I just received my Delightful Reading kit. I have already cut, magnetized, and organized all my tiles and letters. Now I’m getting really concerned! All the reviews I read speak about the confusing word families and how the suggested readings are difficult for the children. I bought this because my daughter had problems with blending her sounds and is better at sight words. Now I’m worried I’m just going to frustrate her further!
Are there any encouraging success stories with Delightful Reading?ruthParticipant
Yes, this was the best reading system for my son. We had been doing a stricktly phonics based program, but my son started having problems with the “rules” when certain words didn’t fit the rule. I switched to DR and the word “families” and it was much easier for my son to wrap his mind around. To just tell him this is this word with no rules was great. As for words that didn’t follow the families, I would just introduce them seperately saying this word is___. He didn’t have any problems if it looked like other words but didn’t sound like them. If your daughter does better with sight words than this program is great for teaching reading with sight words.my3boysParticipant
I have only used 3 reading “programs” in our home schooling journey, DR being one of them. The first one I would never use again, the seceond is one that I use some ideas from, but if I had to do it again, I’d be pleased with DR only.
My ds is over 7 and is really picking up the reading skill more and more, but I have not pushed, I’ve let him take his time. I use DR sporatically (he can only take so much academic time) but we use the Pathway readers for practice. But what is great with this program is the quality literature it uses; I love that! Plus, when he will sit for 10 minutes, it offers enough variety that he doesn’t get bored. When we do use it, he usually says he wants to do more, so we’ll do a few more minutes and close up before his limit is reached.
Thank you for the encouraging responses! I was really starting to doubt the choice I made with DR. It is very helpful to see that others have used it with success.Doug SmithKeymaster
We’ve had a few people say that DR didn’t work well for their child but the vast majority of the comments and reviews we get are positive.
Just curious, where did you see those reviews? I’ve seen a few such comments on sites that were dedicated to educational methods other than a Charlotte Mason approach, so that’s understandable. Many of the people I know of who had trouble with DR have not tried it on its own as it was designed, but attempted to add in additional intensive phonics.BenitaParticipant
I have tried many things over the years of homeschooling and taught first grade reading for six years in the school system before becoming a momma 15 years ago. Most school teachers know that a combo of phonics and “whole reading”,for lack of a better term,is actually quite successful. Sadly, the pendulum shifts quite a bit in education. I find this DR program to offer the best of both approaches which is sure to appeal to most children one way or the other. We tend to make learning to read much more complicated than it really is. Give it a good go round before deciding. I think you will be pleased.
This has really encouraged me to carry forward. Thank you again. I was very concerned last night.
Most of my concerns came from Ambleside forums:
was my question to them regarding other things I have read on AO.
If I’m not mistaken, this is the same person that told me in the thread above her kit was basically useless to her now. She explains more problems in the comments of the blog.
Most of the issues I have read come from AO.
Either way, I’m encouraged to use the program and see how it works for my daughter. I was really excited about it and then just started to panic last night. Someone on the AO thread above said it worked very well for her. When there were “issues” with the word families, she placed a box around the word that sounded different than the others. Apparently, this worked for her child and sounds like a really good idea. I believe she said the idea came from Alpha Phonics.RobinPParticipant
Michelle, I know you and I have spoken of this at length but I’m posting here in case it might benefit others. Or maybe not… 🙂
It seems the reviewer on that blog post was objecting to including words that were exceptions to the “rules” in the reading exercises. Unfortunately that’s life in the English language. Charlotte recognized this:
“If words were always made on a given pattern in English, if the same letter always represented the same sounds, learning to read would be an easy matter; for the child would soon acquire the few elements of which all words would, in that case, be composed. But many of our English words are, each, a law unto itself: there is nothing for it, but the child must learn to know them at sight.”
If a child has had adequate practice at word building (at, rat, mat, ate, rate, mate, etc.) as Charlotte suggested AND HAS NOT BEEN RUSHED THROUGH THIS STEP, then they should be ready to understand that sometimes (often) there are words that are exceptions. Arm, warm…I would simply say something like, “You know, English is such a funny/maddening language. Some words don’t follow the rules.” Children can understand that if they’ve had a good foundation with word building. I like the box idea, but only if a child needs a visual cue. Now if I said something’s like…”Here’s one of those rule breakers. Let’s put him in jail (while drawing a box around him)…my boys would have loved that. But anyway…do whatever works. 🙂
I love to come up with these examples as I gave you yesterday.
I wound the bandage around my wound.
I read the red book. I will read the red book.
You could go on for days.
To strengthen the foundation for L and start laying it for the others, I would get each of them their own box of letters. One that belongs only to them. J’s could be his favorite color and sturdy enough for him to play with…not just make words, but to play with anyway he likes. A’s could be pink, C’s should be chewable. 🙂 This was not just recommended but insisted upon by Dr. Carroll Smith at the CM conference. Twirl the O around their fingers. (They learn it has a hole in the middle.) Shoot the L like a gun…no stones, please. (they learn its distinctive shape.). Then when the children are ready for word-building GAMES, they are already familiar with the letters because they have been playmates for some time. Then spend LOTS of time learning letter names, sounds, building words, etc. before moving on to what Charlotte would call real reading lessons.
Honestly I believe the greatest obstacle in children reading is rushing. Charlotte (and Dr. Smith) emphasized DO NOT HURRY, DO NOT RUSH! I believe I heard/read that Finland, (who is consistently ahead in every academic area) refuses to begin teaching reading (and most every other subject) until age 7. What’s our hurry?
Didn’t mean to write a tome, but so many moms I talk to stress themselves to death over this issue. Please… Take your time and be at peace.KristinaParticipant
This is great, Robin. What kind of letters do you suggest? Are you talking larger wooden or plastic ones first and then moving to the paper ones provided in DR when starting lessons? Where would you get letters?RobinPParticipant
It depends on the age of the child but I really like the large wooden ones that are available in many craft stores. Hobby Lobby and Michaels have them around here. Plastic ones would work as well. Magnetic letters for the fridge have been used lots by my boys.
In relation to this that I forgot to mention, writing letters is often rushed as well. Charlotte recommended providing a tray of sand for little ones to write in. Pencil and paper should come later, maybe 5-6 if the child is ready.my3boysParticipant
Yes, please don’t rush! Take it from someone who did with the oldest dc; it is not worth it. If they want to learn, are eager, are gobbling it up, sure, do what they want, but just don’t rush or become frustrated. And even then, short lessons are best. This age should be fun (all ages should be, but you know what I mean). There are many more subjects that are foundational that your time could be spent on (not to negate the skill of reading), such as: nature study, picture study, cooking, cleaning, habits, scripture, read alouds, music, handicrafts, etc.
PS: Thank you Robin for posting your response, I need to email it to a friend of mine. I have a feeling it will help her immensely.
ETA: What Robin mentioned is why I try to never use the word “rule” for our reading lessons. They’re just too many execptions! I use the phrase, “This sound picture represents the sound ___, in this word, or combination of sound pictures.” My children just seem to take to it better. I tell them that the English language is funny and you’ll just have to memorize it by sight. They say, “Ok.”BenitaParticipant
I so agree with not rushing. Children bloom at different rates. The reading almost always comes if we are patient and don’t stress the child. We often put our own hang ups onto our children. If we were not quite so the “middleman” the children would probably fare better. Of course we must instruct in reading, but we can overdo it so easily if we are not careful. Children won’t get hung up on the rules and exceptions if we present it simply and we don’t get hung up on it. Remember, there was a time when mothers in their humble dwellings taught their children to read with nothing but a King James Bible. Some of those children grew up to be nation builders, changers, and great influences in our world. We can do this. Our children can do this. Be encouraged.Doug SmithKeymaster
Thanks for the links. It looks like her concerns boil down to one main area:
IMO, word families should contain only words which use the same spelling to represent the same sound.
And then an expansion of that in the comments:
far too many non-rhyming words are included in word families.
So it’s not so much a reflection of having problems using Delightful Reading but more of having a philisophical disagreement regarding how reading should be taught.
And that’s okay because Delightful Reading was created that way intentionally. As RobinP explained so well above, the English language does not fit into neat little patterns and children need to learn to deal with that.
I’ve noticed that if children learn words in the context of fitting a pattern or rhyme, then they are often at a loss when encountering those same words in the context of real language. Although word patterns may seem like quicker progress in the short term, I believe that taking more time at the beginning to learn words with all their quirks will have a larger payoff in the long run.Alicia HartParticipant
This is a great thread and has answered questions that I had about DR.
Very well said Doug! Thank you for your comments.5heartsathomeParticipant
What an awesome thread! Thanks!
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