Focus on Fives
Monday, 02 November 2020

  • Tags:
  • Curriculum
  • Early Elementary
  • History
  • Organization
  • Parent Led
  • Phonics
  • Planning
  • Science

BJU Press Homeschool's Focus on Fives provides age-appropriate introductions to handwriting, phonics, reading, science, and social studies. Students will enjoy many activities that build a solid foundation for reading including teaching reading strategies, phonemic awareness, and even listening and speaking strategies! Focus on Fives is available as parent-led kit or as a video course. Here are some tips for managing all the little parts and pieces if you decide to supplement your teaching with the Focus on Fives phonics charts.

Handwriting Wall Charts

If you have wall space where you do school, laminate the handwriting charts (if possible) and hang them up. Not only will these charts help your child remember how to form the letters, but they will strengthen his ABC order and phonics skills.

Alphabet and Phonics Song Charts and Phonics Charts

Laminate the alphabet and phonics song charts and display them as you learn each letter. Then refer to these visuals each day for review.

If you're short on space, consider binding these charts together into a booklet with the phonics charts at the back.

You can flip from page to page during a parent-led lesson or for review after a video lesson. Just make sure that you make a two-page spread with one of the alphabet songs (either the flowers or the bubbles) so that you don't have to flip back and forth as you sing.

High-Frequency Word Cards, Word Family Cards, and Spelling Cards

Cut apart all of these cards but keep them sorted. The high-frequency word cards will be labeled with the letter H in the upper left corners. These are the 48 commonly used words that will be introduced throughout the year.

Word family cards are labeled with a W. The first family includes it, sit, hit, wit, bit, and pit. You'll notice even more "it" words on the backs of those cards. Students will use these flashcards to practice blending sounds of individual letters into words and work on vocabulary.

There are 198 word families in all, with several cards in each family. With so many loose cards, you won't want the kids to handle these!

The cards fit perfectly in plastic pencil boxes. Keep the cards bundled in rubber bands so that you don't have to reorganize everything if you drop the box.

If you don't want to mess with keeping all of those cards in numerical order, you can bind the word family pages (uncut) into their own separate booklet. Or just write out the day's practice words with a different color marker for each word family.

Phonics Characters and Mascots

That leaves just the phonics characters and mascots. Cut these out and laminate them. You will frequently use the phonics characters and spelling cards to help your child recognize the spelling patterns in short and long vowel words. Spell a word on your desk, look for patterns, and then add the phonics characters above the letters.

Hopper the frog and the splash symbol were the mascots that I used most. Put Hopper at the top of a list of high-frequency word cards to review, and then put the splash symbol at the end. Challenge your child to say each word quickly before shouting, "Splash!"

A pocket chart is ideal for this because it keeps the words visible, and the cards can be easily switched.

Kindergarten is a fantastic year of discovery. These beautiful visuals will enhance your child's excitement, learning, and retention. Happy homeschooling!

Watch our Focus on Fives YouTube videos for more information:

Overview and Look Inside the Book- Homeschool Phonics Charts:
BJU Press Focus on Fives Teacher's Edition:
Focus on Fives- Phonics Review Cards, Practice Book, and Worktext:
BJU Press Focus on Fives Readers:
Organizing a BJU Press Homeschool Focus on Fives Classroom:
Focus on Fives Overview and Homeschool Phonics Charts:
BJU Press Focus on Fives Resources:

Find more YouTube videos on the BJU Press Homeschool YouTube channel:

Video course:
Pocket chart:

Meet the Author

Jennifer Lont - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant