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View Full Version : Weekly Poll: What approach did you use or are will be using to teach reading?



pandahoneybee
06-22-2011, 07:56 AM
(Thanks to Maramade and Lovingmychildren for this week's poll question!)

There is a lot of ideas out there on how to teach your child to read. For myself, growing up it was learning the whole word, without much in the way of phonics at all. Now for my oldest son,he went through the system until he was in 5th grade. He was taught with phonics, and the sight word approach. The youngest only went through kindergarten and they did basically the same thing. Now that both boys are home with me, I am finding that even though they both can read really well that we still have problems with sounding out new words. (Truth be told there are some words I can't even pronounce! Thanks be to GOOGLE for Google translate that says the word out loud so you can hear it!) So we are back to phonics mostly for spelling but also for sounding out words that are hard for them:confused:

I know that this weekly poll will help out a lot of new to homeschooling or someone with a struggling reader. So let us know what you did for your kids and anything new, different or fun you did that worked!

Eileen
06-22-2011, 08:04 AM
With my older dd, she asked me to teach her to read when her sister was born, because she wanted to read to her. She knew her letter sounds already, so I thought we would give it a shot in a relaxed way. I didn't know anything about approaches or phonics vs. whole language or any of that, but someone recommended BOB books so we used those. I guess that's a combination of the two, more or less. I basically explained how to put the sounds together and she was reading in about a month. So I thought, "Hey, I'm a natural. What's so hard about this?" LOL At 8 she's a great reader and speller, and very confident about reading words that are long and/or unfamiliar.

My younger dd is far less motivated and seems to be learning in a whole language style. She likes to be read to, and will sometimes now point out words that she recognizes. She doesn't like it at all if I try to help her sound out words and will shut down, so I don't do it (she's still really young anyway), but she's learning anyway.

dottieanna29
06-22-2011, 09:14 AM
I guess we're using a combination of phonics and sight words. I'm not even sure what some of those others are. My son is doing really well with phonics and sounding out words but I know there are some words he's just memorized.

DD knows all her letter sounds but doesn't seem ready to blend yet. She seems to recognize some words (can read Milk Bone off the dogs treats) but very few.

We have a lot of games like Sight Word Uno and bingo, etc. that we play quite a bit, and we do OPGTR, AAS and ETC for phonics. Seems to be working okay.

Marmalade
06-22-2011, 11:10 AM
I selected "phonics" because that's what I'm using right at this very moment....I know that in the future I may have to change things but right now phonics is what I understand and I can easily convey this to my son. He seems to be doing well with it so we are sticking with it. But I do have two other children to teach to read!

mamareeb
06-22-2011, 11:51 AM
I voted "several of the above". For my 3 oldest it was the LeapFrog Letter Factory video first, then BOB books, then sight words. Can't say enough about the BOB books. Each kid worked through those and then took off. Next thing you know, they are reading Frog and Toad. My 4 year old also likes to listen to audio easy readers and follow along with the book in hand.

naturegirl7
06-22-2011, 12:08 PM
I replied Other. We didn't teach DS to read, he started reading on his own somewhere between 2.5 and 3 yo. We did read to him ALL THE TIME. He is a book junkie :) And honestly I think that is why he started reading so early... At first we thought he had just memorized some of his favorite books/certain sight words. But then he started making the fridge magnets into words. Then about 2 months before he turned 3, we were sitting in B&N reading to him when he picked out a book and started reading it to us. One he had NEVER been exposed to before. He did that with 3 more books.
At that point I realized that *I* was behind and tried to catch up. We had fridge magnets and had learned basic letter sounds but nothing fancy - I thought I had plenty of time! LOL I got the Hooked On Phonics and he HATED it. I tried a bunch of other great phonic programs over the years and he hated them all. He is still a very advanced reader and doesn't ever seem to struggle with figuring out words. BUt he sure won't try to sound something out. He guesses based upon what it looks like and the context of the sentence (atleast that is my assumption from watching him read). I got AAS to work on our phonics the sneaky route.

That said, I HAD planned on a good solid phonics approach to learning to read. Combined with lots of exposure to books and quality snuggly reading time. Each kid is so different though. Some kids learn best thru phonics and some just don't. I think that as long as you find a way that works for your kiddo, go with it!

Woogie
06-22-2011, 12:17 PM
I voted "Other". Basically, I read to my kids a lot. Both just started reading. I suppose I could call this whole language. I think that reading just came naturally to them. One was reading by 6 (boy), very fluently by 7. The other started reading by 4, reads at a grade level of at least second/third grade now at 6. Neither is a perfect speller, however.. so that is something we will work on this summer!

beachmama
06-22-2011, 01:52 PM
I voted all of the above because I will probably end up using them all. When I was teaching in PS I taught students w/ very severe learning disabilities and I found that with one of my students the whole language approach worked the best, but with another the only thing that worked was sight words so I g=have to vary my approach. With my kids my oldest went through Kinder in PS and learned the basics in reading, now he reads everything! So, my approach with him will be to just keep reading and introducing higher level books and focusing on comprehension and fluency. Right now we are reading Harry Potter together. With my 5 yr old it is a different story. He wants to read but he has no patience for it. He knows some of his letter sounds but seems to mix them up a lot. I am not sure of the exact approach I will take with him, but I know whatever I decide its going to be a challenge. He is very stubborn and had little tolerance for things that he's not excited about...sigh.

Jilly
06-22-2011, 01:56 PM
I have used several different approaches. My daughter learned to read with phonics. Her twin brother learn to read using a whole language approach. My youngest son taught himself to read. I read to him constantly, and he had the leap frog fridge magnet set. I think those things contributed to his early reading.

inmom
06-22-2011, 02:35 PM
"Other" here also. Both of my kids read on their own before kindergarten. We read out loud to them ALL THE TIME and were at the library at least once a week (still are, actually!).

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
06-22-2011, 03:00 PM
I guess I used mostly phonics. I say "guess" because I didn't go about it in a very conscious way. We talked about the sounds that letters make, played rhyming games, and watched Electric Company. The LeapFrog magnets were on the fridge (and they're still tormenting me with "every letter makes a sound" to this day). But both kids started recognizing whole words around the age of three and I think they picked up much of their reading skills just by following along when I read aloud. I think I also have a set of sight word flash cards around, but I don't think I used them for long.

Eileen
06-22-2011, 03:05 PM
I replied Other. We didn't teach DS to read, he started reading on his own somewhere between 2.5 and 3 yo. We did read to him ALL THE TIME. He is a book junkie :) And honestly I think that is why he started reading so early... At first we thought he had just memorized some of his favorite books/certain sight words. But then he started making the fridge magnets into words. Then about 2 months before he turned 3, we were sitting in B&N reading to him when he picked out a book and started reading it to us. One he had NEVER been exposed to before. He did that with 3 more books.
At that point I realized that *I* was behind and tried to catch up. We had fridge magnets and had learned basic letter sounds but nothing fancy - I thought I had plenty of time! LOL I got the Hooked On Phonics and he HATED it. I tried a bunch of other great phonic programs over the years and he hated them all. He is still a very advanced reader and doesn't ever seem to struggle with figuring out words. BUt he sure won't try to sound something out. He guesses based upon what it looks like and the context of the sentence (atleast that is my assumption from watching him read). I got AAS to work on our phonics the sneaky route.

That said, I HAD planned on a good solid phonics approach to learning to read. Combined with lots of exposure to books and quality snuggly reading time. Each kid is so different though. Some kids learn best thru phonics and some just don't. I think that as long as you find a way that works for your kiddo, go with it!

I'm curious as to why you wanted to continue with Hooked on Phonics when you already had an advanced reader. Not a criticism, I'm just wondering if I missed something. I also had a very early reader (she was 3.5, not 2.5 though) who learned with very little trouble. I figured that from then on, basically I was finished teaching her to read - I just continued to make sure she had challenging and interesting stuff to read. I can't even imagine her reaction if I'd tried to make her formally learn phonics at that point - she would never have gone for it either. LOL She would have been highly annoyed. I think she does know phonics, she just seemed to pick up the rules on her own, instinctively. I haven't heard her "try" to sound anything out since she was 4. She just reads it.

Also, I know a lot of people who read to their kids a ton but their kids might still struggle or be average readers. Some kids just have more motivation or capacity for it.

jess
06-22-2011, 05:28 PM
I chose "Several of the above" because we primarily use Hooked on Phonics which, despite the name, utilizes sight words to some extent (the Dolch words, basically).

However, our main approach is phonics-based.

amphibology29
06-22-2011, 06:25 PM
I just read a lot to my kids. My son started trying out some first reader books by himself around age 4, and after 3 months it was like he just got it. He could read. Now at 7 he's reading on a mid-6th grade level. I hope it's so easy with the others... Haha!

Stella M
06-22-2011, 07:27 PM
Whole language with a bit of phonics thrown in the first two times.
Phonics with a bit of whole language thrown in the third time.

First approach - interesting, exhilarating, creative, exhausting :)
Second approach - slightly dull but restful.

Both seem to have gotten the job done.

LAR
06-22-2011, 07:42 PM
For both girls (8 and 5 1/2), we used Bob Books, read together a ton and library time. The result: great success. Our 8 year old is reading at a 6th grade level with spelling at a 5th grade level. (We just had our first evaluation, so thanks for the forum to brag!)

Riceball_Mommy
06-22-2011, 09:14 PM
I'm mostly going by what Calvert has laid out in their manual, and then throwing in reading to her, and Star Fall and that just seems to be covering phonics and sight words.

farrarwilliams
06-22-2011, 10:01 PM
Is there some difference between "whole word" and "sight word"? And what is "part language"? I've never heard of that? Is it something to do with a parts to whole (or whole to parts) approach?

naturegirl7
06-23-2011, 04:58 AM
I'm curious as to why you wanted to continue with Hooked on Phonics when you already had an advanced reader. Not a criticism, I'm just wondering if I missed something. I also had a very early reader (she was 3.5, not 2.5 though) who learned with very little trouble. I figured that from then on, basically I was finished teaching her to read - I just continued to make sure she had challenging and interesting stuff to read. I can't even imagine her reaction if I'd tried to make her formally learn phonics at that point - she would never have gone for it either. LOL She would have been highly annoyed. I think she does know phonics, she just seemed to pick up the rules on her own, instinctively. I haven't heard her "try" to sound anything out since she was 4. She just reads it.

Also, I know a lot of people who read to their kids a ton but their kids might still struggle or be average readers. Some kids just have more motivation or capacity for it.

He wasn't even 3 yo when I discovered that he was reading on his own. We were still practicing the ABCs and letter sounds. In my mind he was still a "baby" - even if that baby could read. Phonics just seemed like the next logical step. I had always planned on phonics and considered phonic one of those "essential" building blocks of reading. Maybe he didn't need phonics for reading board books at 3, but I figured it would come in useful as he got to more complex words and letter sounds. Ha was I wrong! LOL

I did not want him to be a sight reader, unable to sound anything out. My brother did well initially when learning to read and then had major issues around 2nd grade and had to start over again learning phonics. As a result, he still struggles as an adult and HATES reading. I didn't want that to happen. I learned phonics as part of reading and am a great reader/writer/speller. My siblings did not learn phonics and they suck when it comes to reading/writing/spelling. Phonics just seems like a building block of language. It also was recommended to help with his speech issues - honestly that was the reason I kept trying after it was obvious he could read well with out it. The speech issues were a big motivation. I didn't realize Whole Language or what we had unwittingly been doing with DS. I tried a few different phonics approaches over the course of a year and then just gave up. I am going to try AAS though (since it is spelling not reading) and see what happens.

I think that like your DD, my DS just intuitively KNOWS. If he isn't sure, he asks and it just seems to stick. He informed me the other day that I was wrong when I corrected him on his pronunciation of Caesar (he pronounces it Case-are). I was informed that Caesar simply didn't make sense, that based upon phonics it is Case-Are because the e is helping the A say its name. Hard to argue with that LOL and made me realize that the little blips I mention about phonics or spelling rules in passing are somehow sinking in and being applied.
As far as the actual reading, he blows us away with the stuff he reads. What barely 5yo can read words like conservation, extinction, diversity, complications, etc?! He has been reading chapter books since he was 4. I did one of those online reading tests at beginning of the school year and he was about a 7th grade reading level. He literally can pick up just about any book and read from it. He was reading to me from DH's A&P text book the other day. Left to his own devices in the bookstore, he picks out these awesome Usborne, DK or similiar reference style books. The people at our local eco centers get a kick out of him cuz he ignores the "baby books" as he calls them and heads right over to the adult section and spends an hour reading until he decides which one he wants. He carries around the Usborne Encyclopedia of Ancient History or the Encyclopedia of Animals and reads them for fun. The challenge with him is not teaching him to read, but keeping him challenged. I would love to see the way the pathways are mapped in his brain. It just amazes me how easily to comes for him. Especially after seeing people like my brother seriously struggle.

rumbledolly
06-23-2011, 12:29 PM
Though we weren't HSer's at the time we used a blend of phonetics and sight words. Once she learned her alphabet she was able to understand the sounds and sound patterns. DD was reading early readers by age 5. I'm sure genetics played a part as we're very bibliocrazy here! Her PS at the time was very proactive into having strong readers by age 7 or end of grade one, and as a whole they succeeded. It probably helped the school principal had been a reading teacher! She was very cool and every week they had another school-wide reading activity on Friday. Third graders reading to 2nd graders while 1st and K kids acted out the book - cute stuff like that.

It was cute when at age 3 and 4 she could point out words because she had a good memory colors and logo's! Home Depot was her favorite at the time - used to make my parents just about crash into the car in front of them when she'd yell out that she needed to go to HOME DEPOT and point at the store!

squiremouse
06-28-2011, 12:56 PM
We use Leapfrog Letter factory and Calvert Phonics for DS and he was very comfortable reading by 5 1/2. DD was another mater. She did Leapfrog letter factory also and could sting together letter sounds by 2 1/2 but for whatever reason coupldn't make the leap to making them into words. After trying many differnet phonics approaches I switched to progressive phonics (free printable books) and used them in a sight reader style. Any word she knew I highlighted in yellow, her new word to learn was highlighted in green. By the end of the 3rd book she was reading at a 3rd grade level. Funny though she is a much better speller than her brother who learned with phonics