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Alpha-Phonics: A Primer For Beginning Readers Plastic Comb – October 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0941995009 ISBN-10: 0941995003 Edition: 39th printing

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Alpha-Phonics: A Primer For Beginning Readers + Alpha-Phonics and How to Tutor Phonics Companion Workbook + How To Tutor
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Product Details

  • Plastic Comb: 168 pages
  • Publisher: The Paradigm Company; 39th printing edition (October 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0941995003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0941995009
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 9.7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

From The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Jan 2010: Alpha-Phonics includes a spiral-bound instruction book and a CD with the same information. This program provides wonderful instructions on how to teach their concepts step by step. You start out with a letter chart that has all the letters, both capitals and lower case on it. There are no pictures. The child learns the sounds of all the letters and puts that with the letters on the page. It may not be as visually appealing as some of the preschool reading curriculums you can buy, but there is a reason for that. When [author] Mr. Blumenfeld points out in the introduction that the child needs to identify with the letter, not with a picture, it made perfect sense because my granddaughter has been identifying letters by the pictures that are beside them [in another program]. Instead of saying the buh sound when she sees a B, she says bear. We have been using Alpha-phonics for a couple of weeks now, and she is now beginning to identify letters with sounds instead of a particular word. After the sounds are learned, you teach how the sounds go together to make a word: a and t make at, a and m make am. Then comes another letter: r and at make rat. After a few lessons, the child is identifying sound combinations and reading words and even sentences. One vowel is introduced at a time, and all the possible combinations with that vowel are explored before moving on to another. I like the fact that there is no special coding or symbols that the child has to learn as they are learning to read and then unlearn later because those codes and symbols are not used in common practice. The CD is a digital version of the book. It contains an audible introduction and conclusion by Dr. Blumenfeld and also gives you the option to either read the teacher instruction for each lesson or have them read to you. This is very helpful if the parent/teacher is an auditory learner. You can use this CD book to print out pages or display them on your computer screen and give lessons on the computer. The price of this program is the really sweet icing on the cake. Most beginning reading programs I have investigated have been very expensive. They had a lot of plastic parts with them and other accessories and were in nice pretty containers, but they really did not have any more to offer than this [Alpha-Phonics] program. When you have everything you need right there for $ 34.95, why would you care that there are no pretty pictures. Anyone that s looking for a reading program, either to help a struggling reader or to start a little one to read, would do well to purchase this curriculum. I am very impressed with the simplicity of process and how effective it has proven to be. Review by Christine Hindle, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, January 2010 --Christine Hindle, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, January 2010<br Review by Karen Andreola: Reminding us to be satisfied with moderation, my mother used to say: ...a little dab will do ya... With this in mind, I want to reassure you that it is not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on an elaborate phonics [reading instruction] course. There is an alternative that is amazingly simple and direct-its called ...sounding out... Instead of using dancing cartoon figures or sing-songy ditties (meant to amuse, but which often distract), a child simply looks at the letter or word and repeats after you. When a child has learned to recognize each letter of the alphabet by its sound, you can introduce the blending of letter sounds. Frequent practice plus some review will be needed, but this gradual work can be accomplished in 10 minutes a day with Alpha-Phonics. This program is the little dab of phonics I gave my children each day for their...at, mat, cat, hat, sat...sort of practices. And it was plenty. --Top 100 Picks by Cathy Duffy, 2005, pgs.81-82 Review by Karen Andreola --Top 100 Picks by Cathy Duffy, 2005, pgs.81-82

Review by Karen Andreola: Reminding us to be satisfied with moderation, my mother used to say: ...a little dab will do ya... With this in mind, I want to reassure you that it is not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on an elaborate phonics [reading instruction] course. There is an alternative that is amazingly simple and direct-its called ...sounding out... Instead of using dancing cartoon figures or sing-songy ditties (meant to amuse, but which often distract), a child simply looks at the letter or word and repeats after you. When a child has learned to recognize each letter of the alphabet by its sound, you can introduce the blending of letter sounds. Frequent practice plus some review will be needed, but this gradual work can be accomplished in 10 minutes a day with Alpha-Phonics. This program is the little dab of phonics I gave my children each day for their...at, mat, cat, hat, sat...sort of practices. And it was plenty. The large child-sized, handwritten [calligraphy] letters are read by the student right out of the book. Short words are read in columns. (No need to read all the columns on the page in one sitting.) Whole sentences are introduced using words previously practiced. An inexpensive non-consumable course, complete with teacher s manual and lesson plan. Grades K through 4
Review by Karen Andreoloa, homeschooling highlights.com, February 2011. Karen Andreola has been a main reviewer for Christian Book Distributors for many years. Karen has written several books on homeschooling and for a number of years published the magazine: Parents Review. She is also a frequent speaker at homeschool conventions. Alpha-Phonics is also recommended by leading homeschooling product reviewers Mary Pride and Cathy Duffy. Alpha-Phonics is also regularly recommended by The Robinson Curriculum organization. --Review by Karen Andreola, homeschoolinghighlights.com,Feb 2011

Excerpts from Cathy Duffy s book: Alpha-Phonics Sam Blumenfeld s classic phonics manual, provides comprehensive phonics instruction in a simple, straightforward manner, A parent works through the lessons with his or her child, working from the book. Alpha-Phonics has heavy-duty plastic covers and plastic comb binding so it lies flat while you're looking through lessons. Print is very large, making it suitable for young readers. The methodology is solid phonics. Blending is taught via the vowel-consonant method with initial consonants added next (e.g., am taught first followed by Sam and ham). Words are taught in families (e.g., an, ban, can, Dan, fan, Jan). However, many nonsense syllables are included in the early stages to help students develop phonetic fluency. Students practice quite a few such lists, but they also move quickly into reading actual sentences. The program does not use pictures as do many other programs. The print is very large and clear with no illustrations or other distractions. The intent is that students concentrate on the letters themselves so they immediately recognize the sounds associated with a letter rather than taking an extra mental step to recall a key word associated with a picture. Alpha-Phonics teaches 44 basic sounds for the [26] letters of the alphabet. It teaches basic phonics rules, but not so many as we find in other programs. Top 100 Picks for Homescuooling Curriculum book, Broadman & Holman, Nashville, 2005, pages 81-82 --Top 100 Picks by Cathy Duffy, 2005, pgs.81-82

About the Author

Alpha-Phonics author Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the celebrated author of many books on education.  He has taught school in both public and private settings. He has been a sought after lecturer at numerous homeschool and other types of educational conferences and workshops.  He has written articles for many print publications and is heard often in radio ad TV interviews. He has traveled and spoken in every state and in Australia, China, Europe and other countries. He is a native New Yorker who has resided in Massachusetts for many years

More About the Author

Samuel L. Blumenfeld is a resident of suburban Boston. He is a native New Yorker who was educated in the public schools of New York city and City College of New York. Before turning full-time writer he was a book and magazine editor. To give himself frontline experience for his books on education he served as a substitute teacher in the Quincy, Massachusetts, public schools. He is chairman of the Massachusetts branch of the Reading Reform Foundation.
Blumenfled's articles have appeared in the New York Times, Herald Tribune, Commentary, American Opinion, Ideas, Reason, Inquiry, American Education, Vital Speeches, Education Digest, American Legion Magazine, Conservative Digest and Boston Magazine. He has authored seven books on the subject of education. Several of his books have been given the highest ratings by Mary Pride and Cathy Duffy, two of the leading homeschool curricula reviewers.He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Bob Jones University in May 1986.
Dr. Blumenfeld is a popular lecturer, teacher and advisor at many conferences, workshops and conventions, especially homeschool conferences. He has participated in such events on every continent.
Blumenfeld is frequently heard on numerous radio and TV talk shows across the U.S.

Customer Reviews

When she tried to read she would fall into tears with frustration.
Gary Kuwano
Used this book to teach reading to three kids (4 to 5 years old) and had consistent success.
Sunny
A very easy way to teach your child to read using phonograms and real phonics.
Julia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Jill Minor on April 21, 2002
Format: Plastic Comb Verified Purchase
I have taught three children to read with this book, and am thrilled to be able to buy a plastic comb-bound version for my fourth child, which hopefully will also last through #5 and #6. Two of my children learned to read using this program between the ages of four and five, one between the ages of five and six. My current five-year-old is developmentally delayed, and so she is beginning phonics later than some of my other children, but I am confident that she will be reading some when she starts kindergarten in the fall.
Forget the "Phonics Game" and "Hooked on Phonics" and all those other pricey, gimmicky phonics programs. This thirty-dollar book is ALL you need, and it will take no more than 15 minutes per day to teach any child to read. If your child does not yet recognize all letters and know all phonograms (letter sounds), you can use the printed alphabet at the beginning of the book to drill on these first. By lesson THREE of Alpha-Phonics your child will be able to read a couple of sentences and be thrilled to death with his or her progress.
Alpha-Phonics is proof that the best isn't necessarily the most expensive.
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Gary Kuwano on May 4, 2002
Format: Plastic Comb
I am writing this so that it may help another struggling reader.
Bottom line is that it helped my first grader greatly accelerate her reading skills. At two months into the school year she was tested at a level 2. Our school district standard is level 16 by the end of first grade. Her teacher said that there would be an outside chance she would be at a level 12 by the end of the school year. My daughter though bright and motivated, does not have an aptitude for reading and possibly has a slight case of dyslexia. When she tried to read she would fall into tears with frustration. Consequently she was losing interest in reading.
We started this book in November spending about 30-60 minutes, 2-3 exercises per day with just reading, no writing. We finished the book in January. She then started reading other books for 30-60 minutes per day. She was tested again in February at a level 6. She has since been advancing at almost a level a week. By the end of April she was reading and comprehending level 12 books with ease. Recall that the teacher said in October she would be lucky to be at a level 12 by the end of the school year. She still has 6 weeks left in the school year.
This book has made a difference because it lays a phonic foundation in an organized, comprehensive manner with exercises that continually reenforce the learnings in each lesson. Exercises in subsequent lessons review previous material so that review of previous lessons were generally not needed. It starts out very simply so that the child is not overwhelmed and immediately feels a sense of accomplishment. Read the lesson plans at the end of the book as they are helpful for the parent.
After completing the book, your child will have the skills to sound out words on her own.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 12, 1999
Format: Plastic Comb
We are currently teaching our fifth son to read using Alpha-phonics. We used Alpha-phonics to teach each of his older brothers as well. We can't say enough good about this book! It is easy to use and inexpensive. It introduces easy sentences right away, which is a great motivator. We have found that it works best for us to use Alpha-phonics alone at first, and then later add some phonics flash cards. (We use Romalda Spaldings phonogram cards.) This combination is all we have ever needed. We've been homeschooling now for 9 years, and with most subjects we find that one child loves one curriculum, and the next child hates it and needs something else for his different learning style. Alpha-phonics is the only book that everyone has loved! I highly recommend it.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 21, 2001
Format: Plastic Comb
Approximately three days ago, I received the Alpha-Phonics textbook. I ordered it for my 1st grade son who has been in the public school system for two years and still doesn't know how to read. The school system uses sight reading. Anyway, we are already on the sixth lesson and he is slowly figuring out how to read. This book is simple to understand and very simple to teach. I love it!!!!!!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 25, 1999
Format: Plastic Comb
Many of you, like me, have heard of or used the Alpha Phonics book to teach our child how to read. To provide an all around kit that encompassed everything needed noted Alpha Phonics by Blumenfeld has come out with a complete kit. In this kit you will find an introduction video tape, a beginning cassette tape, the original Alpha Phonics book, a parent/teacher book, 6 double sided cassettes, 7 sets of flashcards (including jump rings), beginners writing tablet, a letter flip book, and 11 first reader books. All in all it is quite a bit of a kit and very comparable to the well known 'Hooked on Phonics' program.
I have to tell you that I prefer the Blumenfeld method of teaching phonics and reading. The letters are large print to assist with the transition to staring at the printed letter. The way the program flows is natural to the whole reading progress and easily picked up on by most new readers. If you feel comfortable with your skills, have a decent set of phonics flashcards (alphabet w/blends) I would suggest you only needing the main Alpha Phonics book. If you want all the supplemental goodies, and would feel more comfortable with a completely laid out program, then get the whole kit. I know that the cost for the entire kit is a bit high and I hope to see the price come down a bit. Even still, with the higher price, I would recommend the Alpha Phonics method over other reading programs. I also realize that some of the profits go to assist with reading programs in various places.
Alpha Phonics can be used with new readers, remedial readers, adults, and those new to English. Because of the variety in application, this program can be used with just about anyone who is learning to read or lacking in good phonics skills.
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