National Grammar Day
Good grammar is vital for reading and communication! Early-reader books are often the child’s introduction to sentences and how they should be constructed. Ideally, all stories would contain correct sentences to set an example of good grammar.
At First Step Phonics, we pride ourselves in providing reading materials that always have complete and correct sentences — while still being the simplest early-reader products available anywhere.
National Reading Month
March is National Reading Month!
March is National Reading Month. To celebrate, we are offering a deal on all early-reader books.*
Use promo code READ15 for 15% off all early-reader books for the ENTIRE month of March!
*This offer excludes all workbooks and the teaching manual. Offer expires on March 31st at midnight PST.
February Dose of Goodness
Heroes of the Hour:
He’s Earned a CNN HERO Award for Transforming Lives on City Streets Where he Once Sold Drugs
Local Hero Broke into School to Save 24 People During a New York Blizzard
Inspiring Stories of Children and Teens:
Kindhearted Boy Used His Birthday Money to Start a Food Bank in His Garden Shed
16-Year Old Becomes the Youngest to Circumnavigate Earth in an Airplane
World Read Aloud Day
Today is World Read Aloud Day!
Reading aloud strengthens phonemic awareness* and builds confidence!
For World Read Aloud Day, we are doing our part by making available plenty of simple and cute books to read.
Internation Day of Education
Happy International Day of Education 🍎
Celebrating all the wonderful teachers, educators and parents like you who do so much to educate, guide and inspire the future generation!
At First Step Phonics, we believe everyone should have the means to affect change in their world. This begins with learning how to read and acquiring knowledge.
By making our products as simple and basic as possible, while still engaging the student, we’ve helped make it possible for any student to eventually achieve their goals.
January Dose of Goodness
Let’s start off 2023 with some inspiring stories!
Inspiring Stories of Children and Teens:
For the First Time, a Fatal Enzyme Deficiency is Treated in the Womb to Save a Child
Mother’s Love Has Granted 250,000 Wishes for Foster Kids—And Now She Surprised 9 With New Cars
14-yo Crowned ‘America’s Top Young Scientist’ for Headphones That Treat Ear Infections With Blue Light
Toddler Given Cancer Prognosis of 6-12 Months Defies the Odds to be Declared Cancer-Free in 8 Months
Uplifting Stories About Education:
Author Spends Lifetime Searching for Woman Who Taught Him to Read, and Then She Surprised Him
Carrots for Carrots: States Promote Buying Local for School Lunches
Mama to Five on First Books
@Mamatofive shares what she loves about First Books! We absolutely adored seeing little Zara reading! Thank you so much, Julie!
Rooted Homelife on First Step Phonics
Christina, also known as @RootedHomelife, is an English teacher, turned stay at home homeschooling mom to five kids, who creates encouraging content and resources for families.
Check out what she has to say about First Step Phonics in this video!
The Importance of Phonics from Time Magazine
We loved this article from Time Magazine!
"Now Weaver is heading up a campaign to get his old school district to reinstate many of the methods that teachers resisted so strongly: specifically, systematic and consistent instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics. “In Oakland, when you have 19% of Black kids reading—that can’t be maintained in the society,” says Weaver, who received an early and vivid lesson in the value of literacy in 1984 after his cousin got out of prison and told him the other inmates stopped harassing him when they realized he could read their mail to them. “It has been an unmitigated disaster.” In January 2021, the local branch of the NAACP filed an administrative petition with the Oakland unified school district (OUSD) to ask it to include “explicit instruction for phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension” in its curriculum."
This proves that we need to teach with more phonics!
"Weaver and his co-petitioners—including civil rights, educational, and literacy groups—want schools to spend more time in the youngest grades teaching the sounds that make up words and the letters that represent those sounds. His petition is part of an enormous rethink of reading instruction that is sweeping the U.S. So far this year, five states have passed laws that require training for teachers in phonics-based reading techniques, adding to the 13 that passed such laws last year. And in May, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that elementary schools in the biggest district in the country would be required to adopt a phonics-based reading program."
And now we need the rest of the states to do the same!
"This debate was supposedly settled in 2000, when the National Reading Panel, a big group of literacy experts that examined hundreds of studies on what instruction kids need to read, released a report. It recommended explicit instruction in the things Weaver’s petition asks for: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. This was a victory for the phonics camps. But it is one thing to declare a war is over and another to parcel out territory."
The war is not over. But here at First Step Phonics we are doing our part! We'll get there!
Check out our First Books, the simplest phonics books for your new reader.
First Step Phonics Wages War on Illiteracy
GARDNERVILLE, Nev., Oct. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- In a revolutionary assault on illiteracy, Veronica Blade, founder of First Step Phonics launches powerful new products proven effective against the illiteracy epidemic. Injecting common sense material and real results into a society ill with poverty and criminality, First Step Phonics fires the first salvo in the form of one-of-a-kind and easy-to-use, books and workbooks written with result-driven efficacy.
The connection between illiteracy and repeat criminal behavior was identified in a 1993 U.S. Department of Justice report which named the lack of phonics being taught in schools as THE source of illiteracy, yet the majority of schools today don't utilize phonics.
The Department of Justice states, "The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence and crime is welded to reading failure. Over 70% of inmates in America's prisons cannot read above a fourth-grade level."
Phonics has been the preferred method to teach reading since the 17th century, however, since the advent of the 'whole word' approach introduced in the 1980's, which omits crucial steps, literacy has been on the decline in the U.S. with criminality on the upswing.
Thirty-nine percent of educators surveyed claim a connection between struggling students and reading materials being too difficult. A new, fundamental approach from First Step Phonics provides the solution for frustrated would-be readers and teachers.
Forty-eight percent of educators surveyed said their biggest barrier to teaching new readers is holding their interest. With First Step Phonics' full-color illustrations and engaging stories, the new reader is inspired to keep learning.
Teach a child to memorize twenty-six words and that child will be able to read only twenty-six words. Teach a child twenty-six letter sounds and they can sound out hundreds of words.
"When a child can read a book, the impact on their lives is immense," says Veronica Blade, creator of First Step Phonics. "Once they can read, their whole world opens up. They can study other subjects, earn a higher income — the sky's the limit."
Students who are thriving in school get excited about learning. They don't lose interest, drop out of school or turn to crime.
First Step Phonics supplies the vital steps which address the source of new reader's lack of interest and other learning road blocks.
"I began my adult life teaching phonics and, later, wrote novels," says Blade. "I've combined my story-writing skills with my knowledge of phonics to develop essential materials my own students never had but desperately needed."
First Step Phonics has these additional unique qualities that are lacking in other reading programs:
22 workbooks provide ample practice
All 95+ early-reader books present each new step in bite-size pieces
Stories are limited to one or two sentences per page
In most cases, only one new sound is introduced at a time
Advanced words are never used, which gives students the opportunity to absorb each step before moving to the next
First Step Phonics also provides a teaching manual, as well as freebies, such as read-along videos, downloadable worksheets and activities, how-to videos, and other resources.
With homeschooling on the rise, First Step Phonics products are needed now more than ever.
For more information, go to www.FirstStepPhonics.com. You can also email First Step Phonics at info@FirstStepPhonics.com.
U.S. Department of Justice 1993 study
Declining enrollment in public schools
Census Bureau homeschool statistics
For More Information
Contact: Veronica Blade, Founder
First Step Phonics
P.O. Box 6088,
Gardnerville, NV 89460