one who really cares, and that’s exactly why you need to know that your child can learn to read every word on every page! 







1) Your child can learn to read every word on every page!


2) You can receive a COMPLETE Phonics program as an INSTANT DOWNLOAD including step-by-step instructions, 100 easy-to-follow daily phonics lessons, phonics readers, rhyming phonics charts, rhyming phonics flashcards, phonics drill, multisensory vowel helps, and free email coaching — all for just $9.97.


3) You will need to spend just 20 to 30 minutes a day with your child.


With the Candy 4WAY Phonics Curriculum you can start your child (no matter what age he is) from the very beginning of phonics reading instruction and gradually build him/her into more and more complex words, sentences, paragraphs and readers. 



Well, here is the progression of the sounding-out skills taught in the Candy 4WAY Phonics Program:


First, all the individual letter sounds are taught (not the names of the letters but the sounds that the letters stand for).

Second, a student learns how to blend a beginning consonant with a vowel from left to right such as:  ba  le  fi

Third,  a student begins to blend together three or four-letter words with a short vowel from left to right such as:  bed  can  fill  bend  raft  lint

Fourth, a student learns to blend together four-letter words with a short vowel that begin with a digraph such as: bl  pl  st  tr  sw  sm  sc from left to right and onto words beginning with combinations such as:  spr  spl scr  str

Fifth, a student learns how to blend together four and five-letter words containing long vowel combinations such as:   oa  ee  ea  ay  ie along with silent e words such as: cake  pale  crane

Sixth, a student gradually builds into more and more complex words –  words with multiple syllables that contain all the rest of the phonograms such as: aw  -ing  ough  oo  ear  eigh  -dge  -tion  and  pro-  de-  -ious   ear   -tain   eau


With the Candy 4WAY Phonics Program, your child will build from sounding out all the individual letter sounds into mastering how to sound out 152 different phonogram sounds. 


Your student will gain these skills daily, step-by-step, mastering one step before proceeding to another, with easy-to-learn, fun, daily 4WAY Phonics lessons, charts, spiral drill, and, of course, readers.  In addition, your child will learn the basic spelling rules as they naturally surface within the daily phonics lessons.   


Doesn’t your child deserve to know how to read.  Doesn’t your child deserve to know how to sound out every word on every page for the rest of his life

Moms, Dads, you can give your child those vital, reading skills for just $9.97.  In addition, for just $10 more, you can purchase a computer CD-Rom version of the program where you can hear every letter and every word and every sentence read aloud in every one of the 100 daily phonics lesson. 


Check us out – Candy 4WAY Phonics!  We guarantee, we’re The Best Phonics Bargain in Town

What is Basic, Systematic Phonics? Are Most Children being Taught Basic Phonics Rules?

Posted in basic phonics rules | Comments Off on What is Basic, Systematic Phonics? Are Most Children being Taught Basic Phonics Rules?


Basic Phonics rules can only be correctly taught within the structure of a complete Explicit Systematic Phonics Curriculum?  Explicit Systematic Phonics is the direct and explicit teaching of the major sound/symbol relationships in a specific and clearly defined sequence. 


Does all that sound complicated?  It doesn’t have to be.  This is because Candy 4way Phonics makes it possible for parents to learn and to teach  their child, one step at a time, all the major sound/symbol relationships, including consonants, blends, short and long vowels, consonant and vowel digraphs, diphthongs, and variant sound-symbol relationships. 


Why do public school teachers insist that they are teaching phonics?  I mean, don’t they teach word families, and isn’t that the same as systematic phonics?


To answer that question, let me begin by repeating a comment I received from a mother who wrote:   

“I purchased some easy-to-read books for my first grade daughter.  She’s having an awful time blending the sounds together.  I don’t think she understands how the sounds go together, and I don’t think she can hear specific sounds within the parts of words.  Also, she could only complete the books with a great deal of help from me.  There has to be a better way to learn reading than this, but I’m not sure what steps to take.  I don’t want my child to become labeled.”   


Unfortunately, this little girl is struggling to read because she has not gone through a step-by-step, systematic phonics lesson plan that begins with individual sounds blended with other individual sounds at the beginning of words. 


Instead, she has gone through a typical public education Guided Reading program that teaches children to look for word parts within words that they recognize and then to guess at the rest of the word.  This encourages children to begin reading words at either the beginning of the word or in the middle of the word or at the end of the word, wherever they recognize a word part. 


To make matters even worse, Guided Reading also teaches children to memorize whole words and whole sentences inside easy-to-read books without ever stopping to blend together the sounds of the letters within the words.  Thus, reading becomes a giant guessing game using a series of clues such as:  the picture on the page, the shape and length of the word, the first letter of the word, a recognizable word part, or deciding upon which word might make sense in the sentence. 


 Sadly, this Guided Reading, whole-word, guessing game is leaving millions of children unable to blend letter sounds and word parts together for the rest of their lives.   You see, children need to learn to read with a systematic phonetic plan that teaches them to blend individual sounds at the beginning of words and that builds them up with the necessary skills to blend those sounds with all the other parts within words.  Reading requires a laid-out system of learning that: 

First, teaches what sounds all the letters and groups of letters stand for


Second, teaches how to blend those letters and word parts all together. 


Learning to read doesn’t just “happen” by placing easy-to-read books in front of children and asking them to memorize all the whole words on all the pages.


We must teach children to read in somewhat the same way that we learned how to drive a car.  When we learned to drive a car, we learned one step at a time, adding on more and more steps, blending those steps together, blending them faster and faster with more and more practice.


For example, we learned first, to check the gas and oil and second, to get into the driver’s seat. We went on to learn, step by step, to make certain everyone had their seat belt fastened, to put the key in and start the car, to slowly push on the accelerator, to look where we were going, to drive slowly at first, to speed up a little as we learned more, and so on and so.


Each day that we arrived to Driver’s Ed Class, we were taught more and more individual driving steps as well as correct driving responses to common driver situations, and we learned to blend all those steps and responses together faster and faster.   To be certain, good drivers began their driving adventures by learning individual driving steps.  This is because their instructors wanted to make certain that they understood everything they needed to know to drive safely and to stay alive.


 I got a charge out of a comment from one internet writer who answered the question:  “What are the steps to driving?”  He pretty much stated what it would be like if we all learned to drive “all at once” using a method similar to that of look/say, whole-word, sight-reading instruction. 


He suggested that we start the car, pick a gear, jam the gas pedal to the floor, stop if we see red, go if we see green, slow down if we see yellow.  If we hit a cat, we earn 5 points.  If we hit a dog we earn 8 points.  If we hit a squirrel we earn 10 points.  


 I’m sure he was just joking around, but his method was a learn-as-you-go driving plan with possible casualties treated lightly.  It’s almost as if he was saying:  

“Just laugh at yourself as you go along, force yourself to drive more and more, think fun thoughts and go places you enjoy, and, eventually, learning to drive will all come together for you.  As the days go by, you’ll be hitting fewer and fewer  animals, and you’ll learn to drive inside the lanes more and more if you just keep practicing.”  


This is certainly NOT the way to learn to drive, and this is, most assuredly, NOT the way to learn to read. 


Mom, Dad, it’s time to take the reigns and teach your own child how to read.  Our American public schools insist upon whole-word, sight-reading, guided-reading techniques of reading instruction, and because of this stubbornness, more and more Americans are failing to learn to read every word on every page. 


Come check us out!  Candy 4WAY Phonics offers parents, grandparents, and teachers who desire to learn and to teach phonics instruction a COMPLETE Systematic 4WAY Phonics Curriculum.  It’s a fun, thorough, COMPLETE phonics curriculum designed to teach children  — from K4 through Grade 4 level reading and higher — in printable format for only $9.97


Don’t be fooled by the price!!!  For only $9.97, you’ll receive: 

*Step by step instructions

*Easy-to-learn Rhyming Alphabet Charts

*Multisensory vowel helps

*100 daily systematic, fun, 4WAY Phonics Lessons

*Sequenced, leveled colored, fun Story Readers

*Rhyming colored flashcards

*As-you-go Spelling Rules

*Lifetime Rhyming Phonics Charts

*Free Email Coaching, and so much more! 


What is Explicit, Systematic Phonics? 

Well it’s NOT Guided Reading. 

Rather, it’s a planned-out system of daily phonics lessons that teaches children to blend together, from left to right, all the individual letters and letter combinations one step at a time.  Teaching your child to read using a parent-friendly Explicit, Systematic 4WAY Phonics Curriculum will be one of the most important skills you give your child!


 Carol Kay, President

Candy 4way Phonics