Monday, September 27, 2010

Teaching reading using phonics and word lists

Reading is a fundamental skill and the sooner your child learns to read the more he or she will excel.  Over the years there has been great debate in regards to using traditional phonics versus dulch or site word lists.  The beauty of homeschooling is the you have the time and freedom to use both and this will greatly increase your child's understanding as well as the speed at which they learn to read. 

Site Words (Dulch):  Site words are just as they imply, these are words that we learn by site.  Some follow the natural pattern of phonics but many do not.  There is a list of about 200 site words that have been researched and they appear frequently in the English language.  If your child memorizes these site words he or she will begin to recognize them.  When you see commercials for popular early reading videos this is what you are witnessing; the child has learned site words from flash cards. 

You can purchase these programs if you would like however site word flash cards can be purchased at any teaching store, or local target.  There is even a site where you can print lists of site words off for free.  There is a great website called The School Bell where you can print off site word flash cards for free. The flash cards are even set up in the order of the most frequency.  Books can be purchased from Scholatic and Avon that focus on site word recognition.

Phonics:  Phonics is the reading curriculum that most of us learned with in school.  Phonics is very important when it comes to advanced reading for you child cannot learn to sound out words without it.  Phonics is also an important foundation for linguistic understanding.  You child needs to learn phonics so that they can properly understand and function in the English language.

Phonics can also be taught at an early age through programs such as Hooked on Phonics or you can teach using flash cards and worksheets that focus on word families.  Free printable worksheets are available to teach word families and you can find books that focus on word families.  For young readers the Jane Belk Moncure book series of consonant and vowel sounds is very good.

Finally, a word on Leap Frog.  Leap Frog is a wonderful product that offers educational toys that teach both site word recognition and phonics.  Leap Frog toys can be started in infancy and they are appropriate up to about age 7. 

Remember the most important thing you can do to help your child learn to read is to read to them 15 minutes a day.  Reading to your child every day will not only model good reading habits it will instill in them a lifetime love of reading as well as build a great family bond.

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How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day, and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I didn't consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I'm normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. We succeed in changing some of our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming. You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

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