Vowel digraphs are those spelling patterns wherein two letters are used to represent a vowel sound. The ai in sail is a vowel digraph. Because the first letter in a vowel digraph sometimes says its long vowel sound, as in sail, some phonics programmes once taught that "when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking." This convention has been almost universally discarded, owing to the many non-examples. The au spelling of the /ɔː/ sound and the oo spelling of the /uː/ and /ʊ/ sounds do not follow this pattern.
Sifting through the various educational options can be confusing as parents try to find the best fit for their child and budget. Time4Learning shares Hooked On Phonics® belief in the importance of engaging children and the significance of phonics. Many families like Time4Learning’s convenience, appeal to the children, and educational effectiveness. Time4Learning’s approach integrates phonics into a broad language arts (and math) curriculum. Parents can decide how much of the extensive program to use since Time4Learning is student-paced.

Short vowels are the five single letter vowels, a, e, i, o, and u, when they produce the sounds /æ/ as in cat, /ɛ/ as in bet, /ɪ/ as in sit, /ɒ/ or /ɑ/ as in hot, and /ʌ/ as in cup. The term "short vowel" is historical, and meant that at one time (in Middle English) these vowels were pronounced for a particularly short period of time; currently, it means just that they are not diphthongs like the long vowels.


Some people think that teaching letter names is essentially teaching their sounds, but unfortunately that is not the case in English. Some letter names don’t have a sound commonly associated with the letter at all. Neither Hh, Ww, nor Yy has its commonly associated sound in its name (e.g., there is no /h/, as in happy, in the name of the letter Hh (“aych”)). Knowing these letters’ names definitely does not lead children to know their associated sounds. Some other letters’ names contain one of the sounds commonly associated with the name but not the other. For example, Cc has one of its common sounds in its name (/s/) but not the other (/k/).
The use of phonics in American education dates at least to the work of Favell Lee Mortimer, whose works using phonics includes the early flashcard set Reading Disentangled (1834)[19] and text Reading Without Tears (1857). Despite the work of 19th-century proponents such as Rebecca Smith Pollard, some American educators, prominently Horace Mann, argued that phonics should not be taught at all. This led to the commonly used "look-say" approach ensconced in the Dick and Jane readers popular in the mid-20th century. Beginning in the 1950s, however, inspired by a landmark study by Dr. Harry E. Houtz, and spurred by Rudolf Flesch's criticism of the absence of phonics instruction (particularly in his popular book, Why Johnny Can't Read) phonics resurfaced as a method of teaching reading.
This table depicts several different types of phonics instructional approaches that vary according to the unit of analysis or how letter-sound combinations are represented to the student. For example, in synthetic phonics approaches, students are taught to link an individual letter or letter combination with its appropriate sound and then blend the sounds to form words. In analytic phonics, students are first taught whole word units followed by systematic instruction linking the specific letters in the word with their respective sounds.
Phonics for Reading has three levels and contains placement tests that can be used for program entry or to measure growth at the end of the year.  Level I of Phonics for Reading contains 30 teacher directed lessons with a focus on short vowels, consonants, consonant blends, and digraphs.  Level II contains 32 teacher- directed lessons and progresses with vowel combinations, r-controlled vowel sounds, common endings, and CVCe words.  Level III contains 36 teacher directed lessons and expands concepts with vowel/letter combinations, common prefixes and suffixes, minor consonant sounds for c and g, and minor vowel sound combinations.  Levels II and III have fluency-building activities and directions for assessing fluency.  Each level of Phonics for Reading has ten activities that can be used to formally measure growth through the program.
This is a great synopsis of the Alphabetic portion of the NRP report on Teaching Children to Read. For those willing to slog through the full report itself, there are many additional interesting nuggets discovered in this meta-analysis, such as the use of mnemonics for teaching letter-sound relations to kindergartners is supported by evidence, plus the portions devoted to reading fluency and comprehension.
Although conventional wisdom has suggested that kindergarten students might not be ready for phonics instruction, this assumption was not supported by the data. The effects of systematic early phonics instruction were significant and substantial in kindergarten and the 1st grade, indicating that systematic phonics programs should be implemented at those age and grade levels.
A good phonics lesson begins with an explicit explanation of the sound-spelling being taught along with guided opportunities for students to blend, or sound out, words using the new sound-spelling. These exercises should be followed by guided and independent reading practice in text that contains words with the new sound-spelling. This portion of phonics instruction is key. Therefore, phonics instruction should focus on applying learned sound-spelling relationships to actual reading, with smaller amounts of time spent on the initial task of learning phonics rules. That way, you can plan phonics lessons that are appropriate for all students, even if some have higher levels of phonics mastery than others.
“My son is seven. He’s not the biggest fan of reading. He strives to do his best, but if he hits a snag while reading he tends to become frustrated and lose the desire to read. This is now his favorite app. His ability to read when and what his mind desire surpasses his frustration. We have tried many learning apps throughout the years. This by far has the most content. I just want him to find out just how wonderful a good book really can be.”
I am using this product as a reading guide for my 2and 4 year Olds. My 4 year old absolutely loves it. I adjust our focus based on the knowledge that she already has. As a mom it makes me feel confident that I can teach her how to read. Prior to getting this I didn't know where to start. She already knew her abcs and letter sounds but we are doing the whole course anyway. I am mixing some more challenging lessons in so that she keeps her focus and then we go back to the 'easy stuff' to help her feel successful if she gets frustrated. I will start my 2 year old in a simplified version of the first lesson group in the fall. This product comes highly recommended.
I recommend getting Level 1 First as this is the second half and goes off of things that should have been learned in the first set. I bought this first and then ended up buying the other one and putting this one away for a while. This is a great set of activities do get kids excited about letters and letter sounds. My daughter is 2 and a half and is already learning letters and phonics. I highly recommend this! And she loves the star stickers that go on the workbook pages when she completes a page. The only thing I don't like is that the alphabet song they play isn't the one I grew up hearing. I also got this for $10 less than the msrp!

Phonics reading helps also to increase a child's fluency in reading. Fluency in this context is not limited to reading fast. It also means reading text accurately. When a child is taught phonics properly, the child will find reading easy. The child will not only read accurately but also quickly. Reading quick and correctly is another benefits of phonics reading.

The company built a successful business based upon significant advertising, leading to sales of over $100M per year. The product, along with its catchphrase "Hooked on Phonics worked for me!" (spoken by children in the product's television ads) and its telephone number "1-800-ABCDEFG" (now belonging to the Wilshire Law Firm), became widely recognized during the mid-1990s.[3]
Students can use the app individually, with each student totally engaged and working at his or her own pace, freeing the teacher to pull students for individual reading instruction. The videos could be shown to the whole class, introducing letter sounds or reviewing sight words. The ebooks are frustration-free read-alouds to show kids that they can read. Students can work at their own pace, allowing advanced readers to move more quickly, or teachers could build a semester-long curriculum, covering one step per week.
Phonics is a branch of linguistics where the sounds and physical properties of human speech sounds are studied. Phonics reading is highly essential in every child education. It is not uncommon to find parents who question the importance of phonics reading in the education of their children. Such parents believe that children will naturally master the different sounds of human speech since the ability to use language is innate in every human being. Their view may look plausible but they are not actually correct.
Recently, the National Reading Panel, composed of experts in the field of literacy, was asked by the United States Congress to examine the research on the teaching of reading. A subgroup of the National Reading Panel reviewed 38 studies to determine what the research says about the teaching of phonics. To ensure the soundness of its findings, the National Reading Panel chose to review only studies that met rigorous criteria for research studies.
^ "National Reading Panel (NRP) – Publications and Materials – Summary Report". National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction (NIH Publication No. 00-4769). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. 2000. Archived from the original on 2010-06-10.

Phonics instruction should be explicit rather than implicit. Implicit instruction relies on readers "discovering" clues about sound-spelling relationships; good readers can do this, but poor readers are not likely to do so. Explicit instruction is the most effective type of phonics instruction, especially for children at risk for reading difficulties.


A common question with any instructional program is whether "one size fits all." Teachers may be able to use a particular program in the classroom but may find that it suits some students better than others. At all grade levels, but particularly in kindergarten and the early grades, children are known to vary greatly in the skills they bring to school. Some children will already know letter-sound correspondences, and some will even be able to decode words, while others will have little or no letter knowledge.
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