We’ve tried several phonics programs and nothing seemed to really click well until we started using an awesome program from jollyliteracy.com. We received a copy of Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar from just2ducks LLC to review. I was surprised at just how much we actually received!
Here’s what we got:
- Jolly Phonics Teacher’s Book in print letters
- Jolly Phonics Student Book 1, 2 and 3
- Jolly Grammar 1 Teacher’s Book in print letters
- Jolly Grammar 1 Student Book
- Jolly Songs in print letters
So, let’s start with Jolly Phonics, shall we?
This phonics program starts very basic. I actually took Boobear back to the beginning because he needed the review, and because it went along with his speech therapy. (Two birds, one stone!) Handwriting practice is included in the book, so you don’t necessarily need another handwriting program while you’re using Book 1. There are pictures where the child identifies which one doesn’t have a certain sound and words to read, all made up of letters he has already learned. A really neat touch is hand motions to use in order to remember the sounds. There is also a cd of songs to help remember the sounds and even the vowels, but Boobear didn’t like it. I thought he would, but he seems a little on the old side for the songs. Now, I can guarantee that had I found this program when he was a little bit younger, he’d have loved having the songs.
Books 2 and 3 of the phonics program pick things up a bit and we slowed down to one page a day. You’re still learning sounds and there is occasional handwriting practice, but dictation is also added. Tricky words are covered, such as saw, put, and before. There are phrases to read and then draw a picture, which shows that the child understood what he read. It gets progressively more difficult, but in a way that is not overwhelming. It’s just fast enough for Boobear to not be bored, but still slow enough that he is really grasping what he is doing.
We received the first book of Jolly Grammar. It’s meant to be started after finishing the phonics program, so needless to say we haven’t actually started it yet. However, I have looked through it and I really like what I see. The child is still learning sounds, such as sh, and there is a bit of handwriting in the program, but not too much. Lessons are short and sweet and to the point. There’s no fluff or time wasting here. You’ll find practice with sentences, dictation, actions to remember things like proper nouns, and even practice with putting things in alphabetical order. Spelling is also covered.
The teacher books are wonderful. If you’re confident in what you’re doing, the teacher books will teach you things you hadn’t thought of. And if you’re not? They’ll hold your hand and even guide you in what to say to make sure that your students know what you’re trying to get across. I find these books highly valuable and think any teacher would benefit from them.
It’s very simple – I love this program. I wish I had found it a long time ago. I honestly believe Boobear would be reading much better than he currently is had we found this program sooner. It really clicks with him and is easy for me to teach.
Boobear enjoys the program. He likes the color and variety of activities. He’s no longer complaining of being bored and is willingly reading things on his own around the house because he doesn’t feel stressed about reading.