Vegan Homeschool

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Alpha Phonics Indepth

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This is a sponsored post (I received materials for free in exchange for my review). I have talked about some of this companies materials already. This post is from the company. I thought that would better serve you to understand what it’s about because I don’t have a little one that needs to learn to read. There is a link towards the bottom to see what other parents, that have used the program, think of it. 




To those interested in teaching someone to read, a familiarity with phonics is essential. Although there was some debate regarding the superiority of phonics, especially in the last half of the 20th century, it is now clear the preponderance of convincing evidence has landed squarely in its favor. Those who have used phonics to teach reading have known this all along and have wondered what the big deal was – phonics works and works well!


Phonics vs What?


As always, there will be attempts at finding a new and better way to do something. In teaching to read English, the strongest contestants to replace phonics have been the “look-say” and “whole language” methods.


There is no doubt that the so-called “look-say” method, so popular in the early 1950’s, did indeed work for many (I’m proof of that) but it suffered from the lack of a method to “decode” words, or break them down into their basic parts to discover their meanings and learn how to pronounce them. Up to a point a child could indeed learn and memorize many words from sight but there are just too many words in the language for this method not to have a severe, inherent limitation.


In the 1980’s the “whole language” theory of teaching reading reached some prominence, taking a completely opposite direction than phonics. It’s premise was more complex and complicated than what I would even care to attempt to explain here. Its approach was ‘holistic” and its adherents believed the best method to teach reading was to begin by recognizing words as whole pieces of language that must be interpreted according to their relationship with other words, and certainly not by breaking them down into letters and groups of letters as is taught in phonics.


Like many other attempted reforms of American education, it tragically resulted in lost time and needless experimentation on children, many of whose lives were irrevocably handicapped as a result. What’s more, kids with dyslexia and other language disorders experienced their problem becoming even more acute as a result of being taught to read by the whole language approach.


Eventually it became obvious (again) that phonics students could learn to read with much more speed, ease, and success than with any other method. If you are interested in a non-proven, convoluted, and potentially harmful method, look into “whole language” by all means. By the time you think you understand it, you could have taught your kids to read with Alpha-Phonics, and they would be well on their way to the joys and rewards of functional literacy.


Why Alpha-Phonics?


The number of children who have learned to read with Alpha-Phonics is so vast that it is probably useless to even guess at it. Developed by Samuel Blumenfeld about 30 years ago, it has not changed since its first edition. If you came across a used copy of one of the first editions, the only major difference you would see would be in its condition. It worked so well from the very beginning that it just hasn’t required updating or changing. Oh yes, there was one functional improvement that was made: the addition of a spiral binding that allows the book to lie flat on a surface.


Alpha-Phonics reduces the phonics approach into a number of easily digestible lessons in such a logical way that the student will be able to read simple sentences after as little as three lessons (possibly the first day!). The student just needs to learn the 44 basic sounds of English as communicated by the various groups of letters. One they are learned, he will then be able to “decode” any new words he comes across. As we know, English is such a dynamic language that this valuable ability to decode words will come into play on an almost daily basis. The simplicity of Alpha-Phonics also results in an ease of presentation for the tutor as well. Anyone can successfully use Alpha-Phonics to teach reading, which makes it a basic and valuable tool for the homeschooler as well as the parent that wants to give their child a head start.


To see what many parents have said about Alpha-Phonics, please visit us HERE. [Insert URL: ]



There are only 44 basic sounds that a child has to learn.


Reading is really simply learning to sound out words, using the 44 basic sounds.

One Comment

  1. I used Alpha Phonics with my daughter for a while and I have a few of their other materials. I learned a lot from reading their How to Tutor book. I was a taught to read by the look and say method, so I had to learn phonics to be able to teach my kids.

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