Topic | Delightful Reading Question

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  • Inky

    I’m trying to decide whether to purchase Delightful Reading.

    Up to now I’ve followed a phonics programme – it’s a good one that includes the learning of sight words (tricky words that break the rules).  My 6 year old has learned to read fluently with this – she’ll happily sit and read books to our toddler and to herself. 

    But her spelling no-where near as good as her reading.

    I read SCM Hearing and Reading, Telling and Writing back at Easter, and started to implement a more CM approach to help her (eg beginning a word book, trying to help her see words in her mind’s eye), with some success, though I’ve ended up a bit muddled by it all as I’m new to this approach.

    My 4 year old started the phonics programme last year when she begged me to teach her to read.  She loves it and has mastered all the sounds and can now read simple readers.  She can decode phonetically and is very good at learning sight words.

    I’ve just been digging out the next phonics workbook for her to start next term (the same one my 6yr old did), but looking at it again I’ve just realised how un-CM and text-bookish it is.

    So I’m thinking of switching to Delightful Reading – but wondering if I can afford it.  I think if it could be used for both girls I’d feel better about it. But I’m not sure if it would be too basic for my 6 year old…though I’m hoping it might help her spelling….and would simplify things for us all…

    I’m making a determined switch to 100% CM this year, so that’s another reason!

    advice please!


    I’m not an expert…but I don’t think it’s at all unusual for a six year old to still have some misspelling, even if she is a strong reader and familiar with phonics “rules.”  After all, there are so many exceptions, and so many different ways of spelling the same sounds, that I think it takes more years of reading attentively to get it all straight in one’s mind.  Confession: I am new to Charlotte Mason and know very little of how she taught spelling.  But formal spelling lessons are not listed in the SCM curriculum guide until 4th grade, and in A Strong Start in Language Ruth Beechick says, “A good time to tackle spelling hard is about fourth grade reading level when children are reading fluently and have built a good visual foundation for how words should look.  In the meantime, teach bits of spelling as they fit into daily writing.”  This seems to me a similar approach to Charlotte Mason’s.  This doesn’t really answer your question about Delightful Reading, but hopefully it eases your mind some about her spelling.  


    As regards DR, I think if your 6 year old is already reading fluently there’s a good change she’s past the stage at which it would be helpful.  For your four year old, maybe you could try to implement the CM approach a bit on your own and see if it’s a good fit for both of you.  Then if you’re really enjoying it you might have a better idea of whether it would be a worthwhile purchase for your family.  


    My 10 yo is a strong reader but still mastering spelling. He does copywork daily and has started SW book 2 this school year. I don’t think it’s unusual at all that he can read well but not spell quite as well. At 6, I would happy with my dc reading well and/or progressing, doing copywork daily, and waiting until 10ish to introduce some type of spelling “program” like SW, if necessary. I have chosen to have my 13 do more copywork, other than just a Book of Mottoes, daily because his spelling is not exactly where I think it can be.

    We are using DR with our 6yo and just after 5 lessons (and using those lessons several times a piece) he is able to read, with some help, First Steps from Pathway. Soon we will do more lessons in DR, but for now he is progressing through the reader.

    I hope this makes sense, I had 3 people talking all around me, LOL.


    If you have a program that works well for you I would continue in it. If you switch methods now you may confuse your child who is in the middle of the phonics program. I used a phonics program with my two oldest with great success and my third is working through it now. It seemed to work fine so even though it wasn’t CM we kept it. I also wouldn’t stress about spelling at 6.


    Sonya Shafer

    Another option would be to dip your toe in the water by using the CM methods with just one short poem — making your own word slips and using Scrabble letters or magnetic letters — and see how it works for daughter. You can watch the video on the Delightful Reading page to see the steps you would use in the process. If it “clicks” and you want to keep going, you can. If it doesn’t fit well, you’re not out any money.


    My dd6 seems to be in the same boat as yours.  Mostly phonics taught with some sight word learning, and not so great spelling. –Except that she DOES spell everything right in that she spells it phonetically correct.  😉

    I’ve recently read the ‘Beginning Reading’ sections of Vol. 1 and it does make alot of sense to me.  The phonics approach I have used (Reading Reflex) also talks about a combo of phonics and whole-word being the best approach and it has worked well for us so far.  Once it gets past a beginner reading level though, there are a lot of lists of words, none of which dd has made any special connection with.  That is why I’m interested to try CM style reading.  Beginning with a fun poem and building our word lists off of that will hopefully help it to click in dd’s mind.  I also like the added benefit of gentle spelling instruction.

    I’m just going to try out a couple poems with dd without a curriculum to see how it goes.  Reading CM’s samples were enough to make me feel confident it trying it out.  We’re scheduled to start today so we’ll see how it goes.  🙂 

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