My child has trouble putting the sounds together

Chirpy Bird says: We recently had a facebook email question from Rebecca.  She  said her 5 year old daughter was having trouble putting together the sounds to be able to say a word like sat.  She recognized s-a-t but couldn’t seem to blend the individual letters into one word: sat. We thought our reply to Rebecca could be helpful to other Moms in teaching their children whether using Alpha-Phonics or any other phonics program.  Here is our reply:

Dear Rebecca,

Thank you for using Alpha-Phonics.

I think you will find it a very easy program to use.

The question you write is frequently asked.

The answer is you should try to finish one lesson before going on to the next one.

The solution to your daughter’s sounding out slowly is usually solved by a little extra practice.  One tip we have found is for you to place your finger below the word, like sat.  Slowly move the finger from left to right and have her sound out the individual sounds as you move your finger.  Practice each new word a few times that way, increasing the speed of your finger movement a little each time.  Pretty soon she will be putting (blending) the sounds together and s-a-t will become sat to her.

There may be some times when you might want to move ahead to the next lesson even if she has not totally mastered the current lesson.  That is ok. Especially this is the case when you have a lesson with a fairly long list of words.  You can work back and forth a little, between the current lesson and the new one.

The most important advice I can give you is to be patient.  Children all have different speeds of learning the sounds as you go.*  Some pick the idea up almost instantly and others take longer.  If your daughter needs more time that does not mean there is anything wrong with her.  Often a parent will tell us that their child seemed to learn very slowly and, all of a sudden, then seem to take off like lightening.  

 If  each time  you will look over the next lesson in the back of the book and read through it, then turn to the corresponding lesson for the student  in the front of the book and pretend you are the student, and try it yourself, you will be all set to show it to your student.  Each lesson usually takes only a few minutes.

Also, please be sure, if you have not already done so, read through the 3 pages of “Tips” found beginning on page 169. They condense the most often asked questions we have had in our over 30 years of helping parents use Alpha-Phonics. 

Please always feel free to contact us if you ever have any other questions.

 We know you will both do very well with the program,


–Peter Watt for The Paradigm Co., Inc.




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Wittgenstein (part 2)


We previously wrote that we believe the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein was taken by certain factions of the intelligentsia to be the cornerstone for their effort to weaken, if not demolish, the long-time standards of morality of Western culture.

We have wrapped our thesis in the statement:


Who is Wittgenstein?

He is a German who migrated to England in his early academic life and studied in prestigious British universities.  Ultimately he came to be called by many in academia the greatest philosopher of the 20th Century.    He died in 1951.  His most noted book (He wrote only two, but many, many papers), Philosophical Investigations, was published by two  English academics posthumously in 1952.  But most of us have never heard of Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Why is this?

Not being from the academy I do not know a definitive answer to that question.  I believe, however, his thoughts permeate the thinking of elite scholars.  Our particular theme is that only a few words of his, which may have been grouped together by Wittgenstein purposely or accidentally, have been taken seriously by many professors, teachers and even politicians – that is to say leaders in the formulation of current  thought – and utilizing them to the extreme point of literally altering our Western civilization.

Wittgenstein did not himself write the precise words: words to not have fixed meanings. That is our characterization of what he wrote.

Example of what he did write:  In the Macmillan Company edition of the book on page 11 we find he wrote:

“How many kinds of sentences are there?  ….There are countless kinds: countless kinds of use of what we call ‘symbols’, ’words’, ‘sentences’. And this multiplicity is not something fixed, given once for all….”

Our dear readers may quickly criticize us as cherry picking from the text to make our point.  We will build our case with other excerpts that add strength to our thesis.  But for now it really does not matter because what we propose has been used to create the almost mystical belief that nothing written or said need be taken as solid in meaning because we must be made to believe our rules of society are made of soft putty to be molded into whatever the speaker desires them to be or whatever the hearer wants them to mean.

To be continued

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Alpha-Phonics is used World-wide

         Read the surprising story how Alpha-Phonics
                      is used in Pakistan and Nigeria
Canadian Lady goes to Nigeria:
In recent years Alpha-Phonics has been chosen to help teach phonics reading to children (And many adults) in both Pakistan and in Nigeria. One place is Jos, Nigeria. A Canadian lady named Margaret Weibe, contacted The Paradigm Co., publisher of Alpha-Phonics, to get assistance in sending materials to Jos. You can see the full story by going here:

The creative methods the local people used are amazing. Women with AIDS were also taught to read.

Homeschool Dad of 6 goes to Pakistan:
A gentleman from Massachusetts, Garth Weibe (No relation), contacted Paradigm to provide materials to take with him to Pakistan to set up a phonics reading program there. You can see what he accomplished there by going here:

Garth Weibe’s trip is made especially poignant by seeing how many illiterate children spend their long work day making bricks in the most crude way possible by going here:

Mr. Weibe is the widowed father of 6, five of whom learned to read with Alpha-Phonics

The Paradigm Co. welcomes any contacts by groups or individuals desiring to take the Alpha-Phonics program to other places around the Globe where the need to learn to read is a priority.

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We’re Back Blogging!


                                       BREAKING NEWS:

Alpha-Phonics blog site is active again. We are offering the best phonics reading instruction program you can find anywhere:

Alpha-Phonics A Primer for Beginning Readers.LindaSears

What has been happening?

We’ve been quiet for a while. In the meantime we  have  made big changes for the better. We no longer print and distribute our own books. In order to devote our time to providing you with the best information available pertaining to teaching your own children to Read, Write and do Arithmetic we have turned the production and distribution of our books to the Create Space division of The program material in our books is the identical data you have known and loved for over 40 years. The quality of the books is even higher than before but the prices are much lower than in the past. But now we we can devote our time to making our blog the best possible site for you to go for information on these and a host of other timely topics.

We can call on our over 30 years of experience in education materials to find and explain many topics you will find interesting and helpful.

We would greatly appreciate your telling all your friends

about the Alpha-Phonics Blog.  Thanks!


    New 2017 Version of Alpha-Phonics:

(Compared to the previous edition)

    2017 Version                           2016 Version     




Perfect Bound                                Comb Bound

(Glued Back)                                                   

No CD Rom                                                                     Included CD Rom

(Sold separately for $ 9.00)

Same (Identical) Contents                                            Same Contents

Includes 3 page “Tips from our                                     No “Tips”

30 years of experience gleaned

from Parents/Users
Price: ONLY: $22.95 (Save $12.00)                         $34.95

We are pleased to report reception of the new 2017 version has been wonderful. Thanks to all!

Meet Alpha-Chirpy:

Chirpy is going to give you interestingChirp 2-1

tips about Alpha-Phonics (and our other books)

from time to time

 Below are our latest posts on education:


  1. De Voss confirmed as Secretary of Education

Despite furious NEA/AFT Attacks

By Peter Watt February 2017

Pres Trump’s nominee to be US Department of Education Secretary narrowly succeeded Friday by one vote: that of the tie-breaking vote of VP Mike Pence.  A VP tie-breaking vote was the first time in US history such a tie-breaking vote was needed to confirm a President’s cabinet nominee.

De Voss is known for her devotion to school choice.

The closeness of the vote demonstrated two important things of which parents of children of school age should take note:

  1. Two Republican Senators joined all the Democrat members of the senate committee in voting against De Voss.
  2. The vote demonstrates the huge raw power of the two teachers’ unions in controlling any involvement of the Federal Government in American “public” education.

Each point begs a question for all parents of school-age children:

  1. Are Republicans really strongly aligned with the best interests of the education of our children?
  2. Can “public” education truly be public under such powerful influence of the two labor unions – which both strongly support the Democrat party’s goals?

No doubt the strong growth of Homeschooling is a results of these conditions.

Homeschoolers need to support De Voss who would be expected to be supportive of choice in selection of schools but also in the option of Homeschooling.

Homeschooling parents should watch carefully to be sure the unions do not squelch Homeschoolers’ right to educate their own children.


2. Back to Basics by Frode Jensen (Author of Jensen’s Grammar Series)

(January 2017)

While this example refers to math, the implications are clear also for English. In 1989 the NCTM, that’s National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, began to issue advice that calculators were ok to use in math classes and that open-ended problem solving was better than drilling on facts.

Certainly not every math teacher was in favor of these pronouncements, but the professional association had spoken, and that’s the way it was for 17 years.

A new report suggests that the fuzzy math method doesn’t work. It seems Asian children learn math skills better than Americans. While the US children scored 504 on a 1000 point test, Asian countries did much better: Japan, 570; Taiwan, 585; Hong Kong, 586; South Korea, 589, and Singapore, 605.

So how do the Asians do it? Asian children work hard on a few skills, such as multiplication, division, and algebra; then they practice those skills by solving increasingly difficult problems. That sounds similar to the regimen I had while in school.

Chirp 2-1


Alpha-Chirpy asks: Did you know that Alpha-Phonics has only 12 pages of instructions for Mom to use to teach her child to read?


                                        (January, 2017)Spelling

By: Peter Watt

You do not need a separate spelling program when you use Alpha-Phonics.

Alpha-phonics contains over 3,500 new words. Upon successfully completing Alpha-phonics your student is well on his/her way to being a good speller.

Parents who have taught reading with Alpha-Phonics say that their students have almost automatically become good spellers.

Dictation practice is the key. Dictation practice is recommended throughout Alpha-Phonics as you teach reading. Dictation, both oral and written, automatically teaches spelling at the same time. And dictation helps reinforce learning the phonics sounds you are teaching.

You simply, after each lesson, take a few minutes to have your student spell the words in the lesson out loud. You simply say the word and have your student spell the word out loud to you. Then you also say the words and have your student write the words on paper. Of course, correct him/her when errors are made.

This exercise, while only taking a few minutes with each lesson, covers spelling as you go. You will be pleasantly surprised!

4. The Influence of Books by Frode Jensen

(January  2017)

by Frode Jensen of Wordsmiths, publishers of Jensen’s Grammar and related books available from Sam Blumenfeld’s Alpha-Phonics Homepage:

The National Endowment for the Arts has put out two studies, the most recent coming out in November of 2007. The earlier study, “Reading at Risk,” was published in 2004 and assesses the drop in reading literature from 1982 through 2002. The latest report, “To Read or Not To Read,” speaks to the same issue of declining reading in the overall population of the United States, but it makes a number of other interesting observations. Let’s take a look. Poor reading skills tend to equate with lower pay, lack of or poor employment, and fewer chances for advancement. Poor readers generally don’t read as much as good readers. It is a downward cycle for the poor readers. They don’t read well, so they don’t read much, which means they don’t get the practice they need to improve. Poor readers have lower academic success. Generally speaking, prisoners have worse reading skills than the general population. Also poor readers are less likely to be active in civic life, volunteer less, and vote less than better readers. Being a poor reader definitely brings personal and social disadvantages to the individual and to the society as a whole. “Whether or not people read, and indeed how much and how often they read, affects their lives in crucial ways.”

Books change lives for the better.

Alpha-Chirpy asks: Did you know there are only 44                                                         sounds Mom needs to teach her student to  read?         

Chirp 2-1



Alpha-Chirpy says:There are only              128 lessons in Alpha-Phonics!



                              COMING SOON:

Phil Invgn

Pic Wittgn

The Wittgenstein Conspiracy:

We will examine the impact of the thinking of 20th century philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein on Western civilization. We will examine the writing of this relatively unknown man on the course of world events since his  “Philosophical Investigations” was released in 1952. We have been tracking the enormously destructive influence of  his concept that words do not have fixed meanings for 25 years. The   simple thought has done unbelievable damage to our society.

               Those six words have changed Western Civilization!


Alpha-Chirpy says: Mary Pride,

well known homeschool reviewer,

How To Tutor book


calls “How To Tutor  a wholeschool

in one book”




 Until next time………………please come back to visit Alpha-Phonics Blog

Posted in education, homeschooling, Phonics, Reading, teaching, tutoring, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Have You Looked at How To Tutor Yet? You Should!

How To Tutor book

The Original How To Tutor by Sam Blumenfeld

We must seem to be singing the praises of Alpha-Phonics almost exclusively at times, but if you’ve ever visited the website you’ll readily see that the Paradigm Company has a line of teaching materials extending far beyond it.  One of the most important of these (apart from Alpha-Phonics itself of course) is the How To Tutor family of publications, headed up by How To Tutor itself.

How To Tutor,  shown  here, is the original book by Sam Blumenfeld, the well-known American educator who has spent most of his life investigating why American literacy has declined to the degree it  has and then dedicated that life to fixing the problem(s).

For reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic the How To Tutor materials can cover the bases in an easy and effective manner.  It could be all you need to get your child off to the right start!

For a good overview of How To Tutor, we have several short videos that should  help you to see if it is right for you.  (We’re pretty sure it is!)  These can be seen HERE.

Posted in arithmetic, cursive, education, handwriting, homeschooling, How to Tutor, Phonics, Reading, teaching, tutoring | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Convincing Review of Alpha-Phonics

There are, of course, many moms and teachers who have successfully used Alpha-Phonics to teach their pupils to read.  We never tire of hearing of their experiences and reading their reviews because we believe their point of view is especially valuable to those looking for a phonics system to use.  Adena Foster, at is one of those.


Adena Foster

Adena speaks from experience so if you’re still undecided about how to teach your child to read, her review will be worth your while.  Look for her giveaway too – you may end up winning the set of Alpha-Phonics materials you want so much!

Look here:

Posted in Giveaway, homeschooling, Little Companion Readers, Phonics, Reviews of Alpha-Phonics, teaching | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mom teaches her 8 kids to read with one $ 20 Alpha-Phonics

Twenty-three years and one copy of Alpha-Phonics – not a bad run for just $19.95!  Yes, that’s what Alpha-Phonics cost 23 years ago.  We don’t put a dollar value on a person learning to read because we think it’s incalculable, but we’re awfully proud that we have taught so many children their ABC’s for so little.

I know you’ve wondered about Alpha-Phonics; why else would you be here?  I invite you to go to our main site and see everything we have to offer but first, look at this short video and then visit Linda Sear’s blog, Apron Strings and Other Things.  

Yes, you saw correctly:  she had her original copy of Alpha-Phonics on the table.  Besides the new spiral binding, nothing has changed!

Do you know someone who is ready to learn to read?  Give them Alpha-Phonics!


Posted in education, homeschooling, Phonics, Reading, Reviews of Alpha-Phonics, teaching, tutoring | Leave a comment

Common Core Was Predicted in the ’60s?!

Most of your parents (and even some  of your grandparents) will remember a TV show from the 1960s called “The Prisoner”, staring Patrick McGoohan.  In those days, it was good theater but still a rather horrific vision of the future that few of us wanted to take seriously.   Unfortunately, you may, if you pay attention, see the many similarities with what we’re witnessing with Common Core today.

Now that’s horrifying.

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Mom Invents Harness for Disabled Son

The Upsee Harness

The Upsee Harness at work!

‘When my son was two years old, I was told by medical professionals that ‘he didn’t know what his legs are and has no consciousness of them'”, said Debby Elnatan, an Israeli mom. This is a tough thing for a mom to hear.  Debby couldn’t bear doing nothing about it however, and she put her mind and imagination to work.  The result was the Upsee Harness.  It has just hit the market and is seeing and immediate and enthusiastic response. Read more of this story at the link below and then consider if you know anyone who could benefit from this wonderful invention.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you did! The Harness of Hope, (The Daily Mail)

Bill Gates Wants to Know You Better

The Gates Foundation has released a study that highly encourages the aggregation of all the bits and pieces of personal data that is stored in the hard drives of local, state, and federal agencies. The Foundation especially sees tremendous value in being able to track the careers of young people as they move from their college careers into their working lives. If this information was amalgamated in one government site it would be accessible all at once, sort of a “one stop shopping spree” for those who want it. The principle goal would be to eventually determine the value of higher education. Of interest is the fact that the study, called “College Blackout”, particularly slams one organization for its opposition to the idea: the National Association for Independent Colleges and Universities. The report claims that the NAICU is opposed to the idea because it would somehow hold its member institutions “accountable”. The NAICU counters that on the contrary, such a system would permit a massive invasion of privacy. Invade our privacy? The government? Such cynicism! To learn more: “What the devil?! Bill Gates wants your college info so he can tell you what classes to take” (Catholic Online)

Gates Foundation Lobbies for Feds to Collect Data on College Graduates’ Lives (Breitbart)

The College Blackout (PDF of the report itself) Want more? Try this.


Another Great Review of Alpha-Phonics!

Lisa of “Our Simple Kinda Life”

Once again, a mom has proved something we’ve known and appreciated about Alpha-Phonics for a long time:  it can correct the wounds left by some non-phonics reading systems.  Her child was a good reader until his public school taught him his way was all wrong and he would have to learn all over with the “right” way.  This left his confidence shattered and took the joy out of reading.  When we asked her to do a review of Alpha-Phonics, we didn’t know her back story.  What a pleasure it was when we read the account of her experience! If you’ve ever wanted to know if Alpha-Phonics works, this is the review to read.  Drop by her blog, Our Simple Kinda Life, read the review, and then enter her giveaway now!

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See Spot Listen

Estonia – A fascinating approach to helping kids with reading difficulties is being experimented with in this Baltic nation.  If your child lacks a little (or a lot) of confidence in her reading skills, get her to read to the family dog.

A young reader holds the attention of his listener . (AFP photo)

The library of the city of Tartu invites kids to come by twice a month, pick a dog from the several brought in on those days, and simply read to them.  The manager for this project, Ewa Roots, says that it not only helps kids overcome their reading difficulties but helps them improve their socialization skills as well.

“Dogs are calm listeners and unlike other kids or adults, will never be critical when a child makes mistakes while reading,” she said. “Sessions with dogs boost self confidence and children start to feel more free and secure to express themselves”

This small nation of 1.3 million boasts a 100% literacy rate so I’m inclined to believe they may be on to something.  Why not give it a shot yourself and let us know?

84 Year Old California Man Decides to Learn to Read

Like most of you, I would find life without reading  something I would not like to contemplate for long.  And yet, we know there are thousands of adults in our communities who either struggle with it or are simply illiterate.  We here at Paradigm  know well that it’s not just kids we have helped to learn to read over the more than 30 years of Alpha-Phonics‘ existence but quite a few adults as well.  Recently we ran across this story that is well worth repeating.

John Var, of Roseville, California, has managed a long life and successful career as a carpenter without knowing how to read.  He even graduated from high school in his upstate New York hometown in  spite of his doctors proclaiming his “learning disability” would never allow him to decipher the letters on a written page.

John Var Learns to Read (photo: Philip Wood, Press Tribune

One day three years ago, he wandered into the Roseville public library and asked for help with a book.  When the librarian learned that he was illiterate she suggested he join the library’s adult literacy program.  He decided that indeed, it was about time and soon he was coming home with books  and spending most of his free time reading them.  He has a lot to catch up with!

Have you ever considered teaching someone to read?  If so, you’re on the right website to begin.  Alpha-Phonics is not just for kids, that’s why it won’t remind you of a children’s book when you first see it.  It’s a serious, practical, and efficient way to learn reading and we can prove it!  You don’t have to be an accredited expert to teach reading; we’ll teach you how and it’s easy.  All you need is a copy of Alpha-Phonics and you will be ready to bestow a gift that will change someone’s life forever.  Learn why Alpha-Phonics works so well:

Zee v. Zed

I’ve always taken it for granted that over here (the U.S.) we say “zee” and over there (everywhere else English is native) they say “zed”.  Now, like a late blooming 4 year old, I ask “Why?”

Well, like many puzzles we’d like to get to the bottom of, there is more than one answer.  “Zed” clearly comes from the Greek “zeta”, so that takes care of that.  But why did Americans change it to “zee” when before the Revolution, most everyone here said “zed”?  Well, there you have it: the Revolution.  After we clipped the ties that bound the two nations it appears that it just wasn’t cool any more to say it the way the British said it, and so, because of the several accents already prevailing in different regions, those that didn’t sound British were emphasized and finally “zee” came out the winner.  Nothing formal or intentional, you understand, but just because that’s the “American Way”.

So I’ll bet all of our American readers who have taught their kids the alphabet song have done so saying “zee”.  After all, the key to learning the song is that it rhymes, right?  Here’s a version that uses “zed”.  You will see it permanently posted on our links column to the right of the page.  (You can refer to it once in a while when you want to remember the “words” to it!)




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