When Andrea Peterson realized her son George was struggling with phonemic awareness, she asked the question any mother would ask: “How can I help him?” Speech therapists told her to “just be his mom” and leave the rest to the professionals. As an educator with a background in early childhood and special education, Andrea knew there was more she could do. She collected all the phonemic awareness tools at her disposal. They were comprehensive, but she didn’t find them to be user-friendly.

“I wanted something with scripted lessons, fun pictures, and engaging content—something a teacher, parent, or volunteer could pick up and easily use, feeling confident that all components of phonemic awareness were being addressed,” Andrea recalls. So, over the next few years, she immersed herself in research, partnered with Read Naturally, and developed exactly that.

The result is Funēmics®, a fun and accessible program that covers all six elements of phonemic awareness: segmenting words, recognizing rhyme, recognizing and manipulating syllables, producing rhyme, recognizing phonemes, and manipulating phonemes. Teachers or volunteers present scripted lessons as students interact with a whimsically illustrated ebook for the iPad® that allows them to play, move, and sing as they learn.

Funēmics brings traditional songs and nursery rhymes to life as students grasp cadence, rhythm, and rhyme in a fun and natural way,” Andrea explains.

Andrea drew upon her Masters degree in Educational Computing and Technology, as well as her freelance career in graphic design, to create the interactive book that works on the iPad. This format allows students to play with old rhymes in fresh and fun new ways, a feature that sets Funēmics apart from other drill-and-practice oriented programs.

Funēmics has been piloted in schools with remarkable results. In preschools and elementary schools, Funēmics has proven to keep students in both high functioning and remedial groups engaged while efficiently and effectively teaching phonemic awareness. Teachers love the ease with which they can adapt the program to different populations. The lessons are short and clear enough for pre-readers, yet interesting enough for older students who are struggling. What’s more, teachers are pleased to learn that Funēmics meets all the phonological standards of the Common Core Standards. Most importantly, the students are enjoying themselves and making huge strides in this foundational aspect of reading development.

Read Naturally is thrilled to add Funēmics to its repertoire of reading solutions. We think you and your students will be equally pleased. Click here to learn more about this exciting new program. Order now


iPad is a trademark of Apple, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.