Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Beginning to teach Reading with the amazing Spalding Writing Road to Reading

My son is loving his lessons, doing them willingly and making quick progress. He no longer looks at a vowel sound in a word freezes up, he also uses the syllables when reading scriptures daily. He is spelling better because he knows the sounds really well now. I am happy and so is HE! I have seen much progress in very few lessons once we memorized the phonemes. He took a week. My 6 and 5 year olds are nearly done with the 70 phonemes after 3 weeks. They write them all but have trouble repeating all the sounds for each one. They enjoy it though, it's quick pace keeps them occupied, they only write the letters once and move through the list quickly each day. My 5 year old is now filling paper after paper with sounds and proudly showing me.

My sister in law has homeschooled for 16 years and I have for 11 and we both taught our oldest kids how to read with Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons, it's some basic phonics and some sight words and every other lesson adds a new sound and reviews old sounds, and after a few lessons there are short stories. It's boring, and dry but does work for most kids. It is also easy to learn to teach and 10 minutes a day. My oldest hated it and struggled, the next two were younger than her and learned easily and read real books when we finished it, The Hobbit and scriptures. Lessons have student write two letters 6 times at the end of a lesson.

My oldest needed something better and struggled for years to read well and fluently, by the time she was 12 she was reading quickly and for fun. Her spelling also improved drastically as her reading did.

My fourth child took 4 years to teach to read and it was very painful and I spent lots of time praying and crying even, I was at a loss as to why he couldn't pick it up. So after asking a lady from church who I found out taught kids with learning disabilities to read, he apparently has dyslexia. So I used Hooked on Phonics and Rocket Phonics which both have serious flaws in them. Cycling through these two and the 100 Lessons helped but was not enough. He was barely at grade level. He's 9.

We both have switched to old school phonic lessons with spelling rules. Last month a friend gave me her old copy of The Spalding Writing Road to Reading. And last year my sister in law found a book called The Logic of English. Both teach the 70 phonemes needed to read and the 35 spelling rules for the English language, including the five reasons for silent e on the end of words. We both wish we'd seen these books sooner, they are amazing and we both love our new methods to teach reading.  For more information on The Logic of English you'll need to refer to reviews on the internet. I am going to buy it too. You cant have too many resources!

The Spalding method is one teacher text about $40, flash cards about $20 and writing notebooks with wide lines. I use regular notebooks and kids write on two lines. It takes some time to familiarize yourself with the method. Schools pay $550 for their teachers to take a spalding class for two weeks for four hours a day. So I studied for about 20 hours and then had a friend who homeschools come over for a half hour to answer my questions. The book is k to 8th.


*memorize the 70 phonemes, say them and write them adding new ones and reviewing old ones
*write them until student does them easily
*write daily spelling words, weekly list. may move quicker for older kids
*have a lesson on syllables, helps with reading and pronunciation and with spelling rules
*learn how to mark the spelling words- if a sound makes three choices and the word being spelled uses the second one you write a 2 above the sound.
* write the spelling rules in their notebook, a few a day until done
*discuss spelling rules as they are used in the daily writing words
*sentences are next, using words they already know how to spell
*grammar is added using words and sentences already known
*daily they read their list for reading and read their list for spelling, "read for reading" or "read for spelling" so they check rules and markings

The word list is included in the book. The grammar lessons are not, neither are the sentences. My friend who taught it in school, before homeschooling her kids, said you'd make your own lessons. Make up sentences with known words and let students make their sentences. Grammar is taught through writing, not worksheets, from my understanding.

A phoneme page, with guide words and rules
A word list page, words are learned with syllable divisions and marked, there is a chapter teaching how to mark them. It's basic and easy.
 The guides for parts of speech from the spelling list for each level.

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