Overwhelmed at the thought of teaching your child to read? You're not alone! In fact, I think deep down, most moms share that fear. We often see phonics as something big, scary, complicated, and time consuming--but can I let you in on a little secret?
It's really not.
Here's the deal: you've already taught your child how to talk, walk, and eat with manners. You've taught them how to share, how to color, paint, and create. You've likely already taught them the alphabet, colors, and numbers.
And what's more than that, you know your child best. You know their strengths and weaknesses, you know their learning style, and what they love to do. Yet somehow when it comes to teaching our child to read, we feel we just aren't qualified.
But here is the truth: you are your child's best teacher.
And teaching them how to read is really no different then all the other fun, awesome things you've been teaching them for years!
So take a deep breath and repeat after me, "I can totally teach my child how to read!" Now let me show you how we do it!
First, meet my inspiration behind Foundations Phonics. I often joke that my oldest son hasn't stopped moving since the day I first felt him move in the womb. It's really not that far from the truth! And his younger brother isn't that far behind him.
In all honesty, the thought of teaching him how to read made me groan. I know I can do it, but he is so incredibly active and the thought of big binders, long lessons, and all the worksheets for him was just overwhelming. So I decided we needed to go about it the way I've gone about teaching him so many things--we needed something flexible, easy, fast-paced, and it needed to stay within his attention span. I know I'm not the only momma with a busy life and active children, so the idea of Foundations Phonics was born!
This program is different because it is mom-written for moms. I wanted a program that would make our lives easier while also letting us have a ton of fun and make great memories with our kids in the process. At its core, Foundations Phonics is a fast paced, hands-on, flexible, stand-alone phonics program that has been designed for ease of use. It is just one book that combines both the teacher portion and the student worksheets--super simple! And at just over a half-inch thick (seriously! I told you this wasn't complicated!), this just may be the least intimidating book you've read since pregnancy.
The pages are three-hole punched for you and perforated so you can work through the book itself, put them in a binder, tear them out for the kids, hang them on the fridge, or whatever method works best for your family! (p.s. if you do something super cool with the pages after you're done, I totally want to see pictures!)
And another great feature? There are suggested hands-on activities throughout the course--but don't worry! I wanted this program to be really grab & go for the momma balancing a 6, 3, and 1 year old, for the momma with a busy schedule, and for the momma who doesn't like to plan. So, most of these projects utilize stuff we already have at home--like flour, sugar, baking sheets, shaving cream, play-dough, etc. I've also included a handy materials list so you'll know what supplies are needed each week if you opt to do some activities. If you want to do the activities, there may be a few things you'll need to purchase, but it won't be many and you'll be able to use it throughout the course!
But here is my favorite part: Foundations isn't just about Phonics. I love this quote from Charles Spurgeon:
That is truly the backbone of this course. You see, I remember so many of the morals and lessons from when I learned to read and they still impact my life today. I want my sons to develop a lifelong love of reading; but more than that, I want them to develop a lifelong foundation of faith in Jesus Christ because that has an eternal impact.
So I wrote Foundations Phonics to take our children on an adventure through the pages of the very best book--the Bible--from creation to Christ. As they are learning to read, they are also learning about how God created the world, how mankind sinned and why things aren't perfect anymore, they are learning about the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the promises God gave to them and others throughout history. They follow along as God leads His people and they study men and women who followed God. They'll learn about the prophecies that foretold Christ's birth and how all through the Bible God had a plan to save us. They'll learn about Christ's life, death, and resurrection. And through it all, they are learning to trace God's story through history and apply it to their lives directly. They are learning how much God loves them individually.
And can I let you in on a little behind-the-scene secret? I cried while writing lesson 50 y'all. It's a simple lesson on the letter U, but it's so much deeper than that. This lesson also sums up every other lesson in the book--tracing how Jesus paid the price for our sin and it no longer has to separate us from Him. This lesson explains salvation to your child and guides you to a point of prayer with your child if they have not already accepted Christ and want to. That is the heart beat behind the program. It's why I wrote it and cried at my desk praying for you and your child as you work through these lessons.
So now that you know the heart, let's get down to some details!
Who is Foundations Phonics for?
It is designed for use with children who are ready to learn to read in kindergarten or first grade (ages 5-7). While Foundations Phonics includes a writing component, it also capitalizes on the excitement of students who are ready to read but may not be ready to write and can be easily customized for both writers and non-writers.
What will using it look like?
Foundations Phonics is designed to be completed in one semester (18 weeks) with lessons taking place 3x per week. However, the program may also be completed at a faster or slower pace to meet each individual child’s needs. Each lesson takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete (can I get a WOOHOO! mommas?).
Here's how the lessons work:
· You'll sit down with your child and read the engaging lesson narrative outloud (5-10 minutes)
· You'll both work through the child’s reading practice section (5-10 minutes)
· You'll guide your child through the lesson’s Little Learner Activity Sheet which may include coloring, activity, writing, practicing sight words, or problem solving (5-10 minutes)
· Optional: You may complete one or several optional hands-on bonus activities listed at the end of each lesson. These activities reinforce the lesson content utilizing common household materials. These activities may also be added to “off-days” on which there is not a formal lesson. (5-10 minutes)
Alright, so this sounds AWESOME right? And here is another great feature: as a momma on a budget, I'm SUPER excited at how affordable this truly is! Are you ready for it? Foundations Phonics retails for $29.99 and you can currently pick it up on my publisher's website masterbooks.com for just $23.99. It's like, crazy easy, crazy fun, and crazy affordable!
Want to take a look at it? My publisher Master Books has also provided a downloadable file with the first 30 pages of the book, so you'll get all the intro material and the first week of lessons! Just click below to access that file and give it a try with your child!
I'll also be adding some more detailed posts on Foundations Phonics in the near future including FAQs, ways you can customize the program to meet your needs, how to tell when your child is ready for it, and more! Subscribe below so you don't miss any of it!
But I'm new to homeschooling and I don't even know where to start!
I would LOVE to help you get started my friend! Just send me a message using my contact form here and I'd be delighted to help get you on your way :-)