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Thursday, 30 June 2016

All About Reading & Spelling

When my eldest had just turned 4, I began to teach him to read. We were considering home education, and I thought that doing a little gentle phonics each day would give me a bit of a feel for what home education would be like. I knew he was young to begin, and I didn't have huge expectations, but I started anyway.

I bought a Jolly Phonics book, and used the activities, work sheets and flash cards in it. It worked. Within a short period of time, he was reading fluently and beginning to write and spell well. He found reading and spelling unusually easy - which certainly made life easy for me too.

With my second son, I used the same Jolly Phonics material. He learned in a slow and steady fashion, and became a very good reader with a love of books. He struggled, however, with spelling. It wasn't dreadful by any means, but it was an area that we were constantly reviewing. Looking back, a more thorough programme would have been hugely beneficial.

It was clear, however, that my third son would need a completely different approach. He had a significant speech problem. He struggled to hear the different sounds, and there were many sounds he couldn't say at all. When he was 5, he still didn't say any sound clusters at all (tr, fr, bl, cl, etc.). On the advice of a speech therapist, I held off teaching him to read at all until he was nearly 6 and his speech had begun to improve significantly.

Once he was ready to learn to read, I decided that the Jolly Phonics resources I had used in the past would be insufficient. A friend was using All About Spelling, and after looking at the material online, I decided it would be worth investing in All About Reading for my son.

I began with the Kindergarten material, as this covered working on hearing the sounds at a very simple level, which I thought would help my son. Once we had completed this level, we plunged into All About Reading level 1. I am very impressed with this curriculum. It is extremely thorough, and gives a child all the skills they need to decode words. There is plenty of review built in, and you can go at the right pace for your child.

There are flashcards, both for individual phonograms, and for a selection of words that the child should be able to decode.

Flascards

There are activity books (consumable) which have a variety of games and fluency sheets to help your child practise and practise their reading skills.

An Activity

Readers are also included. The stories are varied, and, importantly, are all completely decodable by your child if you follow the curriculum. My son finds this very satisfying.

A Book From Level 4

The Text

In addition, there are magnetic tiles which are used to help your child divide up individual words into syllables which can be read using phonics rules.

Magnetic Tiles on a Whiteboard

This is not a cheap option, but in my opinion it is worth the investment. Everything is included, and it is a very thorough phonics programme.

My now 7 year old has flown using this material. We are now part way through the 4th and final level, and he reads everything in sight. He tries to sing the songs at church, and reads the Bible to himself during his devotions. He is reading Stig of the Dump to himself (though slowly). It is astonishing to see. His speech has also improved as he has learned to read words with the correct sounds.

Once we had completed level 1 of  All About Reading, we began to use All About Spelling too. Again, this has been very effective, and my 7 year old is now very happy writing letters to friends and relatives with minimal help, and reasonable spelling.

In addition, his older brother now joins him for spelling lessons, and there has been a very marked improvement in his spelling since.

I am extremely happy with these resources. They are fairly expensive, and very time intensive for me, but they work for us. It is a joy to see my son reading and loving reading; well worth the time and money invested.

1 comment:


  1. Reading Makes Your Child Smarter

    Reading is known to have numerous benefits. It increases your world knowledge, enhances your vocabulary, and works to improve your reading comprehension abilities.

    But did you know that reading can actually make you smarter?

    In fact, reading not only can make a child smarter, the very act of reading can even help to compensate for modest levels of cognitive ability in children by building their vocabulary and general knowledge! This is a finding reported by researchers Cunningham and Stanovich in a report titled "What Reading Does For the Mind".

    The simple fact here is that reading can make your child smarter, and that learning to read early on is directly linked to later success in life.

    1) Did you know that your child's vocabulary at 3 years old predicts his or her grade one reading success? [1]

    2) Did you know that vocabulary and reading ability in first grade strongly predicts grade 11 outcomes? [2]

    3) Did you know that your child's reading skill in grade 3 directly influences high school graduation? Studies have found that children who cannot read proficiently by grade 3 are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers! [3]

    >> Give your child the best possible head start. Teach your child to read today. Click here to learn how.

    But how do you teach a young child to read, and isn't that the job of the school and teachers?

    You can't be more wrong...

    With the right tools, knowledge, and techniques, teaching young children to read can be a simple and effective process. I'd like to introduce you to a fantastic reading program called Children Learning Reading, a super effective method for teaching children to read - even children as young as just 2 or 3 years old.

    The creators of this program have used it to teach their four children to read before age 3, and by reading, I mean real, phonetic reading.

    I can understand if you find that hard to believe... In fact, I had a difficult time believing it myself as well... that is, until I saw the videos they posted documenting the reading progress of the their children - not to mention all the videos other parents have sent in showcasing their children's reading progress after using the Children Learning Program. After learning more about their methods and techniques, it became clear how it's possible to teach young children to read effectively.

    It is truly within your ability to teach your child to read in a relatively short period of time spending just 10 to 15 minutes each day.

    >> Click here now to watch the videos and start teaching your child to read.

    1. Vocabulary Development and Instruction: A Prerequisite for School Learning
    Andrew Biemiller, University of Toronto

    2. Early reading acquisition and its relation to reading experience and ability 10 years later.
    Cunningham AE, Stanovich KE.

    3. Double Jeopardy How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation
    Donald J. Hernandez, Hunter College and the Graduate Center,

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