I've admitted before that I was a struggling reader. I didn't really start reading until after I was 12 years old. It was extremely hard for me. Some of our children have learned quickly but some have struggled just as much if not more than I did. I don't worry about it because I know it will "click" when their brains are ready. I love tools that encourage them though. The Spencer Learning Ultimate Phonics Reading Program has been a wonderful addition to our daily routine. It's been simple, straight forward, and to the point. Most of all, it has been very effective. I'm thrilled with how much better our two youngest are reading and I think it has even been good review for the high schoolers.
- Downloadable. This is on the computer but it is NOT an online program. Our internet often runs very slow or is completely out of order for days at a time. Having something they don't need internet connection for is great. (I can also unplug our router if I just want to make sure they stay offline...)
- There are 262 lessons. The first lesson is a nice introduction to the program and phonetic sounds. It was completely self explanatory for the 9 & 13 year olds and I didn't need to help them get started at all.
- Flashcards. I LOVE flashcards, but... I ... hardly ... ever ... take ... time. This is one area of our homeschool that I admit failure and defeat.
- Nice progression. Ultimate Phonics Reading Program starts with the vowels and consonants, two letter words, three letter words, introduces blends and alternate sounds along the way all in a nice consistent progression.
I really wish I'd had this program much earlier. (It's NEVER too late though!) It has been a nice change for the children and since I just started a new job outside the home, it has been a MAJOR blessing for me. They can do this on their own and I have noticed a nice change in their reading and sounding things out.
The 13 year old's favorite part is when it started sentences. Although I really believe he needed the earlier review, I think he felt better when he could actually see it was getting somewhere. He has definitely been able to apply what he has learned to every day. Now he's reading a lot of things on his own with very little help from us. I'm always happy when that day comes! I think he also likes that it isn't cartooned like a preschool program. It's very straight forward and no-nonsense.
Our 9 year old has an easier time with reading. She enjoys the whole program and is reading it silently as it goes along in addition to it improving her reading aloud. She's also spelling better.
- A Pattern or Idea page
- A set of Word List pages
- A set of Word pages
- A set of Sentence pages
The Ultimate Phonics Reading Program also offers FREE printables:
- word lists to help with penmanship and spelling
- reading placement test
- scope & sequence
- tracking sheet
Plus there is a very nice online Users Guide with videos. This is an awesome program that could be used for all ages, plus would be great for people learning English as a 2nd language. I'm glad we had the opportunity to review it!
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