The Smart Way Reading Phonics

Program Scope & Sequence


The prerequisite for starting either the Smart Way Reading and Spelling® flip chart or Phonics interactive Education™ online program is that the student is able to recognize and print all 26 letters of the alphabet and knows the most common sounds of the consonants.  Students who need assistance in this area will begin with The Sounds of English™ CD and flash card program or the English Alphabet & Sounds instruction™ (EASi) online version.  Once the student has mastered alphabetic recognition and sounds they will begin the actual Smart Way program.

Section 1

Lessons 1- 6: By the end of Lesson 6, the student can sound out and spell three-letter word using short vowel sounds.  There are approximately 1,500 of these in the English language.

  • Lesson 1:  Teaches basic definitions and reviews the most common sound of each consonant.
  • Lesson 2:  Teaches the short A sound, breaking words into syllables, capitalization for people and places, the concept of past tense and the definition of punctuation mark, phrase and sentence.
  • Lesson 3:  Teaches the short I sound and the second sound of the letter S, i.e., his.
  • Lesson 4:  Teaches the short U, similarities and differences in pairs of words, definitions and how commas are used.
  • Lesson 5:  Teaches the short E, question marks, exclamation marks and how to use punctuation marks to change the meaning of a sentence.
  • Lesson 6:  Teaches the short O, the apostrophe showing ownership and how to know if C or K should be used in words such as cat and kit.

Lessons 7-11:  By the end of Lesson 11, the student has learned all beginning and ending blends, how to add ING and ED to words, and most consonant digraphs (letters representing units of sound) such as CH.

  • Lesson 7:  Teaches 25 beginning blends such as SL and GR.
  • Lesson 8:  Teaches ending blends such as ND and LT, and defines singular and plural words.
  • Lesson 9:  Teaches how to add ING to words, introduces the concept of root words and suffixes and teaches the rule of doubling consonants when adding ING to words such at sitting.
  • Lesson 10:  Teaches the consonant digraphs: CH, SH, TH and WH and reading with expression using punctuation marks.
  • Lesson 11:  Teaches the additional consonant digraphs: CK, TCH, DGE, the past tense suffix ED and making plurals with ES. 

Section 2

Lessons 12 – 17:  By the end of Lesson 17, the student knows all of the sounds made by each letter of the alphabet including the third sound of A and U (ball, put).  The student has learned the most common consonant digraphs including PH, how to read words with R controlled vowels, such as AR, ER and OR.

  • Lesson 12:  Teaches long vowel sounds in words ending with silent E.
  • Lesson 13:  Teaches how to add ING and ED to words ending in silent E, teaches the IND, ILD and OLD word families and the definition of compound words and compound sentences.
  • Lesson 14:  Teaches the 4 sounds of Y and the soft sounds of C and G.
  • Lesson 15:  Teaches the third sound of A (ball) and U (full), the digraph PH, and basic contractions.
  • Lesson 16:  Teaches R controlled vowel sounds such as OR, AR, and ER.
  • Lesson 17:  Teaches the third sound of I as in radio, how to change Y to I when adding a suffix (baby, babies) and reviews Lessons 1 through 16.

Lessons 18 – 21:  By the end of Lesson 22, the student has learned the sounds made by all of the vowel teams as well as special vowel sounds.  The student knows the majority of the graphemes (letters which represent sounds) in the English language and can decode nearly any word.

  • Lesson 18:  Teaches the vowel teams AI, AY, OA, and EE, and about homonyms.
  • Lesson 19:  Teaches the vowel teams EA, IE, OE, UE, UI and EY and more homonyms.
  • Lesson 20:  Teaches special vowel sounds: OU, OW, AW and AU.
  • Lesson 21:  Teaches more special vowel sounds: OY, OI, OO EW and more homonyms.

Section 3

Lessons 22 – 27:  By the end of this section, the student has been introduced to over 200 spelling patterns in the English language and has greatly improved decoding and spelling capabilities.

  • Lesson 22:  Teaches the schwa sound and the letter combinations LE, IGH, EIGH, GH, and WR.
  • Lesson 23:  Teaches the three sounds of CH and silent letter combinations such as GN, KN, ALK, MB, H (hour), T (castle), GU, GUE and QUE.
  • Lesson 24:  Teaches the complete lesson of contractions and more homonyms.
  • Lesson 25:  Teaches spelling patters with TI (action), CI (magician), SI (mansion), TU (picture), DU (graduate), ION (million). Teaches reverse vowel combinations such as UA (graduate) IA (giant) EO (rodeo) IU (aquarium) and IO (violet) and OUGH words.
  • Lesson 26:  Teaches the use of prefixes and the complete rules of syllabication.
  • Lesson 27:  Reviews material from lessons 18 – 26, teaches the suffix OUS, and provides a summary of the most common exceptions to phonetic rules and how to add a suffix to words ending in LE (bubble, bubbling).
© 2001-2017 Sue Young & Scott D. Welch. All Rights Reserved. Smart Way Reading-Made in the U.S.A. (727) 734-8483