Why Open Source Phonics

Many 3rd, 4th, and older grade students are not able to sound out and spell words with enough ease to read and write fluently. They need more practice than their peers to master the phonics patterns. These materials were written with these students in mind.  

As a mom and a tutor, I have known many children who needed intensive tutoring to master phonics. Many had bi-weekly sessions with a tutor for two years or more to master the phonics skills needed to read and write at the middle school level. It was not a “quick fix.” Rather, like diligent students of a musical instrument, they practiced one skill at a time, at their own pace. But, with this practice, they began reading, writing, and spelling with a new confidence that was life-changing. 

To help a child master phonics, a tutor needs “controlled language” to work with: words that fit each pattern, sentences for students to read and write, and longer stories to read for fluency. Hundreds of pages of controlled language are needed. 

The materials on this site are similar to commercial sequential phonics programs that have existed for decades. But, the problem is that those materials are expensive and schools cannot freely distribute them. 

In contrast, the materials on this site can be accessed by whomever might use them to help a struggling reader. Because science has established that mastering phonics is essential for students who struggle to read, the public benefits when phonics materials are available to all without cost. 

I would like to thank both the authors of www.freereading.net and the  Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture at Texas A&M University,  in particular Emily Binks-Cantrell, Ph.D., R. Malatesha Joshi, Ph.D., Karol  Ann Moore, M.Ed., and Alida Hudson, M.Ed., for reviewing the sequence and lessons and providing valuable feedback. Any errors are, of course, my own.