Superphonics

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Laura Corin

  • Reviewed on Saturday, January 29, 2005
  • Grades Used: Pre-K to 1
  • Dates used: 9/2004 - 1/2005
This is a British program available from Amazon.co.uk. I have been astounded by how easily my four year old is learning to read with it. Each double page spread starts by introducing one sound pattern (for example 'mess'). By the time you reach to opposite page the child is reading 'bliss' and 'stress'. There is not much repetition but it works.

Each page starts with rhyming, finding words (real and silly) which rhyme with the pattern word (dress, guess, less..) Then a little character called 'Phoneme Fred' asks you to split up the words into phonemes (sounds). You then count the phonemes on your fingers, before blending them back together.

Only at this point does the child have to look at the written word, but the foundation is already laid and actually reading the list of rhyming words is easy, as is the move to related words ('mass', 'bless', 'miss').

Every few pages there is a review section; my son rarely gets a word wrong. He is proud of his progress in just ten minutes a day.

There are five superphonics books plus optional workbooks which can be used following every level. Writing can be taught simultaneously, but the author leaves that decision up to the parent. There are also readers but another scheme (Bob books, for example) could be used instead.