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#1 of 19 Old 06-15-2009, 01:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am mostly an unschooler. I really follow DS's lead and he's a very curious and exploratory child so he keeps very busy. He also tends to pick things up quickly and figure things out easily.

He is interested in learning to read, but doesn't seem to be getting the whole phonics thing. I bought the Spell to Read and Write curriculum just to give me ideas on how to explain and teach him to read. It seems overly complicated and wordy to be honest. I have a masters in linguistics and fundamentally believe that we naturally learn spoken and written language, so I just can't believe it can be that complicated. It didn't even interest me.

I am thinking of returning it and losing $30 (shipping and restocking) since I didn't use any of it. I am considering The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading or Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

Does anyone have a better suggestion? My friend likes The Ordinary..., but she is very structured and I am not. Should I give the other curriculum a chance?
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#2 of 19 Old 06-15-2009, 01:25 AM
 
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We just started doing "Teach a Child to Read with Children's Books" which combines phonics and living books. It's absolutely wonderful. And it was free at my library.
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#3 of 19 Old 06-15-2009, 01:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We just started doing "Teach a Child to Read with Children's Books" which combines phonics and living books. It's absolutely wonderful. And it was free at my library.
Interesting! It might be much more our style! I just can't seem to wrap my brain around flash cards... which I know The Ordinary... uses.
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#4 of 19 Old 06-15-2009, 04:39 AM
 
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Teach your child to read in 100 is a great one to get from the library and then buy if it works for him (it is pretty cheap...curriculum speaking) but it worked great for DS and not at all for DD....depends on the kid. When it works it is a beautiful thing that allowed DS to get the hang of reading without a bunch of fluff......we moved on from there to Hooked on Phonics which I really liked a lot. If you use that, bring your philosophy into it....shorten the practice on word lists if they are too arduous. What I loved about it was the books....from the beginning he was reading books. In the evening time, I would read to him and he would read to me.....it became part of life from a really young age....at 8 he is a veracious reader....

now DD seems like she will write first....she is already trying to spell but is not too into words in the environment.....exact opposite of DS....I brought out teach your child to read and Hooked on Phonics briefly and my gut tells me that they are not her path to reading....so we will see.

Many programs will work if your child will sit with you and do them but that doesnt make them ideal.....good luck finding the right fit! (Oh, and if you don't think the one you bought is a right fit....eat the $30.....how I wish I could get back $$$ I wasted on curriculum sitting untouched in my closet!!

GL!
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#5 of 19 Old 06-15-2009, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He will sit and read, but he tires very quickly with just sitting and me reviewing stuff. He will use computer games though. He likes printing worksheets and doing stuff with them, just not using them for their intended use, lol.
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#6 of 19 Old 06-15-2009, 10:41 AM
 
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i would definitely check out your library first and see what they have for free. if they have those 2 books, you can try them before investing. i really hated "teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons". the ordinary parent's guide i have not used. however, i've looked at it several times and for *me*, it seems like lessons that just concentrate on sounds and blends & is very scripted just like teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons.

for my dd we used www.readingeggs.com, easy readers (started with bob books), and explode the code workbook series. we rotated what we used on different days. she liked it all & it worked great. hth.

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#7 of 19 Old 06-15-2009, 02:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by VanessaS View Post
We just started doing "Teach a Child to Read with Children's Books" which combines phonics and living books. It's absolutely wonderful. And it was free at my library.
You can also see it online. Click the "ERIC Full Text" link near the top of the blue box on this page.

Lisa , mom to Isaac (9/1/03), Violet (6/19/06), Simon (10/9/09); wife to Eric ; handservant to Grace :
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#8 of 19 Old 06-15-2009, 06:14 PM
 
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You might also consider Sing, Spell, Read, and Write. If he knows the basic phonics sounds, get the level 1 pack. It is a bit pricey, but meant as a 2 yr program. It has games, songs, and the workbook. It is laid out better than any other program I have looked at and seems to be more complete than a lot of others as well. It even includes books. If I didn't have another child coming up to it I would send you ours.
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#9 of 19 Old 06-16-2009, 12:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You can also see it online. Click the "ERIC Full Text" link near the top of the blue box on this page.
Awesome! Thanks!

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You might also consider Sing, Spell, Read, and Write. If he knows the basic phonics sounds, get the level 1 pack. It is a bit pricey, but meant as a 2 yr program. It has games, songs, and the workbook. It is laid out better than any other program I have looked at and seems to be more complete than a lot of others as well. It even includes books. If I didn't have another child coming up to it I would send you ours.
Awww... how sweet.


I am still deciding, but sent back the other pack. I am really liking the few pages I just read on eric though.
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#10 of 19 Old 06-16-2009, 09:12 AM
 
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I have a masters in linguistics and fundamentally believe that we naturally learn spoken and written language, so I just can't believe it can be that complicated.
Spoken and written language are two very different animals. Humans will naturally learn spoken language. It is hard-wired in the human brain, and we have been doing it for an incredibly long time. Written language, on the other hand, is a very recent phenomenon. Humans have had written language for only some thousands of years, and access to written language for the vast majority of humans is only a few hundred years old (indeed there are many who still don't have that access today). So, how the brain does written language is still evolving, and that means that there is a tremendous amount of variation in how different brains learn to read and write. Some children learn quite easily. Many do not.

Spell to Read and Write is a very complicated program, but it is an excellent, comprehensive program. If you do not want to do that, there are a number of other good programs that employ the same principles (ie systematic presentation of basic phonograms in a multisensory fashion) HOP, Explode the Code, Reading Reflex just to name a few. The Ordinary Parents Guide is also a comprehensive program.
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#11 of 19 Old 06-16-2009, 09:51 AM
 
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Teach Your Child to Read is very inexpensive (free if your library had it.) Very short lessons. I used it with all 3 of my children and we would do it consisitently for a week or two and then take a break. Then they'd ask to try it again so we would.
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#12 of 19 Old 06-16-2009, 10:17 AM
 
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You can also see it online. Click the "ERIC Full Text" link near the top of the blue box on this page.
thanks for this link. off to check it out!

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#13 of 19 Old 06-16-2009, 01:00 PM
 
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Thanks so much for this link. I hadn't seen this one and I'm very excited! :

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#14 of 19 Old 06-16-2009, 02:06 PM
 
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You can also see it online. Click the "ERIC Full Text" link near the top of the blue box on this page.
Thanks for the link! That looks interesting.

By the way, I have a daughter named Violet too.
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#15 of 19 Old 06-16-2009, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Spoken and written language are two very different animals. Humans will naturally learn spoken language. It is hard-wired in the human brain, and we have been doing it for an incredibly long time. Written language, on the other hand, is a very recent phenomenon. Humans have had written language for only some thousands of years, and access to written language for the vast majority of humans is only a few hundred years old (indeed there are many who still don't have that access today). So, how the brain does written language is still evolving, and that means that there is a tremendous amount of variation in how different brains learn to read and write. Some children learn quite easily. Many do not.

Spell to Read and Write is a very complicated program, but it is an excellent, comprehensive program. If you do not want to do that, there are a number of other good programs that employ the same principles (ie systematic presentation of basic phonograms in a multisensory fashion) HOP, Explode the Code, Reading Reflex just to name a few. The Ordinary Parents Guide is also a comprehensive program.
Very good points made here. I agree it is very different, which is why I do recognize the need for some plan. I am leaning toward the text mentioned above using both whole language and phonics, but will look at these titles as well.

Thanks for all the input! : Keep it coming!
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#16 of 19 Old 06-16-2009, 06:09 PM
 
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We have used Sing, Spell, Read and Write, as well as Headsprout and Reading Eggs, all were well liked by my kids and I. My son who used SSRW and Headsprout has just an awesome grasp on reading.

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#17 of 19 Old 06-16-2009, 07:11 PM
 
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I love the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading as a resource. As a set of lessons though, it did not work at all for us. It is extremely structured. Basically each lesson is devoted to a sound or a concept. There will be a list of words that you read to the child, then repeat along with the child, and finally have the child read to you. Then there is a set of sentences or a small story focused on the sound/concept. When we were actually trying to follow the lessons as written, it was horribly frustrating because DD wanted to learn to read so she could read interesting stuff, and she did not really care about reading "A dent is in the tan van. The van cost a lot," or "The tank went on the bank," so didn't consider it worth the effort.

So we continued with the word lists for a bit to learn different sounds, but I replaced the sentences/stories with things about her or her stuffed animals/dolls/friends/pets/etc. that contained that sounds we were learning (though not quite packed in so tighlty) but were actually interesting to read.

We did that until she got to the point where she could start reading decent amounts of beginner books such as the Biscuit series. Now occasionally we will still do a lesson, but mostly we find sounds used frequently in whatever book we happen to be reading and use the index in the back of Ordinary to find the page for that sound so we can learn more about it and more words with the same sound.

There are a few useful tips in the back of the book. There is also the idea that learning to read doens't need to be fun because it is hard work for the greater reward of being able to read in the future. I think that idea right there explains a large part of why we had problems with the book. Sure being able to read is a great reward, and perhaps it doesn't absolutely need to be fun learning it, but I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be fun in the meantime if it can be...

I had it and several other books out from the library before buying it. I ended up choosing it just because I didn't really like any of the structured lessons we tried, and this one with it's handy lists of sounds/phonetic concepts and the index in the back seemed the easiest to adapt to the fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants method of fumbling our way through that is working very well for us so far.
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#18 of 19 Old 06-16-2009, 07:38 PM
 
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Reading curricula haven't worked very well for my kids. When we've tried reading curricula, generally I come away with the feeling that I'm pushing too hard and my child isn't ready to read yet.

What has worked:
  1. Lots of reading aloud (or at least some, we aren't setting any records).
  2. A general familiarity with phonemes, through games and phonics toys.
  3. Encouraging a child who shows signs of readiness to try sounding things out.
  4. Telling the child that she will read when she's ready (and believing it).
  5. Once the child starts spotting words "in the wild" encourage them to try to read a simple book.
  6. Once the child starts reading, provide more books at the same level (or very slightly higher) to keep reading interesting.
  7. Offering help, but not forcing it on the child (both my kids needed to practice privately).

Both my kids have needed some help to learn to read, but a full blown curriculum wouldn't have gotten them reading any sooner than our casual approach, because the main thing they needed was to be ready to read.

ZM
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#19 of 19 Old 06-16-2009, 10:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you pers! I really appreciate that information. I really think that isn't the book for us! There is no way I or my ds would ever do that. Ds2 would probably do it, but I don't think I would go for that.

zeldamomma, those are the kinds of things we are doing. Thank you for the comment!

I truly believe my dc are so lucky to have the time to explore the world in an authentic and unstructured way. DS1 is so determined and such an awesome problem solver. I know he will learn to read when he is ready. I just occasionally get a little upity when I see everyone else pushing so hard to get their kids reading.
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