A couple of weeks ago, I shared a bit with you about my reluctant reader. I am glad to finally share with you our review of the product that has helped him so much in his reading. The program is called Alpha-Phonics, and although it is typically used to teach phonics to first-time readers, we were able to use this program as a method for re-training my reluctant reader.
Let me start out by saying that I taught my son to read at an early age, and he was always a good reader. That was, until he started public school, which re-taught him in a different (more difficult) way. Reading became a chore rather than a joy, and his confidence was shattered. I was really at a loss as far as how to help him, since most reading programs were only suitable for younger ages. I was so glad to be contacted by this company, because this program is exactly what we needed.
Alpha-Phonics is a no-frills way of introducing (or re-introducing, in our case) the letter sounds and phonics rules. There is no artwork to distract the reader, and the font is large and easy to read. This really helps the student focus on the letters and words in order to recognize the sounds.
Lessons are short and very easy to teach. Each lesson covers a specific sound or rule, and students then read a selection of words that apply that rule. The teacher manual is actually located in the back of the student book, so there is no need to buy anything additional. Also included with the book is a CD-Rom of the student book, for those that might prefer to work on the computer rather than from a book.
There are no writing exercises in the textbook itself, but there is a Phonics Companion Workbook available that has exercises that correspond to each lesson for reinforcement.
Alpha-Phonics also offers a set of Little Companion Readers to further reinforce and practice lesson concepts.
Because my son wasn’t learning anything new per se, we used this program in a way that might differ from a young child learning to read for the first time. For us, it was more of a matter of repetition. At first, I allowed my son to progress through the book rather quickly so that he could become familiar with the layout and gain some confidence. As he got further into the book, there are times where he would have to slow down just a bit. At that point, I would have him go through words and blends over and over in order to try to retrain his brain. Repetition really was key for us, and often involved remaining in one lesson for a couple of days until he had mastered the concept.
It took some work, but soon enough he was recognizing sounds more quickly and easily. He gained confidence because this program taught him to easily decipher even longer words by breaking them down into the phonograms that he knew. This confidence allowed him to do something he had not done for quite some time-he picked up a book, of his own accord, and read, for FUN.
I cannot express my happiness and thankfulness for this product. In short, I would recommend this program not only to new readers, but to parents of struggling readers as well. I hope it blesses your family as much as it did mine. If you would like to learn more about this program, I urge you to visit the Alpha-Phonics website, view their short video about the program, and view some of the program sample lessons.
And now, for those of you who would love the opportunity to win your own copy of this program, Alpha-Phonics is graciously donating a set for me to give away to one of my awesome readers. The giveaway includes the Alpha-Phonics Book & CD, the Little Companion Readers, and the Alpha-Phonics Workbook. This package has a total value of $79.85 . Don’t miss out on a chance to win this fantastic program!
Giveaway ends at 9pm on April 4, 2014. U.S. residents 18 and older only, please.