Looking for the Best Apps for Homeschool or Best Apps for Teachers?

The Funnix reading program has been effective for tens of thousands of teachers, homeschooling parents and students. Learn what others say about this research-backed method.

Looking for the Best Apps for Homeschool or Best Apps for Teachers?

The Funnix reading program has been effective for tens of thousands of teachers, homeschooling parents and students. Learn what others say about this research-backed method.

What the Research Says About Funnix

Highlights from the Research

  • Funnix is a Direct Instruction (DI) program. DI has been demonstrated to be the most effective method of teaching beginning skills to children and was developed by Zig Engelmann, senior author of Funnix.The research overwhelmingly concurs that the best way to teach beginning reading is through a phonics method of instruction.
  • Research on the performance of at-risk children shows that DI is capable of teaching all children — even those who don’t often read by the end of the second grade.
  • The DI approach has been recognized by the American Institute for Research (AIR) as one of only two approaches for school-wide reform with substantial research evidence that documents its effectiveness in elementary schools.

What Parents & Teachers Are Saying About Funnix

I have used Funnix Beginning Reading for years and have been impressed with progress my students have made in short periods of time. During remote learning, my students and I were able to be a part of beta testing for the web app. Having this opportunity, my students were able to continue right where they left off when school had to abruptly close last spring. The Funnix Beginning Reading app works extremely well with video conferencing platforms; in this case Google Meets. I am still able to see and hear my students clearly but they are also able to hear and see the computer animations and voice as well. Funnix allowed my students to have instructional consistency no matter what their current learning environment is. Whether they are at home or at school their reading progress is no longer hindered. They are happy and still learning. As their teacher, I am extremely thankful!!!

Jessica Vreeland

K-5 Special Education Teacher

As a long time user of Funnix, I wanted to reach out and say THANK YOU, and share my experience. Almost 15 years ago, I was a stay-at-home mom and the wife of an active duty U.S. Marine who was frequently deploying. We had three boys under the age of four, and my oldest son was beginning to show an interest in learning to read. Never knowing where we might be living and where my boys might be attending school, it was important to me that I get my boys on their way to reading proficiently as soon as possible.

After searching around for reading instruction materials that were affordable and designed for individual use, I discovered Funnix, which is a Direct Instruction program. As a former University of Oregon student in the College of Education, I was familiar with the Direct Instruction method and the long history of research ensuring its effectiveness. So I ordered the package including both levels.

A couple of years later, I had expanded my use of Funnix from my own boys to using it with some private tutoring students working from home. The first two students that I used Funnix with were two mid-year first graders who were English Language Learners and were being considered for retention. By the end of that school year, they were beginning to read well enough that their school was no longer recommending them for retention. They continued working with me that summer and by the fall, their parents reported to me that they were considered to be average readers in their classrooms. Fast forward another 13 years and a move across the country, and in addition to teaching my own three boys, I have now taught nearly 50 private tutoring students with great success and similar stories of moving from being recommended for retention to reading at grade level.

Funnix does a beautiful job of teaching the essential phonemic awareness skills including the sound-symbol relationship, segmenting syllables, segmenting sounds, blending sounds, and on into decoding words and reading sentences in a gradual way that eliminates guessing as a strategy for reading unfamiliar words. Instead, children are provided with the necessary tools and strategies, leaving them feeling confident with attacking an unfamiliar word. I know all 220 lessons so well that I have many of the stories nearly memorized. Funnix has literally changed my life and that of many of my students. It is because of Funnix that I sent my three boys to kindergarten with a strong foundation in the critical phonological awareness skills needed to become proficient readers and beginning to read simple sentences.

One strong word of caution: The teacher/parent who is implementing the program MUST read and follow the procedures in the teacher’s manual, which is not hard. It’s all very straightforward and not very long, but without that, the effectiveness of the program may not be as powerful. Take the time to read the manual and follow the Funnix lessons a day at a time and you’ll have strong, confident readers.

Rachelle Berry-Bissessar

Ashburn, Virginia

I used Funnix with my next-door-neighbor, a girl who was repeating first grade. It worked very well. She moved away after six months, but not before she jumped into the top reading group in her school.

Shepard Barbash

North Carolina