Monday, January 14, 2013

{Review} AlphaPhonics

In the fall of 2012, I was contacted by David from AlphaPhonics.  He wondered if I would be interested in reviewing their program.  Interestingly enough, it’s one that had been recommended to me by a long-time homeschooling mom just a few months earlier in an online forum.  I had seriously contemplated purchasing it before making the choice to go with My Father’s World Kindergarten.

I replied to David, letting him know that we had already decided upon a different program.  I told him that I would be glad to review it, try the first 10 lessons with my son, and share our experience here on Our Little Monkeys.

We’ve done that now, and I have to say that I see a lot of value in AlphaPhonics!  I thought I’d offer up a list of pros and cons that we’ve experienced or that I have noticed as we’ve worked on AlphaPhonics or paged through the book.

PROS

  • You will *LOVE* the price tag!  As I type this (1/14/2013), the price on Amazon is $23.07 for the COMPLETE program.  Normally, it’s $34.95, so this is a pretty good deal!  (By complete, I mean that your child will be able to read pretty much ANY word or sentence by the time you complete this program.)
  • It’s open and go!  You and your child can complete the reading lesson in about 15 minutes while snuggling together on the couch.  (That’s what Alex & I did!)
  • It takes a very systematic approach to learning phonics, starting with the alphabet and slowly building up to words like character, gymnast, and scholastic as you reach the final lessons.
  • No writing is involved in this program, so you may use AlphaPhonics even if your child does not yet have the fine motor skills necessary for handwriting.
  • The program comes with a DVD option for completing AlphaPhonics on your computer.
  • You may go at your own pace.  That’s why we I’m reviewing this program several months after we received it – we took our time going through the first 10 lessons.  I don’t believe in pushing a child to read, but working at their pace.  We did a lesson once or twice a week, but sometimes – if a lesson seemed to challenge Alex- we’d repeat that lesson rather than moving on to a new one.
  • You may use it with a learner of any age.  There’s nothing that an older student or struggling reader would find to be “baby-ish”.
  • It’s all contained in one spiral-bound book.  The first half of the book contains the student reading lessons, and the second part of the book contains the Teacher’s Manual. The student pages are white, and the teacher pages are a creamy color so that you can easily find what you’re looking for.
  • It’s entirely reusable!  You can use it with every child in your family, and you’ll never have to pay another penny for a phonics program again.
  • Alpha-Phonics is a beautifully hand-lettered book.  The writing almost looks like calligraphy, yet it is easy for a young child to read.
  • David from Alpha-Phonics was prompt in replying to my e-mails and answering my questions regarding this review.  While I can’t imagine anyone having trouble with Alpha-Phonics, it’s good to know that you’ll receive prompt, kind customer service!
  • This program’s original copyright is © 1983.  It has been able to stand up to the test of time! 

student lessons 3 & 4

CONS (if you can call them that…I really didn’t see true cons!)

  • If you are looking for something hands-on, this is not your program. (Although, quite honestly, I think you could easily use magnetic letters to add some fun to the lessons!  If we weren’t using MFW K, that’s EXACTLY what I would be doing with Alex right now.)
  • If you are looking for a program that will offer lots of colorful pictures to catch your child’s attention, this is not your program.
  • If you’re looking for cute stories using simple phonics, this is not your program.
  • The lowercase a is not the typical ball & stick style of a.  It’s more like the lowercase a’s that you’ll find in this post if you are reading it directly on my blog.  (Now that is admittedly NITPICKY, and it’s not really a con.  It didn’t bother us in the slightest, but I know that some would really prefer a ball & stick style for their young learners.)
  • Honestly, that’s all I can think of.  Our personal choices have led us in a different direction for phonics instruction, but there really aren’t any negatives to this traditional, systematic phonics approach to teaching reading.

teacher pages, lessons 3 & 4

If you are looking for a low-cost, highly effective way to teach phonics to your child, this might be a wonderful option for your family!

You can find this program on Amazon and read lots of wonderful review there, as well, by clicking on the image below:

 

By the way, the Kindle edition of AlphaPhonics (which I have NOT tried)
is available for $9.99 by clicking on the image below:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the AlphaPhonics book and CD set in exchange for a review on my blog.  All opinions are my own.  This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

2 comments:

Lindsay said...

Great review Dawn! I love that it is reusable and very portable!

Stefanie said...

Great review Dawn! Thanks!