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Where to post when "building schooled" kids are also educated at home and parents are looking for...

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

My child is educated in part at a small charter school. In part because of the small school's limited resources, we are often educating our DC at home as well. I often find myself needing some extra support (especially as we enter the world of diagraphs and complicated phonic blends!). I'd love to hear the thoughts from the LAH community on whether posting in this forum is appropriate in this situation or if you feel like in general you'd prefer to keep this as a special place for LAH families. Thanks!  

post #2 of 51
As long as the poster is up front about the arrangement, I don't have a problem. Some familes I know have a child or two at home, the rest at school, or visa versa. Where else can you get help for the home part? Have you talked with the folks running the school about what you feel needs supplementing at home?
post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

As long as the poster is up front about the arrangement, I don't have a problem. Some familes I know have a child or two at home, the rest at school, or visa versa. Where else can you get help for the home part? Have you talked with the folks running the school about what you feel needs supplementing at home?

Yes - we have on going supplementation at home. Most recently we have been asked to provide some phonics education out of school (either at home or with a tutor). I'd like to get some support for this specific phonics method and I find I have a lot of questions. I figure I can either ask here - I imagine lots of parents know the answers to my questions. Alternatively, I could post in LAS and link to here. Either is fine with me but I do agree that I may get more support in this forum. I wanted to ask the community first, though, before I barged in. shy.gif

 

I'll wait to hear from a few more members and if it seems cool with most folks, I'll post a big old explanation of what we're trying to teach DC. 

 

But, for example: 

 

When teaching the 'ou' diagraphs in words like "through" do you teach that the "gh" is silent or do you teach the "ough" as the letter blend/entire sound? 

post #4 of 51
I never taught my son phonics. He's a sight reader, just like me. Sorry, I don't have any help for you. It probably would be good to post in both places to get the most advice. I think there should be a learning forum where parents can get feedback from those who learn at school and those who learn at home at the same time. Good luck with phonics!
post #5 of 51

I think one thing to consider is whether other people would benefit from the responses to such a post. I know I sure would. Anything that supports an understanding of digraphs and trigraphs and quadruplegraphs sounds good to me.

 

Anyway I would teach "ough" as an entire sound rather than teach "gh" as being silent. And "ough" can almost be considered a sight word by itself, so if you are doing words via flashcards or whatever I would add a sight word card for "ough."

 

But. Having said that. I've found that it isn't useful to teach these more complex sounds, beyond the basic blends, as a separate thing, really, and instead let them come up as she naturally encounters them in her reading. When DD and I were doing online K12 they had us targeting digraphs and trigraphs in anticipation of her needing to know them in order to advance her reading to more difficult books, and that was backwards for us. It was far better to have DD read what she wanted and should we come across a nasty sentence like "She coughed as the dough ploughed through the rough trough" we'd talk about how crazy English is, and should we learn German instead?  

post #6 of 51

I agree that as long as you are up front with the arrangement, posting here should help you along.  

 

But warning:  just like the answer above ("he's a sight reader") you are likely to find a lot of responses that might not apply well to your situation.  Many of us here are child-led at least to some degree, and it is easy for us to switch gears if something isn't working or isn't enjoyable.   You are just as likely to hear answers like this:

 

"As far as sounds, we talk about them as they come up in our stories.  The "ou" and "ough" are tough because you have words like trough and bough and enough as well as through.  So, we approach them one at a time as they arise.  To me it seems a tad silly to try to find a rule that only covers a couple of words."

 

Which might not be helpful to you in your situation if they want more formal coverage of the topic.  

 

Anyhow, ask away, I think.  

post #7 of 51
Thread Starter 

Well, judging from the last two responses I think posting here will be GREAT for us! We have been advised by many teachers that DC will benefit from explicit instruction with regards to reading and spelling. I agree 100%. Before DC showed signs of a reading delay I was a big fan of letting kids learn to read when they are ready. I fully expected my DC to learn easily when all the developmental pieces came together for her. That was not the case. She did not learn to read until she was given a fairly explicit instruction on the structure of works and sounds. I did Reading Reflex with her (stopped when the instruction became confusing for me) and she had some tutoring in some sort of phonics based program. We also did a wonderful system called "Quick Reads" for her fluency issues. 

 

Long story short, I want to do some explicit digraph instruction but really need some support on how to do that. I've been doing a bit of reading but feel like posting here with specific questions and getting wonderful responses like the ones I've already gotten will really help move us along. 

 

 

This, for example is a great point and something I need to hear: 

 

 


Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

 

To me it seems a tad silly to try to find a rule that only covers a couple of words.

 

 

I agree with you but I feel like DC may be comforted by these "rules" even if it means she needs to learn a whole bunch of rules - instead of just learning how to spell words by memory. I *think* she will end up relying on memory rather than rules (as it seems most of us do?) but I think she will do better practicing memorizing through the structure of learning the rules of language. If that makes any sense. 

 

For the record, DC's school and their accomplished reading specialist have suggested that DC may learn to read in a slightly "unusual" way. They have suggested synthetic phonics for her, which is the system I will be asking about when I make my post here asking for help. 

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post
When DD and I were doing online K12 they had us targeting digraphs and trigraphs in anticipation of her needing to know them in order to advance her reading to more difficult books, and that was backwards for us.

 

I have a fairly strong feeling that the opposite is true for my DC. She was VERY slow learning even the most basic sight words. She struggled with fluency until she was 9 because even words like "they", "come", and etc. That issue is resolved now (thanks to Quick Reads) but I think it's a good illustration of how her mind things about written language. 

post #8 of 51

It seems appropriate to me for you to post in LAH if you have questions about teaching your child yourself.  I can't imagine why anyone would object.  And I don't think it's important for you to be "up front" about the fact that your kid is in school, either.  As far as I'm concerned, if you have questions about teaching reading, you can just go ahead and ask them without having to give a lot of background about your child's particular schooling situation.

 

I don't think it actually matters that much how you teach "ough" words.  I'd probably be inclined to teach that the "gh" is silent.  You probably aren't teaching "ouch" or "outh" as single units, so why teach "ough" as one?  On the other hand, "ough" is sort of a special case, so it doesn't really seem wrong to me to teach it as a unit. 

 

With my kids, I found, like BellinghamCrunchie, that it wasn't necessary to teach complex sounds in a planned-out way before the kids encountered them. But if your kid has run into "ough" words a lot and seems to be having a hard time with them, I guess it could make sense to focus on them explicitly.  And if I were doing that, I think I would probably (in contradiction to my earlier opinion), make lists of words where the "ough" sounds like "uff," "off," "oo," and "ow" and just talk about "ough" as a whole unit.

post #9 of 51

Yes, I think you just have to explain your situation when you post here. Otherwise, someone like me will come and advise "just wait a year or two." Which doesn't really help you if you are helping a child keeping up with a class:-)

 

My son has always been highly resistant to any mention of phonics. He's a sight reader and I just tell him what a word says if he asks. And I read to him regularly. Sometimes he is following along, looking at the text, as I read which likely reinforces his reading skills. But much of the time he isn't.

 

I'm under the impression for words like though, through, rough, etc that many schools switch to treating them as sight words and just ask kids to memorize them. 

post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

 

When teaching the 'ou' diagraphs in words like "through" do you teach that the "gh" is silent or do you teach the "ough" as the letter blend/entire sound? 

First, I think it is fine that you post here.

 

Second, I ended up teaching "ough" as it's own thing.  We relied on All about spelling a lot and they have a tile for ou and a tile for ough so that is why I did it that way.  Each tile (in that program) represents one sound.  So, anything that might be referred to as silent, is on a tile somewhere with the letters that seem responsible for the sound.  Except E, you do use an e for the silent e--there is a book about the 6 different reasons for silent e. 

 

Although, when looking at phonics from a reading perspective or from a spelling perspective, sometimes it makes more sense from a particular pov.  I sometimes adjust wording when we are in the middle of reading to make it work for my child from that angle.

 

Amy

post #11 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post

I don't think it actually matters that much how you teach "ough" words.  I'd probably be inclined to teach that the "gh" is silent.  You probably aren't teaching "ouch" or "outh" as single units, so why teach "ough" as one?  On the other hand, "ough" is sort of a special case, so it doesn't really seem wrong to me to teach it as a unit. 

 

With my kids, I found, like BellinghamCrunchie, that it wasn't necessary to teach complex sounds in a planned-out way before the kids encountered them. But if your kid has run into "ough" words a lot and seems to be having a hard time with them, I guess it could make sense to focus on them explicitly.  And if I were doing that, I think I would probably (in contradiction to my earlier opinion), make lists of words where the "ough" sounds like "uff," "off," "oo," and "ow" and just talk about "ough" as a whole unit.

 

No, you wouldn't teach "ouch" or "outh" as single units because you have two separate sounds in each of those examples!

 

Your suggestion to make lists of words that cover the variety of the "ough" sounds is actually used in several reading programs.  Abecedarian (http://www.abcdrp.com/details.asp) is one of these programs.  It first goes through by sound--you sort words by how the "ow" sound is made (and other sounds).  Then you sort by the letter combo.  Many kids find great success with this.

 

Actually, Abecedarian is considered a phono-graphix method which is what Reading Reflex is.  However, the more advanced stuff (that gets hard to implement in reading reflex) is easy to implement in Abecedarian.

 

Amy

post #12 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AAK View Post

 

No, you wouldn't teach "ouch" or "outh" as single units because you have two separate sounds in each of those examples!

 

Your suggestion to make lists of words that cover the variety of the "ough" sounds is actually used in several reading programs.  Abecedarian (http://www.abcdrp.com/details.asp) is one of these programs.  It first goes through by sound--you sort words by how the "ow" sound is made (and other sounds).  Then you sort by the letter combo.  Many kids find great success with this.

 

Actually, Abecedarian is considered a phono-graphix method which is what Reading Reflex is.  However, the more advanced stuff (that gets hard to implement in reading reflex) is easy to implement in Abecedarian.

 

Amy

Ooooh...this is very intriguing for me!  Sounds like a really good fit for DC. Off to check it out. jog.gif  

 

And THANK YOU everyone for being so welcoming and already more helpful than other avenues I've tried so far. I wish I had posted here earlier in our journey. 

post #13 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

Ooooh...this is very intriguing for me!  Sounds like a really good fit for DC. Off to check it out. jog.gif   

 

Oh, no!! Is this program too good to be true?!?  Is it also super affordable? Is my long lost search over? Please? 

post #14 of 51
Quote:

Originally Posted by AAK View Post

 

No, you wouldn't teach "ouch" or "outh" as single units because you have two separate sounds in each of those examples!

 

But sometimes "ough" contains two separate sounds. Sometimes the "gh" is silent and sometimes it sounds like "f."  But even though treating the "ou" and the "gh" as separate units makes sense to me, I still don't think it matters all that much which way people do it.

post #15 of 51

What would the rule be for "ough"?  Off the top of my head, I am coming up with a range of words that end in "ough" with different sounds.  Although, through, bough, rough...

 

I've always felt like the "rule" model falls apart at some point and it's easier to memorize individual words than a complicated rule that includes all the special cases.  

post #16 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by onatightrope View Post

What would the rule be for "ough"?  Off the top of my head, I am coming up with a range of words that end in "ough" with different sounds.  Although, through, bough, rough...

 

I've always felt like the "rule" model falls apart at some point and it's easier to memorize individual words than a complicated rule that includes all the special cases.  

Yes - it probably is the case for some sounds, ha? I think if I can structure most of the "advanced" spelling with rules my DC will be able to tolerate a few sounds that are just learned through memory/sight words. I want to limit those as much as possible though because of the difficulties she had with sight words as an early reader.  

post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by onatightrope View Post

What would the rule be for "ough"?  Off the top of my head, I am coming up with a range of words that end in "ough" with different sounds.  Although, through, bough, rough...

 

I've always felt like the "rule" model falls apart at some point and it's easier to memorize individual words than a complicated rule that includes all the special cases.  

Yes - it probably is the case for some sounds, ha? I think if I can structure most of the "advanced" spelling with rules my DC will be able to tolerate a few sounds that are just learned through memory/sight words. I want to limit those as much as possible though because of the difficulties she had with sight words as an early reader.  

Is it possible that her struggles as an early reader had to do with a lack of readiness?  My later reader had a terrible time with sight words (even words she'd JUST figured out) until something flipped in her brain and she didn't have trouble anymore.  She reads above grade level now.  Her spelling is still catching up, but my experience with my other kids and what I've been told by other homeschoolers is that spelling often lags reading by a couple years.  

 

I know you may not be in a situation where you can just sit back and give her another year, so I mention this primarily in case it sounds like your situation and might help you stress a little less.

post #18 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by onatightrope View Post

Is it possible that her struggles as an early reader had to do with a lack of readiness?  My later reader had a terrible time with sight words (even words she'd JUST figured out) until something flipped in her brain and she didn't have trouble anymore.  She reads above grade level now.  Her spelling is still catching up, but my experience with my other kids and what I've been told by other homeschoolers is that spelling often lags reading by a couple years.  

 

I know you may not be in a situation where you can just sit back and give her another year, so I mention this primarily in case it sounds like your situation and might help you stress a little less.

 

It's very much true that we can't wait another year for her to be ready because she attends school and is starting middle next year, however I don't feel like that's the whole of it for my DC. I very much trusted the concept of readiness until I watched my daughter learn to read. I believe she has some minor dyslexia or something along those lines. But, honestly, either way I think my DC really wants to learn to spell. She's lagging behind her peers and is aware of it. Her peers are quite sweet so it's not an issue of peer pressure so much as I think my DC would rather not stand out in this way, yk? Also DC's overcoming of her reading delay has been a growth experience for her that I think is to her credit in the long run. So, even if we were able to take a "wait till she's ready" approach, I'm not sure if that would be the best choice for DC - regardless of where she was getting her education. 

post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

 

It's very much true that we can't wait another year for her to be ready because she attends school and is starting middle next year, however I don't feel like that's the whole of it for my DC. I very much trusted the concept of readiness until I watched my daughter learn to read. I believe she has some minor dyslexia or something along those lines. But, honestly, either way I think my DC really wants to learn to spell. She's lagging behind her peers and is aware of it. Her peers are quite sweet so it's not an issue of peer pressure so much as I think my DC would rather not stand out in this way, yk? Also DC's overcoming of her reading delay has been a growth experience for her that I think is to her credit in the long run. So, even if we were able to take a "wait till she's ready" approach, I'm not sure if that would be the best choice for DC - regardless of where she was getting her education. 

 

It sounds like she would like to be at age-level in reading, and that she is having some delays that aren't related to readiness, and that she needs additional support to stay up with her peers. So you are mainly asking what kind of curriculum and approach would work best to teach the skills that she needs, and that the approach and curriculum needs to mesh well with the charter/public school (will she be attending public middle school or the charter school next year?). Does this sound right?

 

I have found this site to be extremely useful for working with phonics and reading with my DD. http://www.fcrr.org/curriculum/studentCenterActivities45.shtm. Its the Florida Center for Reading Research and if you scroll down to the bottom half of the page, there are several PDF files in various subjects that you can select to download (advanced phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension). This link is for grades 4-5 but if its too difficult for her you can find the 2-3 grades and try that. I haven't looked at the material for grades 4-5 but we use the material from the 2-3 grade pdfs and its awesome. The activities are broken down into short games, targeting a specific phoneme or group at a time, and are pretty engaging. There is a bit of prep (cutting the printed pages to make the game pieces, etc) but its not too bad. I usually get the cutting and gluing done on Sunday evening for the next week. Be aware the files are pretty big. 

 

Another site we use for reading is Reading Eggs. You have to pay for a subscription, but its not too expensive and DD finds it fun. I believe its based in Australia so it doesn't follow state core standards for the US but its fun, and DD will spend a lot of time on it all by herself (she is 7). I believe you can take a placement test so that your DD will be starting at the level that is appropriate for her, but I'm not certain. http://readingeggs.com/

 

Is the charter school full or part-time? If you can get away with calling it part-time, http://www.k12.com/ K12 sounds like it might be a good match for your family. You would have to do it part-time, but that is okay because that way you can target language arts, spelling, etc and not worry about math and science and the other subjects. In addition, its free, and they send you a TON of materials (all the workbooks, texts, etc that you need). K12 is a mixture of online activities and desk work, and the variety might help keep her interest. It also follows the core standards for your state, so she would be getting the exact same stuff that the public school kids are learning and reading many of the same books.

post #20 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post

 

It sounds like she would like to be at age-level in reading, and that she is having some delays that aren't related to readiness, and that she needs additional support to stay up with her peers. So you are mainly asking what kind of curriculum and approach would work best to teach the skills that she needs, and that the approach and curriculum needs to mesh well with the charter/public school (will she be attending public middle school or the charter school next year?). Does this sound right?

 

Yes, other than I think I will do a post that asks for a specific curriculum style - "synthetic phonics". The best description I've found so far for synthetic phonics is this: 

 

http://www.syntheticphonics.com/synthetic_phonics.htm

 

(edited because the above link is a great description!) 

 

I checked out your other links. I think K12 does not have a tuition free option in my state but the FL site you linked seems a great resource. Though, DC doesn't seem to "need" games - yet (or maybe at all). It's more like she has a block and needs to be explained it until I (we) find a way to help her figure it out. Know what I mean? 

 

I signed up for the egg site. Is that mainly reading? It looks promising because I like the idea of her doing some stuff in her free time but she needs to work on spelling more than reading at this point. 

 

I hope I don't sound like I'm nixing a lot of suggestions. redface.gif

 

This quote from the Orton Gillingham Wikipedia page sums up how I feel about my DC: 

 
 Language elements that non-dyslexic learners acquire easily must be taught directly and systematically.

 

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