Posts Tagged K-5

Why Did I Pull My Children out of the Public Schools When The Public Schools are Free? Well, because Moms do Strange Things When They’re Desperate! (From the President of Candy 4WAY Phonics)

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We lived in a small town in Michigan.  At the time, four of our six children had been born. Just like all of our friends, we enrolled our oldest son in public school kindergarten when he turned five years old.


Well, you know, “kindergarten,” not much going on there.  The early signs for how your child is “doing” in school do not show up until the first grade when a child begins reading lessons.  However!  Well, wow!  When Jimmy entered first grade, did we get an education! 


I had no idea that phonics was no longer used in the school system.  Oh, I knew that there were other methods of reading going on in the classroom, but I always believed that phonics was at the foundation of those methods. Duh!  I was so dumb!


No!  What I really mean is: I was misinformed.  I had learned to read with systematic phonics, so I assumed that my children would learn to read this way, too.  After all, wouldn’t our government schools insist on using the educational methods that actually worked?


We found out that “phonics was out” when after 6 months into the first-grade reading curriculum our little Jimmy could only read three words:  aanthe


I asked Jimmy to “sound out” the words we encountered together, and he said, “What are you talking about, Mommy?”


Of course, when I discovered that Jimmy was NOT learning to “sound out” words, I immediately went to the teacher and asked her why Jimmy was NOT learning to “sound out” words.  She said, “Sounding out” words is NOT something we do anymore.  There are other, better, more efficient methods to teach reading than phonics.”


Sadly, things got much worse! 


At the first parent-teacher conference, I also discovered that our dear, little, precious Jimmy had been placed inside a refrigerator box  so that he could “focus” more on his studies and less on what was going on around him.  That was all I needed!  That was going to stop! 


Jimmy was in an open-classroom school at that time, so we switched over to a standard, structured, public school classroom where a 20-year veteran X-Nun was the teacher.  Jimmy gained a tiny, itsy-bitsy, miniscule more in reading that second semester of his first-grade year simply because this X-Nun did use “some” phonics. 


However, at the beginning of second grade, Jimmy was assigned to a teacher that believed exactly the same way as his first teacher in the open-classroom school, except that she brought all of her non-phonics methods into a structured classroom.  Jimmy just couldn’t cope with these ridiculous reading methods.  In addition, by the end of second grade, we had also enrolled our second-oldest son in the 1st grade. 


To make this long story shorter, soon after talking with Jimmy’s principal and after our second-oldest son was assaulted on the school bus, I talked with a woman in Indiana who owned a teacher resource store who emphatically informed me that “homeschooling” was an option. 


I’d never heard of “homeschooling” before; I didn’t even know it was possible.  This lady told me that it was “very” possible, and that parents make the best teachers for their children.


So the following Monday I refused to put my children on the school bus.  I ordered a satellite homeschooling program and proceeded to homeschool my children thinking I was going to “get away with it!” 


Moms do strange things when they’re desperate! 


Little did I know that Michigan was one of the worst places to try to “get away with” homeschooling.  We had no laws to protect us, and we were running out of steam living only with an Attorney’s General’s “Opinion” about homeschooling.  As a result, tons of homeschoolers in Michigan were being taken to probate court as a direct challenge to their choice of education. 


Wouldn’t you know it, some lady in our church turned us in.  What was I going to do? 


I contacted one other mother that I knew was doing homeschooling.  She gave me the name of an attorney who was taking up homeschooling cases in the state of Michigan.  We hired him, wasted $200, provided all of our own documentation, and yet, he didn’t intervene for us with the school officials at all. 


Within two months after we began homeschooling, I received a phone call from a man who turned out to be the Chairman for the Homeschooling Investigating Committee for the whole state of Michigan.  He was the man who was taking all the homeschoolers to probate court.  When he called me, I told him I had hired an attorney to defend us, I refused to talk to him, and I hung up on him.


That was back in my immature Christian days.  Can you even imagine Jesus Christ hanging up on anybody? 


I do not mean this as a defense to myself in any way, but, moms do strange things when they’re desperate! 


Some friends from our church were visiting with us shortly afterwards, and we began discussing what the Bible says about how to respond to those in authority.  We specifically went over Romans, Chapter 13, where God tells us: 


Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”


Needless to say, I was under conviction! 

When “that man” called me back, I apologized, and I explained to him what I had discovered in the scriptures.  We began to talk.  He listened, I talked.  He questioned, I answered.  I was honest.  I told him all of my fears about the public school system and the fact that I would not, could not, tolerate what was going on there.  He listened.  God worked! 


This man ended up telling me, “I will never take you to probate court.  You are the only homeschooler that has been willing to talk to me.  You have also told me about your beliefs, and I want you to know that I have been listening, because my secretary is also a Christian, and she has been telling me some of the same things that you have stated.  I give you permission to do homeschooling, and what’s more, if you need any curriculum, you just let me know, and I’ll show you how to order it for yourself, or I will personally get it for you.”


I began homeschooling and tutoring phonics to children all around me.  I grabbed onto every book on phonics that had ever been written.  All of my “teacher” friends, suddenly anxious to help me out, gave me all of their methods classes textbooks; coupled with my own learning experiences in phonics, I began to put together a systematic phonics curriculum based upon what was taught to children in the 1950’s who had struggled with the Dick and Jane, Look/say Reading series.  (Can you believe I put that all in one sentence?)

The results I obtained were outstanding!

About three years later, I began teaching phonics part time in a Christian School.

I came across all kinds of reading problems, and I soon discovered that linguistic, synthetic, analytic, systematic phonics solved the problems of every student I encountered except for the students who were diagnosed as EMI.  Oh, each child had a different time table for learning, depending upon his shortcomings and his talents, but given enough time, systematic phonics worked. 

Oh, by the way, do you remember “that man” that I had originally hung up on?  You know, the Chairman for the Homeschooling Investigating Committee for the whole state of Michigan?   Well, he gave our Christian school permission to set up a homeschooling umbrella program under my direction for other families considering homeschooling. 


When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Proverbs 16:7)


In summary, we continued homeschooling all six of our children all the way through high school. 

They have become successful as business owners, in engineering, as ministerial directors, with two still in college studying pre-med and early childhood care. 

And, of course, we established the Candy 4WAY Phonics Program, a program based upon the true story of a little girl named, Candy, in order to make a complete systematic 4WAY Phonics curriculum, lessons, readers, multisensory phonics helps, phonics charts and flashcards, phonics resources, and phonics games affordable for everyone




Carol Kay, President

Candy 4WAY Phonics

Did Your Child Fall Behind in Reading this Year? You Can Change all That With this Affordable Phonics Program!

Posted in teaching older children to blend letters, teaching older children to read | Comments Off on Did Your Child Fall Behind in Reading this Year? You Can Change all That With this Affordable Phonics Program!


Have you been told that your child fell behind in reading this year?


Children who cannot read every word on every page often:


a) Rush through tests skimming through only the words they CAN read.

b) Do not like to read

c) Stumble over the words on the page, substitute words, or skip words while reading

d) Fear they are stupid or that there is something wrong with them

e) Complain that they don’t like school

f) Either go into a shell, become angry, or become the class clown.

g) Often have a stomach ache in the morning

h) Tell you that their favorite part of the school day is recess

i) Do not really have a favorite subject in school

j) Talk about their friends but never about their school classroom

k) Ask if you will read books, homework assignments, or directions for them


Just like you, other parents are struggling with this same problem, and, as a result, are searching for  COMPLETE systematic phonics curriculum at an affordable price to use in their own home with their own child. 

The good news is:  Your child CAN learn to read every word on every page.

Hi, I’m Carol Kay, the President of Candy 4WAY Phonics . I’ve had the pleasure of teaching intensive, systematic 4WAY Phonics for over 28 years in school classrooms, in homes, in my kitchen, in libraries, in coffee shops, on front steps, in driveways and ANYWHERE else that I could find a child who is struggling in reading.

The Candy 4WAY Phonics Program is based upon that same 4WAY Phonics method that taught a little girl named Candy how to read back in 1956.

You can read more about Candy’s TRUE STORY by clicking on the words: TRUE STORY.

The Candy 4WAY Phonics Program is based solidly upon that same 4WAY Phonics that taught little Candy to read every word on every page, except that Candy 4WAY Phonics has been updated for today’s generation of parents and children.

The Candy 4WAY Phonics Program incorporates 4 phonics approaches: synthetic, linguistic, analytic, and R’sA (rhyme, rhythm, and alliteration). It’s a complete, AFFORDABLE, systematic phonics program, and it’s written specifically for parents in a step-by-step, easy-to-understand way. 

Nothing touches my heart more than a child who is struggling to read, especially when I know there is a solution. It’s true that some children do suffer from learning disabilities, but according to evidence from the National Reading Panel’s Meta-Analysis as reported by the American Educational Research Association, one-on-one tutoring in systematic phonics instruction produces the BEST READING RESULTS among beginning readers as well as low and middle SES readers and younger and older RD students. Of course, little Candy, now all grown up, has known that for 51 years.

In addition, the Meta-Analysis proved that systematic phonics produced lasting benefits for all these student types not only in their abilities to sound out words, but also in their comprehension and spelling abilities.

The Candy 4WAY Phonics goal, therefore, is this: To Help Parents to Teach Their Own Children to Read!

If you’ve read the true story of little Candy, you’ll see that, fortunately, little Candy was a poor enough reader that she qualified for 4WAY Phonics help. HOWEVER, this is NOT the story for hundreds of thousands of school-aged children today.

Our schools do not offer systematic 4WAY Phonics . In fact, the phonics offered in our schools today is NOT explicit systematic phonics. It is implicit, embedded phonics sprinkled in tiny amounts on top of large servings of look/say reading.

Parents, The Candy 4WAY Phonics Program was specifically written for Moms and Dads to help them solve this reading crisis among our children!

We would love to help YOU to help YOUR child to read. Please believe me when I tell you that is, indeed, possible!

Candy 4WAY Phonics comes with everything you’ll need:

*Step-by-step, easy-to-understand Instructions

*Rhyming Charts

*Daily step-by-step lessons

*Sequenced story readers following after every five daily lessons

*Rhyming Alphabet Flashcards

*Lifetime Phonics Charts

And the best news of all — You can purchase all of this for just $9.97.

It all comes with free email coaching, and email coaching works when parents remember that: NO QUESTION IS DUMB! ALL QUESTIONS ARE SMART!

Each question we receive is a valued question. Through those free coaching emails, you will be speaking directly with me, Carol Kay, President and Author of Candy 4WAY Phonics Program —– and a very, very close friend of Candy.

Sincerely, Carol Kay, President

Candy 4WAY Phonics

Teaching Phonics Step by Step! Phonics Steps to Reading Success!

Posted in how to teach phonics, phonics steps, phonics steps to reading success, teaching phonics, teaching phonics step by step | Comments Off on Teaching Phonics Step by Step! Phonics Steps to Reading Success!


What Steps do you Follow to Teach your Child Systematic, Explicit Phonics Instruction?

The majority of American school children are not taught to read with systematic, explicit phonics instruction.  Little Billy was a typical example of a little boy with all the talent and brains in the world, but he was never taught systematic phonics.  By the time Billy reached the 4th grade, his self image was in the mud and so were his grades.   Moreover, Billy was fully aware that he couldn’t read.  In fact, he hated reading!  


Billy’s mother was concerned, very concerned.  She had watched her son anxiously for three years as he failed one school subject after another, turning more and more inward, avoiding eye contact with his teacher and with his friends, dreading school, choosing the wrong friends, and falling farther and farther behind in his studies.  Billy’s mother strongly suspected that the real reason for Billy’s low math scores, history scores and grammar scores was because of his inability to read and understand the words in his textbooks.


When Billy’s mother first contacted me, Billy had just begun the 4th grade.  Her question to me was direct and simple, and I’m so glad she asked it with such a determined resolve to obtain a workable solution. I was only too delighted to inform her that in order for Billy to gain good, strong reading skills, skills that would enable him to read every word on every page, he would need to start over again in his reading education and follow the natural progression of a COMPLETE phonics education. 


I shared with Billy’s mother these four steps of action that  any child must take in order to gain good, strong phonics skills.  Those steps are:  

1) Moms and Dads reading books to their children 

Reading books to your little one WILL NOT teach him how to read.  However, reading stories to young children does increase their hearing vocabulary and it does encourage them to, someday, desire to read those stories for themselves.  That motivation should be followed up by giving a child “phonemic awareness.”


2) Phonemic Awareness  

Phonemic awareness is a systematically-learned group of skills children learn that give them the ability to manipulate the sounds that make up our spoken language through the use of rhymes, multisensory helps, fun with rhyming syllables and words, and beginning word sounds.


For example, when a child learns that the beginning sound of the word “sand” is the letter s, and that the letter s sounds like the hissing of a leaky flat tire or an angry snake, that child can then determine in his mind that the written letter s, when spoken, is associated with a particular sound. 


Children who learn to read quickly have built up that “sound association” with every letter in the alphabet at an early age.  However, learning the letter sounds is just the beginning.  Children must now learn to “blend” those sounds together from left to right, blending all the way through a word; and that’s where “phonics skills” enter the picture.


3) Phonics skills  

Phonics skills are gained when children learn the relationships between letters and sounds, how to recognize those relationships in print, how to blend together phonograms, and how to spell words when they are audibly heard by using the knowledge of phonograms, spelling rules, and syllables. 


All of these skills are gained through the use of a systematic (linguistic) phonics program that uses a step-by-step progression of teaching. A systematic phonics program should cover all the major sound/symbol relationships, including consonants, blends, short and long vowels, consonant and vowel digraphs, diphthongs,  and the most common but tricky sound-symbol relationships.


A systematic phonics program should include spelling rules along the way, plenty of practice for each lesson’s topic through phonics review and phonics drill, various types of written poems, written dialogue, written story openers and story readers to expose children to a wide variety of written expression.


An example of the order of a systematic phonics presentation such as Candy 4WAY Phonics is as follows:


a)   Children learn the short vowel sounds and all the letter sounds.   

b)   Children learn to blend a consonant with a short vowel and then tack on a third letter to form CVC (consonant-short vowel-consonant) words. 

c)    Children learn to blend consonant digraphs with a short vowel in the same way.  

d)   Children learn the long vowel sounds to form CVC(e) (consonant-long vowel-consonant-silent e) words  

e)    Children learn blend all the rest of the phonograms into words working with one phonogram at a time, mastering one lesson before proceeding to the next. 

d) A complete phonics program should contain no more than 60 sight words.  Daily phonics lessons should be sprinkled in the correct doses at the correct times with  left-right reading practice, spelling rules, prefixes, suffixes, syllabication, compound words, rhyming, and alliteration, and varied types of excerpts including poetry, story openers and dialogue.  It should also include daily lessons that contain daily phonics drill, phonics charts, and daily phonics review.


Only after adequate phonics skills are gained (including a measure of fluency) should a child be expected to read for meaning.  To expect a child who cannot read every word on every page to read for meaning will most likely frustrate him beyond belief and quite possibly bring him to tears. 


4) Reading for meaning 

Reading for meaning includes more than just being able to answer Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How?  Reading for meaning involves learning to make inferences


When a child learns to make inferences, it means that he can read a page and draw a particular conclusion of his own, not from information stated directly in the text, but from information he has gathered from clues or hints in-between the lines of the text.


Click here to read more about how children learn to make inferences.   


In summary, systematic, explicit phonics carries with it certain sequential steps.   The above 4 steps of natural progression for a COMPLETE phonics education should be, of course, offered to every child in America.  Sadly, this progression is missing from most American schools. 


I’m thrilled to tell you, though, that little Billy (mentioned above) was taught to read using this phonics progression, that same progression offered throughout the Candy 4WAY Phonics Program.  As a result, by the end of his 5th grade year, Billy was able to sound out over 40,000 words


Each year Billy’s reading vocabulary grew as did his reading comprehension, and Billy grew up to be a responsible citizen of the United States, loving his family, his country, and his God.


It just doesn’t get any better than that!




Carol Kay, President

Candy 4WAY Phonics  

P.S. If you are an adult who missed out on “phonics,” follow the same steps given to Billy (above).  Skipping steps will only cause you to “miss out” again.  You’ll be surprised how fast adults speed through a good 4WAY Phonics program