I am currently using this with my 6 year old after trying several programs similar that didn't work. It's very affordable for the amount of material you will get. Your child will be able to spell and read profieciently by the end of this course. All of my children have been through this course as it was taught at my older childrens' private school. I started homeschooling my youngest and came back to this program after trying fancier newer curriculums out there. It is totally scripted and has constant review. Mini readers that you assemble are included along with daily workbooks. You don't need to purchase anything else. There is a literary guide with books you can find at the library to use with it that you would do every 10 lessons if you want to add some literay elements. This is a phonics program based on Orton Gillingham method and if you have a child that struggles, this program is it. The coding really works well for my child when he gets stuck on a word. The review of phonics rules is so often, your child will be reciting them in no time and applying it to reading. Even if you have no experience with phonics, you can easily teach this course. By the time you finish SAXON phonics 1, not. only will your child be reading above grade level, but they will also be excellent spellers. It starts off slow with short vowels and basic letter review, but after that it picks up into diagraphs, long vowels, and 2 syllable words. Dont worry, you will know what a diagraph is after using Saxon phonics. My older children are strong spellers and readers because of this program and all spelling programs after Saxon are review for them especially if you do both Saxon 1 and 2. All 3 of my children have used this program, and I highly recommend you try it.
Let me preface this review by saying that I think you get a good amount of material for your money. So if you're looking for a deal, or more value for your buck, this is an option. Overall though, this was just not right for our family. I'm sure this program works for some people. However, since I never learned how to code words, this teaching method did not make sense to me. I kept saying to myself "why not just do this?" or "I learned to read this way instead, so I'm going to do what I know." Plus, this program was VERY dry and too repetitive for a student who already understood basic letter sounds and picked up reading quickly. If your student already can read, the beginning of this program will bore him/her to tears. We did not use the Phonics K program first, so this approach came as a not-fun follow up to our free-lance learning for Pre-K and K. While reading and phonics was once full of discovery and wonder, it became overly repetitive busy work and rote memorization. While my family enjoys schedule and structure, this was just too much. We ended up using Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read program and McGuffey's readers.
I've been a teacher for 20 years. Thirteen of those years were in the public school system. I'm doing homeschool now. My 4 year old is doing the first grade program. He is right on track with it and loves to read. I never learned how to code words when I was a student. I struggled with reading and got extra help in elementary school.
If you have limited phonics skills yourself, read over the lesson carefully before teaching it. The program is a little "dry" though. I use stuffed animals so children can relate coding skills with it. For instance I use "Vera Vowel" to teach short vowel sounds. Vera Vowel is a Panda bear puppet and has a hat called a breve to put on her head.
The Saxon Phonics program came highly recommended from a former teacher and homeschooling mom. She was RIGHT! Saxon Phonics is excellent. We used Saxon for K and I can't believe how well my son can sound out words, knows the rules, can read small sentences, etc. So far, 1st G is repeating the letters he knows (up to Lesson 11 so far). Therefore, I am stressing how well he is writing his letters/words and can't wait for him to learn all the new information in this grade. I highly recommend this to any homeschooling family!!