I am really struggling with which phonics program to use. I have been using Phonics Pathways, I am not comfortable doint it without a “book” or daily guide. I just am not sure this is the best way..it starts having them learn the short vowel sounds then teaches some consonants and then blends ba, be, bi, sa, se, si etc..then, once they are good at recognizing the consonant/vowel combo’s it adds a consonant on the end.
Does anyone see a problem with this approach, should I switch to Alpha Phonics?
Also…what do you all find best for beginning readers?
Thanks a bunch,
Wife to Clayton for 17 years, mother to dd14, dd12, ds10, dd7, dd4, ds2 and baby Josiah was born on 2-22-08
We are using Phonics Pathways this year for the first time. We’ve always used the Victory Drill Book, which is based on the same method, but I was wanting something a little different for the seventh child (I was ready for a little variety). The only thing I would change with the Pathways is to teach at least a few consonants first, apart from the book. This can be done with puzzles, etc. Then, introduce the vowels. It’s just easier on the child, I think, because the vowels are so similar to one another.
We use McGuffey’s w/our phonics program but, in addition, we use the Elson Readers, Reading-Literature (Yesterday’s Classics), and the Rod and Staff readers. I schedule different ones for different days for variety. The Elson and R-L readers are full of classic children’s poetry and innocent, but twaddle-free stories and fables from all over the world. My two enjoy them and always want to read more. The Rod and Staff are innocent and simple and my cildren stay intersted in the prgression of the lives of Peter and Rachel thru the books.
Did you find PP got them reading well? I had thought about using Victory Drill Book also…did you have success with it?
I just started my 8yo, who was struggling in PP; also my 5yo who has had no other instruction. I do like it, though I’m still getting used to the differences between that and the VDB after so many years. My 8yo son has taken off, but I can’t say whether it’s the curriculum or just his time to blossom. I like the VDB and have highly recommended it to others. Many are put off by the starkness of it, but it can be very versatile. We have 5 voracious and fluent readers that went through the VDB; I guess that’s the litmus test.
What all do you use with VDB? Did you get the worksheets, CD etc..? Do you use the book for preschool?
Also..what readers do you use. There are some recommended by Dolores, from PP, but they are over $55.
Where do you get the readers, Elson and Reading Literature, you talk about?
Feel free, anyone, to email me at cckccarr AT rurallink DOT net
I used taught from the letter sounds pages and then sandwiched in the preschool book. At one time, I did purchase the teacher’s guide/extra workpages but never had success with them. We are a large family that needs simplicity and the extras were not necessary. I can email you later with ideas of how we utitlized the book, if you are still interested. As for readers, we use what is in the library, Pathway Readers, CLP’s Nature Readers, things like that. I hope this is helpful.
You can get the Elson on Amazon or from the Lost Classics Co.
The Reading-Literature books are here(be careful, you may not leave the site!):
Just click on Literature and scroll down. The Children’s Verse books are good readers, too as you finish up the primer stage. My daughter really enjoy’s the poems.
Now, you can get the Read-lit Primer and First Reader (they are preparing to release the second reader soon) for free on the Baldwin site.
Hope you find what you’re looking for nd more,
Our family has enjoyed the Bob Books by Bobby Lynn Maslen for beginning readers. Ruth Beechick’s “The Three R’s” section on phonics/beginning reading has been so helpful, we have not needed to buy phonics curriculum! Best wishes!
P.S. I’m aware that the Bob Books might be considered “twaddle-ish” amongst CM-ers. They do begin with very basic three letter word combinations. However, we have found that their simple humor draws our children into the little plots with giggles. Also, it is rewarding for them to read a whole book (short though it may be) as opposed to a few lines on a page or a short section in a larger book. I think it instills a good sense of completion. After each child has gone through all the Bob books they have a good grasp on de-coding and lots of good sight words under their belt. We then move on to picture books, classic tales and anything else they wish to gobble up (appropriately, that is):)
I just joined this forum and spent last night reading Everything! I was always under the assumption after reading CM’s volumes that I shouldn’t start reading until my dd was six. On the daily or weekly routine on SCM it has under age five beginning to read. My dd has a quite the appetite for school, but I just keep it as a reward right now. My other question was I thought according to CM that I should only give the sound of the phoneme and not the phoneme’s name, but of course my dd knows the names of the phoneme because she wants to write all the time. She is gradually spelling things out on her own by just using a phonetical approach. Should I just let her do her thing until we begin formally?
Hi, livelovely –
You’re right that Charlotte described a reading lesson for a child who had turned six. We highly encourage moms not to push their children to learn how to read. Some are ready and begging for more before age six, and some aren’t ready until age 8. So please take the suggestions on the Early Years Guide as ideas to customize for your child.
I’ve always taught the child the name of the phoneme as well as its sound(s). I figure if the child can learn animals’ names and sounds (the cat says “meow,” the horse says “whinny” or “neigh” ) he can learn phoneme names and sounds too. And as you pointed out, the children will need those names when writing anyway.
I’d love to hear what other moms have done, but in our case I allowed the child to take the lead in spelling at this young age. If she asked me “How do you spell ___?” I would give her the letters in order. But if she used markers and scratch paper to make a sign for her pretend zoo, I would not correct her spelling on it.
Thank you Sonya. That’s what I was thinking, but just wanted some feedback. It’s hard to hold back when you have other homeschooling friends who jump in and their kids are reading at three years of age. My kids are outside 24/7 living and learning, but sometimes I question if we should be “doing” more.
I have used everything from a structured phonics program to more relaxed to a phonics game! Truly the timing is a lot of it, reading to and with them is as well.
It is hard to let go of doing it by a book or guide. I still struggle. I seem to have a lot of upheaval in my life, which is settling down now (praise the Lord for THAT!), but I find my 9 and 7 yodds are basically teaching themselves to read quite well with the hodge-podge of what I’ve been able to give them in the past year!
I finally pared it down to doing Happy Phonics, the game developed by Diane Hopkins of Love To Learn. It really is quite thorough, and I spend about 15-20 minutes per day per girl (I’m working with three of them). I probably only hit 2-3 days a week for most of this last semester. And to be honest, they are not writing out a lot of stuff. We just play the games!
The other resource I love is Mark Thogmartin’s “Teach a Child to Read with Children’s Books”. Somewhere I have it bookmarked where it is available online for free. I purchased an ex-library copy so as to have it for reference away from the computer. It is not a “pull out of the box and use” type of book, but once you read where it’s coming from and he does have some steps laid out, you can jump in and do it. He addresses “chunks” or rimes, and in the appendix is a very thorough list of children’s books categorized into levels from Pre-Primer to 2nd grade, 2nd semester.
If anybody can prove that as long as you are reading to them and around them, they’ll learn, I have! Not by my choice, either! 🙂 But God truly does bless our efforts, especially when “life” gets in the way of our best laid plans!
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