Sunday, June 28, 2009


When we started homeschooling our oldest was already reading. We felt like some reinforcement would be good, but we did not need an involved phonics program. Out of total ignorance I picked Saxon Phonics. Oops. Saxon is extremely involved. If I had followed the program as outlined we would have spent 45 minutes on phonics every day. I significantly altered the program and we spent an average of 15 minutes a day on phonics.

Saxon has two levels of phonics. We used level 1 during first grade, and level 2 during second grade. I didn't love it, and neither did M, but for 15 minutes a day we could both tolerate it. I will say that Saxon Phonics balances learning to read with learning to spell. I might review some of the flash cards next year if M has trouble with specific spelling concepts.

Our second daughter started kindergarten last school year. I could not imagine teaching a child to read using Saxon. We chose the Veritas Press Phonics program and were pleased with it. Again, I did not follow the program exactly, but we did actually use the worksheets. I also enjoyed the primers that came with the program. Next year we will use the Veritas Press 1st grade student workbook.

I had always bought into the idea that years of training were necessary to be able to teach a child to read. I was so glad to discover my error. Time is the main ingredient. I love having two new readers in the house and I am looking forward to adding two more.

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