For my last project for the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew, our family was given the opportunity to review Fun-Time Phonics!, a systematic phonics and comprehension reading program by The Critical Thinking Co. It is a 320-page book for grades K-2, full of colorful pages that help children learn to read in a fun way.
This program ensures complete phonemic awareness mastery because it focuses on vowel isolation – their individual sounds. Before a student can become a proficient reader, this very basic and important piece must be mastered. Because my daughter has recently been diagnosed with Dyslexia, I was excited about trying this fun curriculum with her. She specifically struggles with phonemic awareness/vowel isolation, so this was the perfect type of stimulating program to try with her. The emphasis of Fun-Time Phonics! is on patterns, not rule memorization.
Here is a listing of the components and strategies that are extremely effective with all levels of readers:
- Builds from students’ natural speaking abilities, developing their auditory awareness of vowel sounds;
- Incorporates multisensory instruction for introducing the alphabet and short vowels;
- Provides cognitively-engaging connected text for practice;
- Utilizes co-articulation to introduce consonant sounds, eliminating traditional stumbling blocks and ensuring a successful reading start;
- Involves multiple regions of the brain – analytical as well as artistic and language-providing various pathways to long-term memory and automatic word recall.
Fun-Time Phonics! is literally an open-and-go program. You sit down with your student, open the book, and easily teach the concepts without any prep work at all. Since we are no longer homeschooling, it is helpful to have a curriculum like this that we can add to our homework routine in the afternoons. It’s not just a supplement, however. Despite its simple, easy-to-use design, it is still a very comprehensive program.
Here is the Table of Contents:
Here are a couple of sample pages:
So what do we think of Fun-Time Phonics!?
We love Fun-Time Phonics! Katherine evens smiles at the cute pictures and enjoys the format, which changes things up and doesn’t give her the same routine-based learning everyday. If you have a struggling reader, or an early reader that you want to get started on the right foot, I highly recommend this wonderful, reasonably priced curriculum. The 320-page paperback book is only $39.99 and they are getting ready to introduce a Windows-based program that will only be $19.99.
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