I’ve been working on reading and writing a lot with my two youngest sons over the past several months. Our latest review was sent to us by just2ducks LLC. They provided us with Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar from jollyliteracy.com
In our package, we received several resources, including:
- 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
We also got:
- Jolly Grammar 1 Student Book
- Jolly Songs in print letters
The Jolly Phonics program is broken up into 3 student books and one large teacher’s book. Each softcover student book is 48 pages long. Throughout the program, students are taught the main 42 letter sounds and how to write them as well.
Students learn letter sounds, letter formation, blending/reading, identifying the sounds in words, and after the first few weeks they start working on tricky words.
My 4 year old son had fun doing this program because the lessons are brief and there are cute pictures. For book one, the general feel of the lessons is practicing the sound with flashcards, listening to a story that heavily uses the letter sound, doing some kind of an action to help them physically remember the letter, pracitcing formation by writing in the book, and then doing some blending. After that, they work on sounding it out. There are also further ideas, like using the Jolly Songs book and CD to help practice their new skill and information or painting or using dough to make things to remind them of the letter sound.
Further in the book, they start being introduced to a word bank and some dictation. In Student Book 2, students start working on more advanced things like reading words and sentences, learning some alternative ways to make a sound they already know, and doing further blending practice. Book three is even more advanced, as you can imagine. Students fill in the gaps (blanks), complete sentences, work on dictation sentences, work on tricky words, comprehension, and even anagrams. It looks like a lot of fun!
My one complaint about this program is how small the spacing is on the writing lines. My 4 year old had a hard time staying within the small area, but he had a great time tracing with his finger and mimicking the letter formation using his hand in the air.
Otherwise, we really enjoyed doing the lessons. They are short and can keep his attention. They are thorough and include a lot of review and extra practice to keep the information cemented in his mind. The teacher’s book is very comprehensive and gives a complete, step by step guide on exactly what to say and different ways to mix things up for each individual child.
The Jolly Grammar program is meant to follow the Jolly Phonics program. My 6 year old is right about the level of Jolly Grammar, though, so I had him use it during our review period while his younger brother did the Jolly Phonics books.
Jolly Grammar is meant to introduce grammar gently, go over spelling rules in a systematic way, improve comprehension and vocabulary, reinforce the Jolly Phonics lessons, and continue the student’s phonic knowledge.
There are lots of neat things about the books you might not notice unless you thoroughly read the Teacher’s Book and pay close attention when working with your child. For example, the parts of speech are each introduced with a specific color and action. It helps kids remember them better and the colors actually align with the ones used in Montessori schools.
The student book has a soft cover and is 80 pages long. It is colorful and fun. It reinforces learning throughout the book and keeps lessons short and meaningful.
The even pages focus on spelling. Students are encouraged to take a spelling test, review flashcards or sounds they’ve already covered, and go over a new letter sound. You review the new spelling list with students and there is always a trickier word at the end of the list to help challenge them. There’s an activity for the student to complete to practice forming, writing, and seeing the letter sound and spelling words. Finally, there is dictation.
The odd pages focus on grammar. Each one of these lessons has a different objective, and there is an introductory activity outlined in the Teacher’s Book. There’s a brief lesson to teach, also outlined in the Teacher’s book, and then the student completes the activity page. There are extension activities mentioned as well to help keep the information fresh and interesting to students. Finally, the Teacher’s Book guides you through finishing the lesson, which usually includes having the student help you grade their activity page.
We used this about 3 times a week, doing roughly one page a day. My 6 year old is getting so much better with writing letters and words, so this was the perfect level for him. It helped to reinforce his phonics that he had already learned about. We had not touched on grammar much formally prior to Jolly Grammar, so this was a great way to bring that into the picture.
He liked the short, colorful lessons. I was surprised that he even enjoyed the spelling tests, especially when he mastered the tricky words! If we continue at this pace, we will be done with this book in just a few months, but I think it is an awesome resource. I’m amazed at how quickly he has picked up the information and is retaining it as well.