Jolly Phonics- Review

This year as I start off on a brand new school journey with my 5 year old, it's been amazing to see how much has changed since I first taught Kindergarten 12 years ago! I am excited for all the resources we have available! Recently, we got to review Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar from (from the parent company just2ducks LLC).

Their multi-sensory phonics and grammar program contain a whole host of materials. We received:
  • Jolly Phonics Teacher's Book in print letters
  • Jolly Phonics Student Book 1, 2 and 3
  • Jolly Grammar 1 Teacher's Book in print letters
  • Jolly Grammar 1 Student Book
  • Jolly Songs in print letters

We also received and added bonus of "My Personal Dictionary" as well as additional printouts that explain what each student book covers. 

I have a recently turned 5 year old that is starting Kindergarten so she was the one who tried out this program. She has known a lot of her letters and letter sounds since she was 3 but we still started off at the beginning to get a good feel for how this program works.

The teachers book is a wealth of knowledge! It's 184 pages long and accompany's the 3 student workbooks. There are 4 color coded sections. The first section (in yellow) is an introduction to how the program works and how to implement it. They really get into detail on just how to use it with your child and some of the reasons why they teach the phonics and grammar the way they do.

The second section (in red) is the one we mainly used. This corresponded to the 1st student workbook. In the beginning it shared what to expect in each daily lesson. From there you go on to 1 teachers page per student page.

It should be noted that letters are introduced in the order of high frequency, not in alphabetical order. In fact, you don't even introduce the letter by it's name but rather it's sound.

You start off each lesson by reading a brief story to the child from the teachers manual. From there, you introduce a movement to represent that letter sound (such as for /s/, you move your hand in the shape of a snake.) Then you demonstrate how the letter is formed. In the student workbook, they have dotted letters to trace over on one line, then the student can write the letters on their own on the second line.

In the student workbook, there are a list of 4 words that you read to the child so they can hear the letter sound. There are also 4 colored pictures shown and the child needs to listen to you read the pictures and determine which picture does NOT contain that days sound that you are working on.

There is also a section in the teachers manual that gives further ideas of activities to do to help reinforce what they just learned. This includes listening to the cute song from Jolly Songs, which has a CD and a notebook with the lyrics and an explanation of the actions to go along with each song.

Because we started out at the beginning, we are still working our way through book one. Olivia and I both like the fact that the lessons are brief and have diversity enough to keep her attention. She isn't required to do much repetitive writing which for this age is a good thing.

The first student book starts off introducing single letter sound. Then soon it introduces 2 letter sounds as a blend. Again, the child is learning to recognize these letters as sounds and not their names. By the end of book 1, they learned all 42 letter sounds and are introduced to "tricky words", words that can't be sounded out.

In book 2 (the blue colored section), the student is introduced to capital letters as well as alternative spellings for sounds. They also start using dictation where the teacher reads a word out loud for the student to copy, Reading activities start to focus on comprehension skills and they start introducing writing sentences.

Book 3, (the green colored section), the student continues to build off of the first 2 workbooks.  They work on learning more tricky words and alternative spellings. They continue to hone their skills on comprehension and sentence structure. Again, in all 3 books, each single page represents one lesson.

While my daughter isn't ready for the Grammar workbook, we looked it over. In the beginning of the teachers book, they offer an introduction as well as ideas on teaching grammar and spelling. Every other lesson in the student book offers a spelling list with activities with the opposite lesson focusing on grammar. In the back of the student book are several pages with lines for the teacher to give the student a spelling test. By the time the student gets towards the end of the book, they are diagramming sentences.

I was impressed with how colorful and engaging the student workbooks are. The lessons are simple and to the point and not overwhelming for the child. This is important for young kids who have a short attention span and don't want to spend a lot of time writing. Since it was summer time when we worked on this review, we only did about 3 pages a week. The Jolly Songs CD was full of catchy tunes, the kind that stick in your head which is the point!

My favorite part as a parent was the teacher books that were full of info and spelled out just how to teach the lessons! I love that I didn't have to do any prep work ahead of time. I am excited to continue working through this program with my daughter this coming school year!

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Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review
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