Little Dude and I covered a lot of information last year for Preschool. This year he is going to be working on Kindergarten and First Grade lessons. I am extremely excited for this year because the curriculum changes I have made are working out really well.
What is Jolly Phonics? Who is it good for?
Jolly Phonics is a program based on ” a ‘phonics first’ approach, whereby children are taught right from the start that letter sounds can be blended together to pronounce words”. In other words children are learning to sound out letters to form words as soon as they learn 3 or 4 letter sounds.
This particular phonics program can be used to teach Phonics, Spelling, Handwriting and Reading. It is recommended that the phonics program be taught in the following order.
○ Review/Reteach previously covered information
○ Teach new information
○ Practice the new information
○ Apply the information
Jolly Phonics is great for all types of learners. Through my own experience and reading other’s experiences online, I have found Jolly Phonics to be an excellent teaching tool for kinesthetic and/or visual learners.
How We Use Jolly Phonics in Our Homeschool
On a typical day the little one and I review what we learned the previous day first. Right now that means reviewing the letters and corresponding actions that we have already talked about. After that I use the Jolly Phonics app to introduce the letter story of the day and then the action associated with that particular letter. Sometimes we use Jolly Phonics videos posted to YouTube instead. When the letter introduction is complete we use YouTube and our Hooked on Phonics picture cards to discuss words that start with that particular letter. Somewhere in there the little dude does a letter writing activity. Some days we use PlayDough, other days it could be a worksheet, or magnets.
Jolly Phonics has a pretty interesting way of teaching High Frequency Words (sight words). The words are split up into words that can be decoded (sounding out) and Tricky Words (words that cannot be decoded). I have found that one of the best ways to reinforce the HFWs is to use flashcards, caption cards (short sentences containing the HFWs and decodable words), word building activities and Bingo.
We do not use the early reader books that go with the program. I substituted those with Pre-K and Level 1 Early Readers. Little Dude and I have also been picking out high frequency words and sounding out short words from magazines, signs around town, and streaming media captions. This mix of reading has helped maintain his enthusiasm for learning to read.
Apps and other Learning Tools
As mentioned earlier I purchased the Jolly Phonics Letters and Sounds app on my tablet. The app has all the songs and stories that correspond with the sounds taught in each set. Letter formation and beginning letter practice are also covered. If you need a cheap phonics program that is easy to implement the Jolly Phonics app is a great place to start.
There is a homeschool kit available for purchase, and a bunch of other resources that complement the curriculum. My little guy does not loathe worksheets, but they are not his favorite resource. Needless to say I opted out of purchasing the Jolly Phonics workbooks. Alphabet workbooks from Dollar Tree works for the days he does feel like doing a worksheet.
Lastly, Jolly Phonics also makes puppet characters for the charactes featured in the workbooks and readers. I could not justify using the Jolly Phonics characters since we donot own the workbooks. Instead we are using stuffed animals and puppets we have around the house. Once a week, during teaching time for Jolly Phonics I invite one of these pals to school. This in combination with the fun songs and stories for each letter have made a world of difference in learning to read vs loving the process of learning to read. If you have a little learner that is on the verge of reading and needs just a little helping hand give Jolly Phonics a try. The program features several ways to teach the information and there are some excellent free recourses online to help you along.
Jolly Phonics Resources Online
○ My Jolly Phonics pinterest board gets updated weekly. This board contains links around the web that I use with my little one as a supplement for Jolly Phonics.
○ The Jolly Learning website is a great place to learn more about the curriculum and they offer free resources available for download.
○ Sparklebox.co.uk is another good place to look for printables if you are using the Jolly Phonics curriculum. Most of the resources here are split up by phase.
○ Letters and Sounds.com is a free resource that is availbe for parents and teachers teaching using the letters and sounds program in the UK. The cool part is Jolly Phonics is a variation of the letters and sounds program so us teachers get another nicely organized resource to use.
○ When I am looking for lesson plans for Jolly Phonics, this is the first place I look. I have found some great free and paid lesson plan ideas from this website. If you want to keep track of what you have downloaded I suggest creating a free account.