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13 January 2016

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Erin

I hope your series covers when you start your program and if that varies by child.

bearing

I start age 5-6 and go slowly at the beginning. Very short sessions (10-15 min). I could probably start later and go faster, but I use the reading lessons as part of training for sitting still, listening, and following directions, which is something I like to get started with around then. Might as well be something we can start building on.

If they're clearly not ready or willing to sit for 10 minutes and take friendly direction, I don't think I would advise starting early.

There's also a couple of landmarks here and there where you have to stop and stand until they "get it." I think some of them might be developmental rather than instructional in nature.

Incidentally, my third child -- and only that third child -- was the sort who soaked it up from the air while her older brother was learning. She was already pretty far along by age three and a half. I think that kind of kid is the exception rather than the rule, but it made things easy for me!

Kate

This is not dissimilar in principle to the method in "Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons," which also focuses on phonemes, though not quite as many as you're working with (I think--I'm not sure because we never finished the book; the son I taught with it took off on his own after lesson 28 or so). I really liked the way it taught sh and ch and ps and things like that, initially using a font that linked those letter combinations to remind the child that they are a single phoneme. It was a system that made sense to me, along with identifying letters by their sounds and not spending much time on letter names pre-reading.

bearing

I was definitely influenced by "100 Easy Lessons." I love scripts in curricula for young children -- you can always deviate from the scripts if you see a need to, but it gives you a default to work from.

Jenny

What a timely series for me! My unofficial Kindergartner is starting his letters this week. We are going to work on writing through all the letters first, but then we are on to reading. I admit the prospect of teaching a child to read myself is intimidating. I have 100 Easy Lessons, but the script is so very scripty.

I won't claim to have taught my older kids to read because I did not, but the amount of time the school expected us to work on reading at home made me wonder why, exactly, I was sending them to school.

Something to point out about your third child is she is your only girl. Schools are set up to teach reading to average/advanced girls and everyone else is along for the ride. Maybe they will pick it or maybe they won't. But that absorb it from the sky approach is the expectation of achievement.

Kelly

But I don't say poor the same as pore!

bearing

Kelly, I actually carefully considered issues like that! In the end I decided to merge all such pronunciation pairs where there is a variant. Mainly, I decided to collapse them because it reduces the number of separate combos I have to teach.

I do say poor and pore the same way, so that one wasn't a problem. However, my accent does not possess the cot/caught merger ("cot" sounds different from "caught"; another example, "law" and "lot" have different vowels) and I decided anyway to treat "augh" and "o" as if they spell the same (short o) sound.

In any case, it's usually a simple matter to adapt it to your own accent. I'm assuming you pronounce "poor" a little more like "poo-er?" Well, that works fine -- it's just that instead of saying "oor" spells /or/ (which is how my accent works) in that word, you say "oo" spells, you know, /oo/ as in too in that word. You just parse it a little differently.

(Whereas if you want to emphasize the discrepancy between cot and caught, you actually need a whole 'nother vowel sound. Extra work...)

Melanie B

This series is so timely for me too. I think I'm going to need to buckle down and do something different with Ben to get over the reading hump. I've considered sandpaper letters, but have been put off by both the expense of buying them and the bother of making them. But I think maybe I need to overcome my laziness and just do it. However, I'm hoping later installments go into a detailed script of how to use them. That's where I get stuck.

bearing

I wish you'd say "a detailed script of how YOU use them" rather than "a detailed script of how to use them." I am not an authority! And I always adapt my scripts on the fly. But I'll show you what I wrote down and used as my reference for what to do.

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