1. How can I find out more about Funēmics?

Check out these articles on the Read Naturally blog, visit the Read Naturally webpage on the research basis of Funēmics, check out the information on the product page (be sure to scroll down and click on the tabs), or download the sampler, the Funēmics' Fidelity Checklist or the Funēmics' Teacher's Manual.

2. Why teach reading at such a young age?

Actually, the Funēmics program is entirely pre-reading. It takes the letters out of the equation, and instead focuses on playing with the sounds of the language through rhyme, song, and word play in an age-appropriate way. It uses research-based methods to either prepare a pre-school- or kindergarten-aged-child for reading, or to help a struggling reader learn the essential components of phonemic awareness.

3. Why do students need this program?

“Research indicates that, without direct instructional support, phonemic awareness eludes roughly 25 percent of middle class first graders and substantially more of those who come from less literacy-rich backgrounds. Furthermore, these children evidence serious difficulty in learning to read and write” (Adams et al., 1998, p. 1)1.

4. Does Funēmics meet the Common Core State Standards?

The Funēmics curriculum meets all of the Common Core State Standards for Phonological Awareness in kindergarten and grade 1.

CCSS Reading: Foundational Skills—Phonological Awareness

The standards listed below are reprinted from the Common Core State Standards Initiative website: http://www.corestandards.org/ Each standard is followed by a list of the lessons of Funēmics that address the standard.


CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2: Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.A: Recognize and produce rhyming words. (Book.Lesson: 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, 4.9, 4.10)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.B: Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words. (Book.Lesson: 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.C: Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words. (Book.Lesson: 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 5.4, 5.5)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.D: Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words. (This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/.) (Book.Lesson: 5.7, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 6.10, 6.11, 6.12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.E: Add or substitute individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one-syllable words to make new words. (Book.Lesson: 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, 4.9, 4.10, 5.4, 5.5, 5.9, 5.10, 6.10, 6.11, 6.12)

Grade 1 

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.2: Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.2.A: Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words. (Book.Lesson: 6.7, 6.12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.2.B: Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends. (Book.Lesson: 4.1, 4,2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 5.4, 5.5, 5.7, 5.9, 5.10, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.10, 6.11, 6.12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.2.C: Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words. (Book.Lesson: 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 6.10, 6.11, 6.12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.2.D: Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes). (Book.Lesson: 5.7, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.8, 6.9, 6.10, 6.11, 6.12)

5. Where are the student books?

The display books with the student pages are iBooks that work on an iPad or Macintosh computer running OS 10.9 or higher. The books need to be downloaded from iTunes.

6. Does every student need an iPad?

No, only one iPad is used to teach the lesson. It is meant as a display as well as a shared interactive device. Students view the iPad during the small group lesson and take turns using the interactive widgets.

7. Must the six books only be installed on only one iPad, or can we install them on every iPad in the classroom?

You may install the Funēmics iBooks on any number of iPads, but Read Naturally recommends that only one iPad is used during instruction. The iBook is the display for a small group of students (up to six) and is not meant to be used independently by students. The teacher controls the iPad, so all students are focused om the same visual while the teacher guides the lesson.

The iBooks can be downloaded free of charge; there are no licensing agreements that restrict the use of the iBooks.

8. Is this something we need to purchase each year or after these six students move out of interventions?

Once purchased, the materials may be used for years and with multiple students. There is no recordkeeping associated with the iBook, so nothing needs to be reset for a different group of students.

9. Can I use the iBooks on my interactive white board?

If you are using a Macintosh computer or a laptop that runs OS X 10.9 or higher, the interactive widgets will work on the interactive white board.

If you are using an iPad, you can mirror the iPad screen on your interactive whiteboard. The action is displayed on the whiteboard for all to see, but the manipulation of the icons has to happen on  the iPad screen.

Read Naturally support is unable to provide support for making the program work on an interactive whiteboard. Refer your questions to Apple support for help with hardware.

10. Can I teach the program without an iPad?

Funēmics can be taught on a desktop computer with the Mac OS X 10.9 (or later) operating system. The student display books are important; an iPad or a Macintosh computer is needed.

If your desktop is connected to an Interactive whiteboard, the interactivity may be compatible with the whiteboard, depending on your system set-up. Teachers have reported that Funēmics works well with SMART Boards® when a Macintosh computer is connected to the whiteboard. However, Read Naturally has not yet tested this functionality and does not offer support for using the program with interactive whiteboards. 

11. Why can't I use this program without technology?

Many of the lessons in Funēmics are paired with interactive widgets that need technology to work.

One of Read Naturally’s main goals is to keep the cost of educational materials affordable for schools and teachers. The professional artwork created for Funēmics' student materials make Funēmics very expensive to produce in a printed format, so we moved to technology as a platform to display that artwork. Technology also allowed the use of widgets instead of blocks or other classroom manipulatives.

12. Why are the images so childlike looking? Why is the picture of a farmer drawn so childlike instead of actually using a real picture?

Since the author of Funemics was a graphic artist and since she envisioned this program as a program for students from age three to first grade, she created her own colorful illustrations. She felt that the illustrations were art that children could identify with. She wanted this program to be fun most of all, so she wanted whimsical images in very bright colors that children could relate to in an artistic way.


Please let us know what questions you have so we can assist. For Technical Support, please call us or submit a software support request.

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