curriculum reviews

Jolly Phonics Review

Evie is 5 1/2 and getting ready to formally start Kindergarten this year.  She was in a PreK/Kindergarten class last year at our co-op and very excitedly tells everyone that she has already graduated Kindergarten, but she gets to do it again!!  She’s SO super duper excited to be doing school!  It was like Christmas to her when the boxes came for this review. We received Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar from (just2ducks LLC).  Evie wanted to start as soon as she was done tearing open the box and pulling out all of the colorful workbooks and Teacher’s guides.  It took her a little bit because we received all of this:

  • 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

Evie isn’t reading yet.  She’s getting better at her letter recognition and starting to learn her sounds so we started with Jolly Phonics book 1. 


I consulted the Teacher’s Book to make sure I was going to guide her correctly and found that it was very easy to follow and implement.  It is suggested that you do 1 lesson per day.  That is only one side of one page. This program did not start with introducing the letters in alphabetical order.  It starts with s then a then t, i, p, n and ck.  It goes on from here, but you can see that your student, very early on, learns the sounds and can almost instantly put them together to make words.  By the third lesson, they can sound out “at” and “sat”, lesson 4- “it” and “sit”.  I liked how quickly Evie could begin to put her lessons to use.


Each page introduces a letter (or letters) and their sounds.  There is a cute picture in a box that shows a motion to do and the sound to help them remember.  These sounds are on the Jolly Songs disk.

They kids do the hand motions with each sound.  It’s a fun way to remember the sounds. In the lesson there is also a short handwriting lesson showing the proper way to form the lower case letters.  There’s a box at the bottom for sounding out what you have learned. The last part is a series of 4 pictures.  One of them doesn’t belong and the child needs to identity that it sounds different and cross it out.

To say Evie loves this curriculum would be an understatement.  I actually have to hide the book after her lesson to slow her down.  She wants to keep going!  She’s not really fully understanding it yet, but she’s trying. I have a feeling she will be reading before I know it.  We plan to continue to work through phonics books 2 and 3 and then start the grammar books.

The grammar lessons have the same great style and color as the phonics, so it will be an easy transition from one to the other.  There is a Teacher’s guide for this one too.

We also received a great hands on tool to go with the books.  They are called Can Do Cubes. These blocks have the same single letter or groups of letters as the books.

I was very excited about these since I love to teach with hands on experiences along with workbooks. 


As Evie was learning the sounds and words, we pulled out the corresponding blocks and sounded them out there too.  Thomas (4) and his big brother David (10), made some great towers with the ones we weren’t using.

You can find Jolly Literacy on those social media sites:

Many others on The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew got to work with these products too.  Click on the banner below to see what they thought of them.


Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review

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