Early Language SkillsAll > Phonics > WORKBOOKS > Early Language Skills
Finally, a series that begins at the beginning! Like the Handprints series from EPS, this one starts with recognizing differences in objects; but it moves slightly faster than that program and goes a little farther, culminating in reading short stories. If your child enjoys working in workbooks, this 5-book series would be a good bet. In Getting Ready to Read children practice same and different; listen and follow instructions; practice place and position; sequence events; identify beginning and ending sounds; and match letters. There's practice involving mazes, tracing, matching, and coloring. I like that worksheets are varied even within skill sections to keep it interesting. Consonant Sounds ramps it up with identifying beginning and ending word sounds, learning the relationship between letters and their sounds, and beginning writing by tracing letters. The Vowel Sounds book practices both short and long vowel sounds. Children listen for, recognize, and identify vowel sounds at the beginning and middle of words, recognize rhyming words, and practice writing letters to match sounds. There are some hidden picture pages and free drawing activities besides the usual matching, coloring, and filling in the blank exercises. Reading with Sounds continues the progression with blending single-letter sounds into words, recognizing word patterns and rhymes, matching and writing word patterns (families), choosing the correct word from a list of like-patterned words and writing whole words for pictures. Children wrap it up in Beginning to Read. There's a short review of the letters of the alphabet followed by matching of pictures to beginning sound and words, writing of simple words from pictures, reading simple sentences and understanding their meaning and developing comprehension skills by reading very short stories (less than 10 sentences). As with all of the books, I like the range and diversity of activities. This is a surprisingly comprehensive beginning series from a publisher that normally produces more supplemental books. Each book is a hefty 96 pages long. After working through them, your child will be reading short vowel word sentences and very easy readers (think Cat in the Hat). This would be a good series to use with a precocious child who is too young for a more rigorous, formal program.