Alpha-Phonics Book (CD-ROM version included)
A complete, sensible, lesson-by-lesson phonics program by Sam Blumenfeld, an ardent advocate of literacy through phonics. Mr. Blumenfeld shows you simply and effectively how to teach a child to read, even supplying the lesson visuals in large type for beginners. Many, many thankful parents have testified to the success they’ve had in using this book with their children. There are no illustrations or distractions, just what is needed to learn and understand the phonetic system. A child begins to read words almost immediately, which seems infinitely more rewarding than a phonics program which insists on teaching all the sounds before the student actually puts them together to read a word.
The CD-ROM version of the program is now included with the book. The CD includes the complete text of the book, along with both the written and audio instructions by the author. All 128 Alpha-Phonics lessons appear exactly as they are in the book. One interesting feature of the program is that keyboarding is not needed (as "hunt and peck" typing is not encouraged) — only a mouse. This program can be either used in conjuction with the Alpha-Phonics book or independently. System requirements: Windows 95-XP. Can be used with Windows Vista by following the instructions on the publisher website (www.alphaphonics.com/vista). ~ Janice
Reminding us to be satisfied with moderation, my mother used to say, "A little dab will do ya." With this in mind, I want to reassure you that it is not always necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on an elaborate phonics course. There is an alternative that is amazingly simple and direct - it's called "sounding out." Instead of using dancing cartoon figures or sing-songy ditties (meant to amuse, but which often distract), a child simply looks at the letter or word and repeats after you. When a child has learned to recognize each letter of the alphabet by its sound, you can introduce the blending of letter sounds. Frequent practice plus some review will be needed, but this gradual work can be accomplished in 10 minutes a day with Alpha-Phonics.
This program is the little dab of phonics I gave my children each day for their "at, mat, cat, hat, sat" sort of practices. And it was plenty. There are no pictures in this book. The large child-sized, handwritten letters are read by the student straight out of the book undistracted. Short words are read in columns. (No need to read all the columns on the page in one sitting.) Each day we would review what we had gone over in the previous day’s lesson before reading by “sounding out” another column of word families. Whole sentences are introduced using words previously practiced.
This is an inexpensive non-consumable course, complete with teacher's manual and lesson plans. Book and CD ROM Grades K through 4. Alpha Phonics is also a handy resource of “sound outs” for easily putting together some fun review exercises from the book, Games for Reading by Peggy Kaye.
Category Description for Alphaphonics
My 6-year-old son began Alpha Phonics a few days before his fifth birthday in February and by May was picking up a real book (not a Bob book) on his own initiative. That's when I knew that HE knew he was a reader. By age six, he was reading on a 4th-grade level with excellent comprehension. One of his favorite authors as a 6-year-old is E. B. White. He is spelling at a 2nd-grade level with no studying. Easy-to-use word-family format. Student is reading words from the beginning which makes them feel very successful. I like that it is a simple, logical, no frills approach: large print, clean pages (no busy pictures to interfere with the words), short lessons which provide flexibility, short instructions included for each lesson. No preparation time required, just sit down and read together!
I cannot say enough about this program. I used it many years ago when my oldest was learning to read. We went through the first few pages and in just minutes my little girl was reading. Eight years later when my next child wanted to read, I just wasn't sure if this "simple" approach would work for him. With all the new "reading programs" that involve videos, music, and gadgets galore how could this simple, inexpensive book do the job for a BOY?! Well, it was perfect. He learned to read just as easily as his sister did, so many years before. It's so simple and it really gives students confidence and a desire to learn as they are "reading" in just a few minutes!! I HIGHLY recommend this product to anyone!!
I agree with the others' assessments of this book. It is clear, simple, and easy to follow. My four year old daughter benefited from me taking the info. in the earlier lessons and putting them on notecards to practice more informally at first (the book intimidated her, but the actual content she handled well). No teacher prep. is needed. My one recommendation is to buy two of them so you can have one where you might be multi-tasking (say, at the kitchen sink), so you can listen and ensure your child is saying the right words without having to be right there looking over his/her shoulder. Follow his advice, though, and take the first lessons as slowly as needed to avoid overwhelming the child. Those first few lessons are foundational. Once they get the initial sounds, subsequent lessons go much faster, naturally.
I see I'm not the only one that likes Alpha Phonics! It's not a hefty book, but it contains enough to help the child read. My children, too, went through it easily and now they read great! Alpha Phonics teaches phonics in a simple and easy manner. You'll start out with the vowel sounds, short and long, and progress to sentences that use the words with that sound. And it's easy to use should you need to review with your child. Really, just open the book and begin, it's that simple! Easy on the home educator and easy for the student.
I absolutely love this book! I have been homeschooling for over twelve years and though my children are all in high school now, I still keep this one gem on my shelf for that day when I will be able to teach my grandchildren how to read. Fifteen minutes a day is all it takes to have your child reading their very first book in only two lessons. I used The Fat Cat Sat on a Mat for the very first book that they could read all by themselves. Within just a few weeks, they were reading chapter books on their own. Simple, progressive phonics with no distracting illustrations has been perfect for my distractable children. I recommend this book to everyone I know whether they are teaching or tutoring beginning or remedial reading skills. I disassembled mine and put the pages in a binder with page protectors making it easy to keep notes on each child with their current lesson. Each child also had a key ring to keep their letter cards for practicing their sounds. The kids loved it because they could succeed with this program.
Alpha-Phonics is a book that teaches children to read in a series of “lessons” that increase in difficulty. What makes this different from many other reading programs is that it is just reading, no bells and whistles, no cartoons, no fancy color pictures, just combining sounds to form words. That is the beauty of Alpha-Phonics, because there is very little to distract a wiggly 5 year old. To use this program effectively a child does need to have some knowledge of letters, but they will learn the letter sounds as they go. There are even some pages for kids who need to learn the letters first. For example, in Lesson One, the child sees the “a” and says the “a” sound, then sees a “t” and says the ‘t” sound, then sees the a and t together and blends the sounds together to say “at”. This is repeated several more times. The child learns that reading is simply putting the sounds together to make words. Since each lesson is short this book is appropriate for young children who don’t have the attention span to sit for too long. This is a book that goes along well with just about any reading program or curriculum since it is so simple and can be used in short sessions. This program proves that you don’t need hundreds of dollars to teach children to read! In the age of Hooked on Phonics and other reading programs that cost hundreds of dollars, Alpha-Phonics is a breath of fresh air and hearkens back to a simpler time where reading was more about letters and sounds and less about frills and games. I am using Alpha-Phonics right now with my son who is 4, and it is a great way to introduce the basics of reading in a way that is clear an not frustrating and confusing.