March 7, 2015

Sing, Spell, Read & Write Pre-Kindergarten

I would think that the very first academic schooling a child should get is to learn how to read! Once a child knows how to read, he can learn anything else he wants to. It really is a foundation to all other learning, academically anyway. So when I began thinking about homeschooling my kids, the very first thing I went in search of was a good phonics program.

At first, I was quite sure I wanted Hooked on Phonics. I was partial to it because that was the program I had learned to read with. I liked that it came with different levels and each level came with readers for practice reading. However, it seemed like the current version of Hooked on Phonics used a lot of computer games and DVDs. We prefer that our kids have a minimal amount of screen time so I wasn't keen on making that a part of our school program. 

I learned about Sing, Spell, Read & Write (SSRW) from other home schooling moms who recommended it to me. At first, I thought the price seemed very expensive and... it is. But it has had very good reviews and is systematic and well-rounded for different learning styles. I also liked that it used songs to teach some of the concepts and how pretty much the whole program was very hands-on learning.

The entire SSRW phonics curriculum is contained in the Kindergarten/Level 1 Combo. The Pre-Kindergarten portion really is not necessary for learning how to read. However, since my children were so young, I thought it was too early for the Kindergarten/ Level 1 Combo so I started with the SSRW Pre-Kindergarten. (I started into it with my firstborn before he was 3 years old and just went really slow at first.)

We are really enjoying it. Included are instructions for teaching, worksheets for practice, suggested books for reading, songs for memorizing concepts, a chart to track progress all the way through the program, included games, reward stickers for each completed portion of the program and a variety of suggested activities (games, crafts, etc) for exposure and cementation of the concepts. Plus more!

The first half of the program starts out really easy with colours and shapes, then moves on to some preparation for learning letters. This would include some visual discrimination, directional concepts and sequencing just to name a few.

The second portion of the year takes the student through each letter of the alphabet. There are stops along the way for catching some math concepts. For me, I didn't find the math portions to be so great. It was too difficult for my 3 year old and didn't include any worksheets to help learn it. I'm not disappointed though since I bought it with the intention of it being a phonics program, and my kids are still quite young. I plan to use another program for math later anyway.  

My son especially likes the worksheets. He also enjoys singing the phonics song while pointing to the letters.

I'm sure I could have come up with ideas for learning the colours, shapes, etc. through pinterest or reading other blogs, but it was nice to have it all laid out with an order. I'm free to add to it any ideas I do find that I think would be beneficial or fun anyway.

We liked some of the ideas from Genki English Phonics such as only teaching the sounds the letters make and teaching the letters in order of most used. So we taught the letters in the order Genki English teaches them and only the sounds they make, not their names.

I've been copying the activity worksheets from SSRW PreK so it's all ready to use again with my second son. He's two now, so we'll be starting into colours again ever so slowly with lots of games and activities to make it fun and memorable.

My three year old knows his colours and shapes and the sound that every letter makes! I'm very excited to move on to the the Kindergarten/ Level 1 Combo!

My Pearson Training offers videos online to show how to use the program. This really helped me know what I was getting when I was looking into Sing, Spell, Read & Write. Keep in mind that the videos are for the classroom program and some of the components are not included in the Home Kit. Not included in the Pre-K Home Kit are the A-Z Phonics Wall Cards, the really detailed teacher's manual (There is an excellent teacher's manual included in the home kit. It just doesn't have the day to day lesson plans and other such fancy things that the Classroom Teacher's Manual has.), manuscript wall cards,  and the giant wall charts (there's just the placemat size chart with the Jolly Trolley Track on one side and A to Z Phonics Song Placemat on the other). The clock manipulative and the reusable Jolly Trolley sticker are smaller and the activity worksheets are a bit different format than what you would see in the video. It also doesn't come with a video for teacher instruction on using the program.

The only thing I really missed of all that list was the A-Z Phonics Wall Cards. However, you can still sing the A to Z Phonics Song with the A to Z Phonics Song Placemat and as you complete the letter worksheets, they are meant to be hung up for the student to sing with as well.


  1. Hi there, someone gave me this curriculum that I'm going to use for my son. However it was missing the Phonics place mat (no wall cards either). Do you have any idea where I could get one? I have scoured the Internet with no success.

  2. The wall cards don't come with the home edition (mine doesn't have them either), but the back of the placemat has the entire song to point and sing along to. It looks like amazon sells the individual items. Placemats here and wallcards here.
    Lamp Post Homeschool sells the placemat along with the activity sheets, stickers and alphabet strip here
    I hope that helps!