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ABC Phonics: Get Moms and Dads on Board

At Dave and Amy English School, we send new ABC Phonics Elementary parents a welcome letter.   It schools the parents in the HOW / WHAT and WHY we teach the way we do and WHAT they can do at home.   It’s a win, win, win.   Students progress faster, learn properly and our school becomes stronger.    We will send the same letter to any child who levels up from Kindergarten 1 and 2 to ABC Phonics.     If you don’t already do this at your school, we highly recommend it.    Feel free to use this or the Japanese translation for your students.

Below is the English translation of what we give to all beginning elementary students.    The Japanese translation is here.   The (same) English translation (with more pictures and slideshow is here).     

Thank you for joining Dave and Amy English School.    Here is all you need to know about what we do in class and what you can do at home.

1.  About the Texts

My English Book and Me: Elementary 1 Class Book and Home Book are ABC phonics texts.   Children learn many new words as they learn phonics.   Students also learn conversational questions and answers.   

We use My English and Me: Elementary 1 with ANY beginning elementary student (be they 5th graders or 1st graders).   And with high level kindergarten students who have finished My English Book and Me: Kindergarten 1 and 2.      

2.  Homework:   

Teachers will fold pages in half and write the date on them.  This is the homework.  

Depending on the child’s age, we will assign more or less homework.      Kindergarten students:  1 page.   1st, 2nd and 3rd graders:  2 pages.   4th, 5th and 6th graders:  3, 4 or more pages.   

3.  Letter practice pages:

Students should:

A.  Write their name and date at the top.

B.  Practice writing the letters.   Older kids (who already know how to write the letters, don’t need to write ALL lines on these pages)

C.  Write the lower case letter in front of the four anchor words at the bottom of the page.

D.  REMEMBER the words.  The teacher will CHECK the following class.   If the child remembers the words well, the teacher will check the picture.   If the child CAN’T REMEMBER, the teacher will circle the picture.  If there are MANY circled words, the child CAN’T progress to the next page.   The teacher will assign the SAME page for homework.    It is REALLY important children remember the words.   Spending TOO long on 1 text / 1 page —- is boring and demotivating.    

4.  Conversation Pages:

At first, your child might NOT be able to read the question and answer.   BUT we practice in the class and YOU practice at home, so soon your child will be able to read and answer by themselves.   BEFORE that, help (a little).    Students should READ OUT LOUD and ANSWER.




5.   Test Pages

These pages review the vocabulary and phonics from previous pages.   

DO NOT LOOK at previous pages.  ONLY look at the test page.


PRACTICE in a NOTEBOOK (any notebook).

When done, Mom or Dad, please check.    Circle mistakes.  Write the score in the notebook.    Student:  erase the mistakes and correct.    Practice MANY TIMES if there are lots of mistakes.

6.   Class Writing Time:

Class writing time (20 minutes for elementary kids / 10 minutes for kindergarten kids) will begin with the TESTS in the home book that students practiced in their notebooks for homework. 

The teacher will write the score.   If there are no or 1 mistake, the student doesn’t need to re do the page.   The teacher will mark the page with a heart or star or big check.

If there are many mistakes, the teacher might assign the SAME page for homework (please practice) OR erase the mistakes and re – do a 2nd or 3rd time the following weeks.  

Writing time is:  TEST (the homework) / Review (previous weeks’ mistakes) / use the class book (if time) 


6.  Students work at THEIR PACE:

If students make no or few mistakes, they will do test pages only once.  If they make many mistakes, that’s OK.   By re – doing a 2nd or 3rd time, students learn from their mistakes. 

Students will generally level up to My English Book and Me 4 in 1 year.    Kindergarten students might take 18  months.     5ht and 6th graders, maybe only 4 months.

7.   How do students learn the phonics, vocabulary, questions and answers IN CLASS?

All of our materials  (the text, games, flashcards) re – enforce each other.   Students become confident speakers, readers and writers BECAUSE they learn the same thing in different ways.  It is not boring.   When 1 level becomes easy (for example Flip ’n Read A) we level up to the next level (Flip ’n Read B).    The next level is a new challenge.

Phonics and Vocabulary featured in the Texts are learned IN CLASS through:

1.  Flashcards

2.  Flip ’n Read




3.  Bingo





4.  Read ’n Match




5.  Go Fish

B.  Question and Answers featured in the texts are learned IN CLASS through:

1.  Question Cards   (most students can READ the question and answers after 3 months)  

****  Most students will use the materials that go with My English Book and Me: Elementary 1 for 3  – 5 months.   Most students will LEVEL up to the materials that go with the next text after 3 months of studying.   They will be able to READ full sentences after 3 months.    In general, students reading ability progresses faster than writing.   We will use the more difficult materials in class as your child is ready for them.



8.   Any last pieces of advice?   Our best students:

Do the homework

Come twice a week

Speak as they write

Ask ‘What’s this?’ if they don’t know a word

Speak out and up (not shy and not in quiet voice)

Read English Books

Work hard in Class

Watch English T.V.

Your child is on the way to becoming bilingual. 

It will be a long road but it can absolutely be done. 

We have some diligent students who have continued from 4 years old to high school and are fluent English speakers, readers and writers.

Do all of the above and we guarantee your child will be confident in English.

 Stay in touch by joining the mailing list  

Want to know more?

What should a ‘fun’ English lesson really mean?

Our basic lesson plan for elementary kids

Our teaching philosophy for a student centered classroom

Latest posts by Dave and Amy Long (see all)

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