Excellent product, makes outstanding readers AND spellers!!!
January 23, 2015
I first used Saxon Phonics K 14 years ago when teaching our second child to read. He has a unilateral hearing loss (deaf in one ear) and at the time was dealing with constant fluid in the other (he wasn't eligible for tubes as there is a risk for hearing loss and he only had one working ear). At the best, he dealt with 50% hearing loss. Sometimes he dealt with a 95% hearing loss due to the fluid in his working ear. This program was AMAZING for him! I remember like yesterday when my son looked at the words "bad" and "bat" and said, "Mommy, they're the same." I told him to look closer at the last letters. His eyes grew wide with amazement as he looked at me and said, "Mommy! They're different!" Thus the beauty of phonics based reading programs! And yes, fellow moms, I did fight back tears. ;) After he was able to SEE the differences that he couldn't always hear, his speech improved incredibly, and he became a wonderful reader.
I have successfully used this program (K-2) to teach four of our children to read and am currently using it to teach a fifth. All of them are excellent spellers and readers with high Lexile measures. Two of our homeschoolers were tested last year. The 6th grader had a lexile in the 1200's and the 8th grader was in the 1400's, both college level. I am now using it to teach our sixth child to read and spell.
Understand that this isn't just a reading program. It teaches spelling rules and also how to code words. Even in K they take sound 'tests' that turn into spelling 'tests' as they progress (Saxon doesn't call them tests as they do it in their daily work just sounding out words). Not all programs do this. My first child was taught to read with a different program that didn't teach the spelling rules. He was an excellent reader, but struggled with spelling. I ended up teaching him the spelling rules and word coding taught in Phonics K-2 and his spelling dramatically improved.
I have had the opportunity to examine other learn-to-read programs used by homeschoolers, private schools, and public schools. I've never seen one that I feel compares to Saxon. Our children have always been ahead in reading and spelling. When they did go to private school for a couple years, each of them were #1 in their classes for both reading and spelling and they ended up helping other students. I believe Saxon Phonics is the reason.
I've also used this program to tutor a 2nd grader who was in the lowest reading group at school and was being considered for remedial classes for the next quarter if he didn't improve. After 2 months of basic phonics, early reader work, and learning spelling rules, he was moved into the highest reading group! We went through Saxon Phonics K&1 as he was older and a good portion of it was review, he just needed help putting it all together. His teacher was thoroughly impressed. His spelling also improved.
The only issue I have is that Saxon continues to use an older font type that makes lower case g's look like 8's (it's the same font that is used for the reviews here). It always confused our children. That is why Expectations gets a 4/5. The alphabet strip uses a different font that doesn't do that. In my opinion, they need to change their font for the flashcards, worksheets, and Kid Cards. However, it really is a minor issue that I've "fixed" by making our own flashcard to replace theirs. I also write a lower case g on each worksheet as they learn. Eventually, each of our children get it. No program is perfect, and the HUGE benefits of this program by far outweigh the formation of a single letter.
Saxon Phonics is a great program and I HIGHLY recommend it!!!
This program allows a struggling child to get the repetition that is needed to succeed. While I believe that the paper quality is not the best, the program is fabulous. I would recommend laminating all of the paper cards so that they last through the program.
I had 2 different home school moms recomend this book to me. It is very detailed and simple to follow. It moves slowly but I find that the authors have a reason for doing things the way they do it. I have learned not to skip much. My boys have responded well to it so far. I love the scripted lessons because I can scan it and know exactly what to say without a lot of work.
We have taught our oldest 3 children to read/spell with this wonderful program. This fall we will start our 4th and last child. It is easy to use, scripted for the teacher, and teaches not only to read but to spell based on rules. It is EXCELLENT and I highly recommend it! The problem we had after completing the 2nd grade Saxon Phonics was finding a good spelling program to continue with the excellent teaching already learned through this program. I will admit, we have not found anything yet that even stands close. My oldest is now 10th grade, an excellent speller, but we have yet to find a good, solid spelling program to carry over through elementary school and middle school. I do highly recommend Saxon Phonics. My children are excellent readers!!!