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We are getting close to the end of my second year homeschooling (Update: we are now on our TENTH year and I STILL use this program for phonics!)
I know many of you have been curious as to what curriculum I use and while I’ve given you the list of what I use, I have yet to ever review any of our choices.
Today that is going to change.
Progressive Phonics Review
When I first started homeschooling, the one thing that terrified me was teaching my kids to read. Everything else seemed easy enough but teaching a kid to read just seemed difficult.
I looked around at all the phonic curricula and thanks to recommendations of others I decided to give Progressive Phonics a try.
The thing I really like about Progressive Phonics is that it’s online and it’s free. That’s right FREE!
Now I know if you are like me, the fact that it is free may make you skeptical. How could it be a decent phonics program if it’s free?
Honestly I don’t know the answer to that, I just know that it is and that I’m thrilled that I don’t need to pay for one more subject.
Progressive Phonics is an all-in-one reading program. It has books for kids to read, handwriting worksheets, activity sheets, and flash cards.
You can print off everything so that you have actual papers to use or you can use the read-on-screen version so that you don’t need to print anything.
We like to use the on-screen version. I just pop it up on the computer and my kids read it right there.
The books are full of silly little stories and funny characters that your children will enjoy reading about.
Each page has the words for the adult to read in black with the child’s portion written in a different color. New words are in red, whereas old words that your child has already learned are usually in blue.
The Progressive Phonics Books
Progressive Phonics starts with their Alphabetti series. This series is recommended for ages 3-6 years old.
The title is a bit misleading; at least it was to me, as it is not teaching your child just the ABC’s. The Alphabetti series teaches kids the letters, sounds, and simple words all together.
This means that your child will learn everything all together instead of first learning letters, then sounds, then words.
My children already knew their letters and sounds before starting the Alphabetti series however so I cannot really say how well that method works if you are starting from scratch.
All the books in the Alphabetti series work through simple consonant -vowel-consonant words like dog and pig.
After your child masters the Alphabetti series, they then move on to the actual phonics books. There are Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced series for your child to work through.
Each series works through different areas of the phonics world.
For instances, the Beginner series focuses on the five short vowels where as the Intermediate series works through long vowels and consonant blends, and the Advanced series works through tougher concepts such as rule breakers, silent letters, and l-controlled vowels.
Now Progressive Phonics does not offer a suggestion as to what books to do when or how fast to move through those books.
The idea being that every child is different and each child will move through it at their own pace. I will however offer up how we use Progressive Phonics in our family.
How My Family Uses Progressive Phonics
In Kindergarten Prep or Pre-school if you will, we start the Alphabetti series. We spend about 1-2 weeks in each book, and there are 11 books.
I usually start the Alphabet books during the second semester of Preschool (you could even do this during the summer just before Kindergarten.
I have found that this is usually the hardest series to get through as it’s your child’s first time dealing with actual reading. There were times when we had to slow down in some areas so my child could fully master a section.
In Kindergarten, we begin with the Beginner series. For my children, this series is easy enough to work through it at the pace of 1 book per week.
There are only 5 books in the Beginner series so we are done with it in only 5 weeks. We then move on to the Intermediate series and slow down taking 2 weeks to do 1 book.
There are 15 books in the Intermediate series so it takes 30 weeks to finish.
This all comes out to about 1 school year. 5 weeks of Beginner + 30 weeks in Intermediate = 35 weeks (school years are typically 36 weeks.)
During this year, you could also make use of the activity worksheets but I actually just have my child write the words that they read that day 3 times each.
In 1st Grade, we start the Advanced series. In this series, we work through 1 book in the course of 2 weeks. There are 8 books in the Advanced series so we finish in 16 weeks.
Note: they are updating these books… So I believe you actually want to go through the 8 new Advanced books but then you may want to add on books 12,13,14,15 of the “old” series
Like in Kindergarten, I have my child write the words they learned for their day to incorporate their writing as well as help secure the new words in their minds.
This is the end of Progressive Phonics and after we finish, we move on to having our children read actual books.
Now I’ll admit that my boys seem to be advanced in their phonics/reading. My Kindergartner is reading more at a 1st grade level and my 1st grader is really at a 2nd grade level. So the way I use Progressive Phonics might not work best for other families.
However, I do think it says a lot for Progressive Phonics that my kids are reading so well. For a mom, who was terrified of teaching her kids to read Progressive Phonics made it easy.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated or even asked to review Progressive Phonics, I simply love their product and wanted to share about it.