Phonics First

I didn’t know sight words existed until my daughter turned four. A mom told another mom, and I was eavesdropping, this:

“What? Your child doesn’t know sight words? She should know sight words at the age of four!”

That sent me to panic mode.

From then on, I began to look for materials to use to teach my child “sight words” to be able to read. But I also read “What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know” by E.D. Hirsch and I somehow was convinced I didn’t need to be scared in the first place for my four-year old YET. Good thing.


Sight or Sound? BOTH!

From experience, I know being partial to and relying heavily on sight words instruction may not be good for my child. I don’t remember memorizing sight words when I was little!

What I know is that our teacher engaged us in class reading everyday. And we had to read together pages and pages of Henny Penny and other stories ALOUD. The reading material was reproduced on the board or written on Manila paper so that Mrs. Flores, my Grade 1 teacher can point to misread words on the board with her rod, errr stick. So it was that she read to us, and we read together as a class. Sight words skills just fell into place, I believe.

A reading expert named Hazel Loring wrote this:

“All of my teaching experience has confirmed my belief that directional guidance, inherent in the blend phonics system, is the key to success in teaching reading.” 


My Child’s Reading, So Far

Insofar as my child is concerned, who is a work-in-progress, she is reading wonderfully already (and I’m proud of her!”) and she has learned to use phonics to her advantage. How did she do it? Well — she sounds ’em out words!

I don’t discount the fact that many parents may think books about teaching your child to read can be quite expensive, ’cause they are.

If you like to buy SSRW books, go ahead! Bob Books are also wonderful! But I remember dreaming of having the SSRW but it will cost an arm and a leg (for me)!

And anyway, I don’t believe that I needed it really, because of the loads of free stuff and good deals everywhere! (If there is a freebie, or one I can get in the cheap, I will NEVER buy the expensive ones, even if I’ve got money to burn. But that’s just me. ❤ )


Phonics Book Published in the Philippines

So let’s go local. Yes. In the Philippines, National Book Store and Anvil got together to print a book entitled THE NEW Reading with Phonics by Julie Hay and Charles E. Wingo. This book is only 145 PESOS — talk about a good deal!

But wait till I share the merits of this book.


Via the National Bookstore Online Shop.


The New Reading with Phonics by Julie Hay and Charles E. Wingo by NBS and Anvil is a wise choice for the following reasons:

1.  It’s a tiny book. It’s one-half of a short bond paper in size, and the slim title is very easy to handle by a kid, and to carry along in your tote bag, mama!

2. It’s nicely bound.  It won’t stay open when you lay it on the table as you read, but the binding is great and seems durable! Just cover it with plastic and you’re good to go. This one can be passed on to the next sibling!

3. It’s colored! The illustrations are fun! The layout is simple and intuitive and no-nonsense. I love books like these!

4. The leaves are smooth and glossy. Oh, thank God for a book that is aesthetically appealing and affordable at the same time!

5. The technique is great! It is phonics based and at the end of every lesson is a short but level-appropriate reader. For practice, you can buy readers for your child from Booksale or Chapters and Pages or Books for Less.

Just be careful to wait for your child to be ready to read the more complicated ones. Sight words knowledge will come almost naturally. Try sounding them out, too, why not?! When in doubt (since we are not Native English Speakers — listen to the Word from a dependable online dictionary.) You’ll be amazed what your child can accomplish when you follow this path.

But the most important thing is this: READ TO YOUR CHILD! The more natural approach in mixing phonics and sight words instruction is reading to him. Soon, he will make connections with sounds and sight and boom! A child who is frequently read to will be soaring with you in reading before you know it.


If you want an entirely FREE resource, check out this site by a generous educator! He’s got GREAT (I’m jumping here!) resources you NEED to check out BEFORE YOU BUY ANY BOOK to teach your child to read.

You might find out you don’t need to buy any book when you find out the AMAZING FREEBIES he’s got organized for you. Mr. Don Potter’s website is AMAZING, do check it out and PRINT HIS BLEND PHONICS MATERIALS OUT! Potter, by the way, had this to say of Loring’s Blended Phonics method:

Loring’s method is taught from the chalkboard or overhead. Students learn to blend the sounds of the letters from left to right, one after the other. They do not see the whole word at a glance; therefore, they are required to look at each letter in proper sequence. The blending is done in this order, for example “bat:” b+a = ba, ba+t = bat.” Dr. I. A. Beck calls this “sequential or cumulative blending.”


If you want to buy THE NEW Reading with Phonics book you can buy online from National Book Store here

This is not a sponsored post, mamas. 🙂 I just love promoting local publishers and free resources online, that’s all!



Published by Ruth M. Solitario

Creative and practical. I am a work in progress. Doing life with my husband and daughter. Walking the earth, watching the heavens.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: