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A few months ago I was approached by the Paradigm Company, the publishers of Alpha-Phonics to see if I would like to do a review of their program. I immediately said yes. What they didn't know when they asked me is this is the program I have used to teach all three of my boys how to read!
My very dog-eared copy....
I began homeschooling my oldest son when he was five years old. I began teaching him how to read with a popular program that had both of us in tears. I had never taught a child to read before and I was not as flexible with my first as I now am with my third child. Thankfully a more experience homeschooling mom lent me a copy of Alpha-Phonics.
It was exactly what we needed, a simple easy to use program that hit on all the basics. And it worked. The tears went away. My son began to read and understand. Amazingly, it has worked with all three of my boys who are all vastly different learner.
What I really love about the program is that in the first lesson, children are reading small two letter words! This gave all of my boys such a feeling of accomplishment to start right off knowing they were not just reading letters, but actual words.
I was sent three items to review. The package included the Alpha-Phonics manual ($34.95) which now includes a CD-ROM version of the book which normally sells for $39.95. I was also given a copy of the How to Tutor Workbook ($19.95) and the How to Tutor Little Companion Readers ($$24.95) which is a set of 10 little reading books to help children experience the accomplishment of reading their very own little book.
My youngest has been working on learning to read since the beginning of last year and has been making steady progress. I've been using the electronic version of the book and he loves it. He always asks to do his reading lessons on the computer. I like the reinforcement that is included in the workbook. It fits nicely with the entire reading program.
So how does this program actually work?
Each book contains the student lessons, 128 total. Each lessons ranges from half a page up to multiple pages. If there is more than one page to a lesson, I tend to only do one a day so sometimes those longer lessons can last a few days. In the back of the book is a simple teacher's manual that gives tips for using the program as well as help for each lesson.
It really is that simple.
This has been my favorite "learn-to-read" program since we started homeschooling. I like it's gentle approach and it's ease of use. I can't recommend it enough.