Explode the Code
I have used a myriad of Phonics programs, but have found myself drawn back to ETC which is what I used for my first born when he was in K. ETC and Get Ready, Get Set, and Go for the Code are simple enough that you can add in extra activities based on what your child needs. I love using the Pocket Wall Chart for games! These consumable workbooks are an inexpensive way to teach phonics. I would recommend getting a little set of readers, like the Bob books as you begin these workbooks.
For more information go to the EPS website.
The Phonics Museum, by Veritas Press
I was a big advocate for The Phonics Museum when it first came out. What I didn’t know at the time, that I know now is that my first son was a natural reader, so The Phonics Museum was easy for him. When my second son came along, I started singing a different tune about the Phonics Museum. If you do not have a natural reader (a child that doesn’t pick up reading quickly and effortlessly) then Phonics Museum may not be the best choice for you unless you are willing to supplement like I was forced to do.
First, I had to supplement the readers, because although the readers are pretty, historical and intriguing they are difficult to understand and do not make for a good introduction to reading. I supplemented with Bob books and Now I’m Reading mini books. There are 4 volumes. Secondly, the teachers manual is written for a class room so I was modifying that to fit a home school. One thing I want to point out is that this whopping $190 curriculum has all the bells and whistles if you are willing to give it a try. Finally, I had to supplement with Phonics Pathways because he was still struggling. It took us 2 years to complete the first grade year. It could have very well taken us 2 years to finish any complete phonics curriculum, but I truly believe it moved too fast for the average child. We did, however, enjoy the songs and the tiles that you use to build words. These extras also took extra time. I would say phonics took us an hour a day.
Winter Promise – Language Arts Programs
For my third son, I ditched the Phonics Museum because of all the tweaking I was doing and found Winter Promise which incorporates Explode the Code workbooks and other file folder games and mini books. I liked this approach and we used their Fast Track Phonics and First Grade Language Arts in one year plus a little through the summer. I like how Winter Promise uses different resources for a complete phonics program. Their daily schedule is easy to follow and they have created some really cute phonics cards that go with their program. Winter Promise is currently what I use for two of my children. For more information on all their themed and subject programs go to http://www.winterpromise.com.
Written by Brenda