As a mom with two emerging readers still left in our homeschool,
I am always game to try out new phonics products. Although I've
successfully taught four of our six children to read using ABeka
and Sing, Spell, Read, and Write, good phonetic resources are still
at a premium and welcome in our homeschool--even if I only use
them to supplement our existing reading program.
Dandelion Launchers are short booklets produced by PhonicBooks in the UK, and they are designed to introduce the sounds of the alphabet to beginning readers using simple words and decodable text at the CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) level. There are seven units and 28 books in the series; this works out to four booklets per unit or level.
Each page of the glossy booklet features colorful illustrations
set against photographic backgrounds and one line of CVC text,
including a few common sight words. There is also a "how to use this book" page
at the beginning of each booklet for parents and teachers and
a game at the end of the reader. The characters featured in each
unit are appealing and fun.
The phonics sequence in each unit is as follows:
Unit 1--s, a, t, i, m
Unit 2--n, o, p
Unit 3--b, c, g, h
Unit 4--d, e, f, v
Unit 5--k, l, r, u
Unit 6--j, w, z
Unit 7--x, y, ff, ll, ss, zz
Dandelion Launchers are the first step in a whole range of PhonicBooks
products. They are designed to be followed by Dandelion Readers
(Units 1-20), Dandelion Readers (Levels 1, 2, 3), and the Talisman
series for older readers. These additional books and other supplemental
resources/workbooks can be found at the PhonicBooks
cost for all 28 books in the Dandelion Launchers set is £56 or
approximately $85.00 in US currency. The cost for individual booklets
or units can be determined by emailing PhonicBooks at email@example.com.
I used the Dandelion Launchers with my kindergarten son, and he really enjoyed
the booklets. He liked the characters and progressed through each unit at
a nice, easy pace. I noticed that both his confidence level and fluency improved
as we used these booklets. Although we had already covered the sounds, phonetic
codes, and sight words in our other program, these entertaining and sequenced
units provided the needed practice and extra motivation to really cement
the whole concept of phonics--while also supplying a bit of enjoyment to
a sometimes tedious process.
Check out the PhonicBooks website for more information. A good supplemental