What order to teach letters/phonics in? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 08-31-2008, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am torn between which order to teach letters/phonics in. My 6 yr. old son already knows how to sing the alphabet correctly, but now we are beginning the task of him learning the letter sounds, and handwriting the letters.

I am using an eclectic Waldorfy curriculum and I will be teaching 2-3 letters a week. Normally I would say that I would be most comfortable going in order of the alphabet. But we are using Handwriting Without Tears, which goes in a totally different mixed order, and the letters are grouped depending upon how the letters are formed. This is similar to using something like Explode the Code, which also doesn't go in alphabetical order.

That said, I am kind of uncomfortable going out of order, and wonder if it will be confusing after awhile for my son.

Also, the vowels are not taught in a separate "block", they are just taught in the flow of the other letters.

Does anyone have experience with this?

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#2 of 10 Old 08-31-2008, 11:55 PM
 
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We've been doing the reading eggs website and I'm not sure what order they follow but it's not alphabetical. It does seem to be working for my 6yo though. My son does know the abc song but this hasn't been a problem.

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#3 of 10 Old 09-01-2008, 05:55 AM
 
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It's better to teach the letters out of order. Kids can learn words better that way, and it also focuses on letters that sound different from each other. There was a study years ago about teaching adults Russian, and the ones that learned it the best were the ones who learned letters so they could put together words quickly, rather than the ones who learned them in alphabetical order. There is also someothing to teaching letters that sound very different near each other (the stop letters, the other types, etc) to make it easier for the kids to learn). The phonics program I used to teach (and I will use with my twins soon) goes in this order:

Group 1: b t m s n f
Vowel a (short)

Group 2: d g l c p
Vowel e (short) & o (short)

Group 3: r h v w z
Vowel i (short) & u (short)

Group 4: j k y q x

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#4 of 10 Old 09-01-2008, 09:51 AM
 
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yea, we've used headsprout and readingeggs - both teach letters out of order.

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#5 of 10 Old 09-01-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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Heck, when you read, the letters aren't "in order." In fact, due to quirks in her self-led learning-to-read style, my eldest had been reading chapter-books fluently for more than a year before she knew the "order of the alphabet" past G. She knew the first 7 due to studying music, and needed to learn the rest in order to use a dictionary and create the alphabetical filing system she wanted for her home library. For whatever reason she had never encountered the Alphabet Song etc..

Anyway, my kids learned their letter sounds in the order that was meaningful to them. That meant that they learned the letters in their own name, plus D, M and G because those were associated with daddy, mommy and grandma, and then the letters in their siblings' names, and went on from there. It was for them the natural way to learn, and made more sense to me than using the pretty arbitrary order we put the letters in for the alphabet.

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#6 of 10 Old 09-01-2008, 04:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RachelEve14 View Post
Group 1: b t m s n f
Vowel a (short)

Group 2: d g l c p
Vowel e (short) & o (short)

Group 3: r h v w z
Vowel i (short) & u (short)

Group 4: j k y q x
That looks about like the order reading eggs does. Do you use a specific curriculum?

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#7 of 10 Old 09-01-2008, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Aha.... very interesting! Thanks mama's! Now, a question for you then: The letters in Handwriting Without Tears are not taught due to how they how phonetically, but rather in order of how they look. So, I'm wondering if that will mess things up or not? Here's the order for you:

Frog Jump Capitals
F, E, D
P, B, R
N, M,

Corner Starting Capitals
H, K, L
U, V, W
X, Y, Z


Center Starting Capitals
C, O, Q
G, S, A
I, T, J

I think I will also post this as a question for those who have used this handwriting program as well. Thanks for your help!

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#8 of 10 Old 09-01-2008, 11:39 PM
 
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We went in no order at all- DD went through Starfall in a random fashion and learned most letter sounds from that.

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#9 of 10 Old 09-02-2008, 05:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenivere View Post
That looks about like the order reading eggs does. Do you use a specific curriculum?
I was a special ed teacher in the states, so I have a few "teacher books." I like this one the best for beginning phonics (there is a part 2 also which goes on to long vowels, short stories, etc. I use it as the base and then fill in other stuff.

Phonic Fundamentals

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#10 of 10 Old 09-02-2008, 11:39 AM
 
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I think it just depends on how you present the subject. My ODD was taught the letters in order, that was how her mommy and me pre-k teacher liked to teach it so she did. So that is how I teach it to my younger ones now. And it works find for us. I do see how learning to write letters in a certain order my help them write correctly (starting at the top of letters like B,R,M,N ect) because doing them together would reinforce that concept more, but I don't think their is a right or wrong way to teach it. I don't know how it would made a difference when teaching letter sounds.
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