My littles will be officially starting kindergarten (!!) at the end of this month. I can’t believe it. It seems like I was just taking pictures of them with their tot school things. Somehow, some way, I blinked and now the time has come to start collecting kindergarten material. As part of that, we agreed to review Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar from jollyliteracy.com (just2ducks LLC).
Jolly Literacy Phonics & Grammar Review
Pretty much since the beginning, I determined not to bother my children with phonics and grammar until they were at least six or seven years old. I am a firm believer in letting children learn naturally- which usually means no workbooks. I have to admit, I’ve been anti-workbook for about as long as we’ve been homeschooling.
That being said, Jolly Literacy Phonics and Grammar has changed my mind. They have proved my way of thinking wrong. It turns out that not all workbooks are evil. (Who knew, right?)
Included with our review materials are:
- 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
How we used Jolly Literacy
The kids are so not ready for grammar yet, so we started with Jolly Phonics book 1. Because my five year old son has no interest in workbooks whatsoever, I decided to let my four year old daughter, Caroline, give it a go. I was surprised by how she took to it immediately. Even though the program is designed to be done one page at a time, she would complete three or four pages in a row before deciding she was finished.
Each lesson includes a short story (found in the teacher’s guide), a movement to go along with each letter or blend, the actual writing part, and then some identification at the bottom of each page.
The short lessons really gave her a sense of accomplishment. “I did four pages, mommy!” This was huge for her.
Caroline is nearly through book 2 of the phonics now, and she doesn’t show any signs of tiring of it. What really surprised me about the whole program is that I don’t have to bug her about it. She will grab her workbook and pencil and get to work without me even knowing it. Sometimes she wants me to read her the story that goes a long with it, sometimes now. It just depends on her mood.
The grammar book covers the following areas:
- alternative spellings
- short and long vowels
- capital letters
- compound words
- alphabetical order
- parts of speech
- verb tenses
- antonyms and synonyms
- sentence structure
- and more . . .
As you see, it can get quite advanced. The Jolly Grammar program has enough material for 36 weeks’ worth of teaching, with two lessons for each week. It is similar to the phonics in that only one page is done at a time in the student book, however, they estimate each activity page will take up to an hour with teaching time.
Jolly Songs CD
The song book and CD that came in our materials was a fun extra. We played the CD in the car while driving or in the house during after lunch clean up. The Jolly Songs are a fun and interactive way of helping the kids learn all 42 sounds (letters and blends). Each letter sound has its own short song and action. There are also some simple games and activities included in the book.
Our bottom line
Overall, this has been a great experience. I totally recommend Jolly Phonics and Grammar to any family looking to get started with the reading and writing process.
Connect on social media: