What is it?
Alpha Phonics was created by Sam Blumenfeld as a method for teaching reading using a phonics approach. The program teaches letter sounds and phonogram sounds, then teaching the child to blend those sounds. Alpha Phonics introduces spelling rules in order to teach decoding.
What does it include?
The program has several components. We reviewed the textbook, workbook, and companion readers.
- Textbook – The textbook contains all the text for each lesson with word lists to practice reading, short stories to build fluency and apply the letter sounds learned, and teacher instruction at the back of the book. The textbook retails for $34.95.
- Workbook – The workbook has extra practice pages that correspond with the lessons. The workbook retails for $19.95.
- Companion Readers – The program offers 10 companion readers. The readers are scheduled after certain lessons throughout the program so that the child has learned all the necessary letter sounds to successfully read the book. The readers retail for $24.95.
- The program also comes with a CD-Rom of the textbook. The child can look at the text on the computer and the teacher can read the instructions or hear them read aloud.
All material can be ordered through the Alpha Phonics Website.
How did we use this product?
I started using the program with Tiger first since he is starting to sound out a few words and knows many letter sounds and phonograms. We went through the first several lessons, completing several lessons in one day as a way to review what he’s learned previously. Once we came to new material we slowed down and did a lesson a day. Tiger is a wiggly little guy and doesn’t have a long attention span, so one challenging lesson a day was enough for him. Some of the lessons toward the middle of the book would take us several days of practice and review.
Once Tiger was in a routine of using the program, I started at the beginning with Bee. She knows her letter sounds but not many phonograms and can blend only a few CVC words (consonant/vowel/consonant words). She has not had any formal reading instruction. We spent several days on each lesson so she could review the sounds and build her confidence.
What didn’t we like?
The teacher instructions are in the back of the textbook. I had to flip back and forth between the text and the instructions until I got used to the flow of the program.
What did we like?
The text has large font and is easy to read. The text is also very uncluttered with no color so it’s not distracting to a new reader.
The program is very straight forward to use and moves systematically through teaching phonics and spelling rules.
It’s easy to adjust the pace of the program and move as quickly or as slowly as your child needs.
What did we think overall?
I found Alpha Phonics to be very straight forward and easy to use once I got into our routine of using in on a daily basis. I would have enjoyed some additional written instruction for holding my hand as I got started with the program. But I found that after a few weeks, I felt much more comfortable using Alpha Phonics. We enjoyed the simplicity of the program as it eliminated any distractions during the learn to read process. We’re on our way to reading!
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.
Alpha Phonics has graciously allowed me to host a giveaway of the Alpha Phonics Text, Workbook, and Readers. 1 of my readers will be able to enjoy using the Alpha Phonics program!