Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Best Pre-K Phonics Book Ever

I just approved the publishing of the Phonics book.  

I think this is the first Pre-Test Prep book on the market.  While the content is solid, since I spent 5 years on it, I still need to work on the cover.  My kids hate it.  I designed it to look like my favorite abstract math books from graduate school, the ones that really motivated me, because at the end of the day this is what it's all about for their future.  My oldest son said I need a mascot like a yellow stick dog with brown ears, not to mention brighter more cheery colors.  I told him the only way a stick dog is going to appear on this cover is if he is driving a bulldozer over thousands of words.  

He's not impressed with the fractal which is a visual representation of the word links I saw when I wrote a computer program to organize all words that are 6 letters or less so I could verify that the ones that I had been using had the highest cognitive load.  If I run out of other projects, I'll fix the cover.

The book won't be on Amazon for about a week, and then it will take another week for the search terms to kick in, and the first edition is probably going to contain a few typos despite 5 months of review and testing.  If you are desperate, and can't wait for Amazon, you can order a copy from here.

There is so much in this book that its going to take me many months to explain it.   The main premise is to be the fastest, easiest way to get into a GAT program, provided that a parent follows up phonics with the requisite test prep.  But that's just the beginning, because, after all, if your child gets into a GAT program, you still have to survive it and then excel.

The oldest one is gearing up for 7th grade.   This is the year of mandatory straight A's and 99% test scores on multiple tests to get into high school.   We've already made a lot of progress gearing up for math, writing and language appears to be going well (and when you see this book, you will understand why), so I thought I would turn my attention to Chemistry.

Next year, the kids will be studying 9th grade Chemistry.  I bought the book best book I could find, handed it to my son, and asked him to make a flash card of every bolded word in the book, with a definition on the back.  In the first 100 pages (950 more to go), he created 80 flash cards which we've been refining and trying to understand.  Is it too much to ask of an 11 year old to memorize a thousand technical 9th grade Chemistry words in his spare time?

Pre-K Phonics introduces the Word Board in all its glory to navigate the vocabulary words in the phonics lessons.   We continued to use the Word Board with Vocabulary Workshop for a few years afterwards, until my children mastered the process of mastering vocabulary.  Our flash cards for Chemistry include not only definitions, but whatever else we think is important to understanding a word without going deep into the material.  He doesn't need to look at the flash cards but a few times to get a basic understanding of each word.   He won't know 9th grade Chemistry by the time he sees it in school next year, but he'll have all of the words, definitions, and concepts ready to go so that when he does see it, he can spend more time with "Aha" and less time with "What".  I call this ready to learn.  It's the exact same process we started in Pre-K all over again, and it's build into the book.


  1. What's a good strategy for "writing" which I never worried about up until this point because my kids' reading was going so well? I have a first grader and second grader and their reading is two years ahead but the problem is to pass the reading assessment in our state, their writing should be at about the same level with the reading level, otherwise you don't score as you should.

    1. I would prescribe the brain quest workbooks, especially the verberal portion, which requires writing. Everyone likes these books for general academic activity at home if you don't have a test this year and aren't in a GAT program. I looked at other writing books for this age group, and these are really lame. Which state is this? I need to look at their tests.

      My rule is that a child is good at whatever they do a little every day. Make them write.

    2. I just read my inspired, knowledgeable, awesome answer to your question and realized that a better answer is in there. Get the tests and make your kids do them. Also, make it totally fun so as not to ruin the actual test.