Some of my boys struggle with reading and because of this I wanted to run a simply easy to use phonics program by them. In my search I found Simply Phonics written by Laurie Hicks from SHOELACE BOOKS.
Ethan my 12 year old son is working through Simply Phonics Book 3.
Simply Phonics is a series of 3 books. I did not purchase the first two books (only the 3rd one) so I won’t go into detail about Book 1 & Book 2.
Book 3 is for a student who has either completed Books 1 & 2 or for students who needs a refresher course and has been introduced to both short & long vowel words as well as words with vowel and consonant pairs like ‘ai, ea, ee, or need some phonics review/refresher.
I had Ethan read each page and I marked any words he didn’t read correctly the first time so he could read them to me the next day.
We spent about 10-15 minutes reading through pages. If he were younger I’d only have him read for 10 minutes or a page or two depending on the age. Ethan is older so he can handle going through the book at a faster pace.
Simply Phonics Book 3 does use vowel sounds and diacritical marks. If you are unfamiliar with diacritical marks there is information for the teacher in the back of the book (pgs. 131-135) that will explain them.
It is encouraged to have the child write and understand the diacritical marks because it will come in handy with using the dictionary. I know when I look up a unfamiliar word in the dictionary and am not sure how to pronounce it, I look at the diacritical marks to help me.
Even if you don’t have them memorize it I do think it’s to at least introduce the diacritical marks so they are familiar with the marks.
The book includes Rapid Review & Drill pages short poems, stories, and quotes.
Here is a page showing the ir sound. Ethan and I would go over the sounds before reading. This is something he has memorized in the past but could use a refresher on.
There are a few non writing activities for instance one of the pages had Ethan find all the short vowel words.
Another way you can use Simply Phonics (especially for an older student like Ethan) is have the child copy the words. With Ethan I have him say each sound as he copied it. For instance with the word ‘charm’, he will say ‘ch’ and write ch, then say ‘ar’ and write ar, and lastly ‘m’ and write the m, then repeat the word ‘charm’.
Simply Phonics does teach that they ‘y’ in baby is the short sound of /i/. I believe this is how it was pronounced at one time but most of us would categorize it under the long /e/. I had no problem with this. I simply explained to Ethan the history of the sound and moved on.
Final thoughts about Simply Phonics:
I know Ethan is older than the target age for Simply Phonics Book 3 but it’s working out great for him. It really is a great refresher for him. He’s doing well and it certainly gives me a peace of mind knowing that he’s going over all those tough vowel combinations and reviewing the oo as in spoon, oo as in book, wor as in world, and so forth.
Simply Phonics Book 3 is available in pdf format. Laurie the author has made it affordable for everyone at $10.00! In fact with the exception of a spelling book, all books are $10.00 each!
To order you simply send $10.00 to her Paypal address which is available at her website and indicate which book you are purchasing.
Laurie also has a great spelling and Language Arts program too so you might want to take a peek at those. Her spelling program uses dictation instead of lists of words!
(There are no affiliate links or disclaimer as I purchased Simply Phonics 3 for this review)
If you live right, chances are your children will too. But teach them everything. What you don't teach them someone else will-and you might not like those lessons.-The Delany Sisters
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