May 9, 2013

Review & Guest Post by David Ryan of Alpha Phonics on Mom Loves 2 Read

My Review:
I was sent a free Alpha-Phonics book as well as The Alpha-Phonics & How To Tutor Little Companion Readers and The Alpha-Phonics and How To Tutor Phonics Workbook for this review.

Alpha phonics is a program that teaches kids to read using simple techniques that I remember using when I was in grade school.  With story booklets that remind me of the "See Spot Run" type stories I read from in Kindergarden when I was a child, it is fun and easy for young kids to learn the techniques and phonics necessary for early reading skills.

I have personally taught my children from early on basic phonics skills.  Most parents I know start their children out with letter sounds and learning to sound out short easy words to teach them the basics of reading.  Alpha Phonics program is a wonderful addition for any parent, homeschooler or teacher to use to aid in these early learning techniques.  I love the booklets that come with the program, the easy teaching instructions and how much fun my daughter and I have when we read together.  I love seeing the sparkle in her eyes and smile on her face when she realizes she has just read several words in a book by herself.

Click below to see a brief video explaining why Alpha-Phonics is now so much better than ever before:

Click below to visit our BLOG and learn more about Alpha Phonics

The Paradigm Company
Publishers of Alpha-Phonics

Guest Post by David Ryan:

Common Core State Standards and Homeschoolers
© David Ryan 2013

There is no way getting around the fact that by adhering to Common Core State Standards teachers will be teaching to the test.  CCSS proponents deny that the Standards require certain material be taught in certain ways and that teachers are free to use whatever materials they deem appropriate for their students.  This is so, but it begs the question, and the structure of the program and its reliance on tests makes their assertion seem somewhat hollow. 

To illustrate why, we can look at an area of particular concern, especially to those who peer more deeply into the abyss of CCSS.  In its English curriculum, the CCSS has made a clear and definite move away from literature and towards “informational” texts; its proponents are up front about this.  If a teacher felt it necessary to include more of the classics of English literature, he or she would necessarily have to take time away from these informational texts suggested in the Common Core curricula and teach material that won’t be on the test.  Where does this leave the student at test time?  You guessed it.  (What these “informational texts” are and will be is certainly another cogent question!)

It is also clear that what students are being taught is as or more important than how they are being taught.  By establishing common curricula for use in every school in the nation, tremendous power to mold the thinking and knowledge of every child will reside in the hands of a very few decision makers, most of whom are likely to reside in and around the District of Columbia, and all of whom share a particular world view.  With the current intellectual trend of minimizing the importance of subjects traditionally dear to Americans, such as the lives and works of the Founding Fathers, the importance of the Constitution and other primary documents that define us as a nation, and religion based morality standards, it is not difficult to guess what kind of influences will be exerted on the formation of curricula and the selection of materials to be studied.

How might this affect homeschoolers?  It doesn’t take much to imagine that in order for the achievement of homeschooled students to be recognized by the states and universities, they too will be tested in accordance with the requirements set by CCSS.  To emphasize this probability, the SATs and PSATs, so important to graduating high school seniors, will indeed be aligned with Common Core Standards, as recently announced by the College Board.*   And since there are only so many hours in a day, homeschooling parents will have little choice but to “teach to the test”. 

Of course there remain many strong reasons for a parent’s decision to homeschool, but how many of these will endure the federal government’s constant attempts to wrest away the freedom of parents to educate their own kids as they see fit, whether it be through a local school or at home?  There is absolutely no doubt that many ‘experts” in the educational system today, at both state and federal levels, believe the raising and educating of children is much too important to the “collective” good to be left in the amateurish hands of their parents.  As homeschooling grows in popularity, the attacks on it increase, and while CCSS may seem like an issue more relevant to the public educational system, its threat to your freedom to educate your own children is clear. 

As many of you know, we at Alpha-Phonics place the development and education of young minds at the very top of our priorities, believing that whatever commercial success we may enjoy can only come if we adhere to that principle.  We have no hesitation whatsoever in joining the fight against what we see as a profound turn away from individual liberty rather than towards it. 

Most of you have already taken a crucially important and courageous stand by exerting control over the education and training of your kids.  Please don’t believe that Common Core State Standards will not affect you as much it does the parents who use the public schools!


  1. Very interesting! I'm sharing this with my cousin who homeschools her children :)

  2. We have this book!! Although I think it would be better used by a family that homeschools my son loves it.

  3. I taught my daughter how to read before she started Kindergarten and I think it helped her out a lot. I used a phonics program. I think all parents should use these programs.

  4. This is very interesting and informative. My sister homeschools her kids, I will share this to her.


Thanks for stopping by! Comments are always welcome!