We are very hands on learners in our home. So it has been a search to find the right Phonics curriculum since this isn’t exactly the easiest subject for my boys. I ended up finding a fun filled curriculum called Happy Phonics. It is very hands on and full of games to keep hands on learners happy. So I thought it would be great to share it with all of you so that you could see an option that could possibly help your kids to learn.
Now Happy Phonics isn’t the only thing that we use for phonics. We also use All About Reading, so this kind of is an added bit to that for when we need fun game days that we can still learn during. Happy Phonics splits up the different steps of phonics into different steps that have games involved. You work on each step until your child fully understands what they are learning. So this is a mastery kind of curriculum, meaning you don’t move on until ready.
There are seven steps for your child to go through. Some steps at the beginning you might be able to skip depending where your child is.
Step one: Teaching your child to sing the alphabet Song.
In this step it is self explanatory you will be teaching your child how to sing the alphabet. There are some suggestions of how to do it in the booklet that comes with the curriculum. They suggest continually singing throughout your day, you can record yourself saying the alphabet or find some songs that are made for this reason.
Step 2: Teach that capital letters match the lowercase letters.
You will have the Alphabet desk strips provided to point out the letters as you sing the alphabet song. Another option is the Muffin match, which is a game that they will match the muffin top and muffin bottom together. One has the capital letter and the other has the lowercase letter to match together. There are also some practice pages that you can use to help recognize those letters, these are the Capital match sheet and the find my letter sheet. These will have the letters all over the page, you pick a letter for them to find among all the letters and they circle them. With these pages it might be easier to laminate it so that you can use the pages more than once.
Step3: Teach a sound for each alphabet letter.
With this step they are learning the sounds that each letters. There are white phonics flashcards that are available to work with. One tip that they provided is to make sure to only share the first sound that they have more than one (don’t worry you will go over the other ones later).
Step 4: Blend letter sounds to form a word.
This step will start helping your kids take those letter sounds and put them together to make those words. For this step there are quite a few games that will help them learn how to blend. Some are flippin fun which are books that you can use to place words together. Each one will have a beginning sound and then an ending sound to the words to learn what they sound like. Example would be having the word at on one part and then letters that will go along with it to make a word. You will have more than one letter to flip through to match with at. Another game is Rhyme game where you will take cards that have pictures on them and show your child that they may not be the same word but they both have the same ending or beginning sound.
Step 5: Teach common non- phonetic words: a, the, to, etc.
This are the words that just don’t make sense when sounding out. Just like you ant to sound the out one way but they look differently. Build a Sentence game is the game where you lay out cards that have different words on them. Your child will lay them out in the way that the sentence is supposed to go. This will include them learning about where a and the should be placed in the sentence. Another game like this one is the Scrambled Sentences which will help them learn how to put sentences together.
Step 6: Teach that vowels (a, e, I, o, u) can make a second sound: their alphabet sounds.
Once they know the alphabet names and sounds (most common ones) they will be learning the other sounds for the 5 letters that have more than one sound. You can use the phonics flashcards to work with the vowels so that they can see the vowel and learn how to make each sound.
Step 7: Teach the phonics units containing two or more letters
This step is broken up into a few parts to help process the information shared easier. The first group is ch,th, sh, and wh. You will see in the package of games and everything that there will be a tongue positon chart that will help show your child where they need to place their tongue to say these. There is also the CH, SH, TH and WH game where there will be two decks of cards where they will pick a card from both stacks and on sounding out the word that the two cards make.
The second group is a. The letter a is the only letter that has three sounds. There are clue cards made for these specially and then the Reading house can also be used to learn them. Also there is the 3 A’s book to help your child the special group.
You can see the video for the rest of the group as there are over 10 included.
I really hope that this review for Happy Phonics ends up giving you enough information to help you with hands on learning in your homeschool! Happy Phonics sure has started helping with learning phonics in our home.