So you are having letter sound troubles (aka: phonics problems)...
And You Are Wondering:
Where you missed the turn to learning bliss?
Which way to reading happily ever after?
Take heart, you can get there from here : )
Here are three letter sound troubles that could be in the way of that much sought after progress:
1. Losing Interest - Topics don't grab, primarily because they are not crawling, dancing or exploding.
2. Readiness - One size learning does not fit all.
3. Not enough accuracy - Irregular Sounds = Big Problems
Here Come The Solutions:
Just to set you at ease, we are still advocating phonics. This is new-phonics-tools.
Letter Sound Troubles #1
For some children there is just so much life and so little time. Stickers, colors and activities are nice - for someone else. We have a son with this philosophy on life. He is dynamite on chores! He also arrived for pictures with a lizard in his pocket.
If this sounds like what you have in your house then reading has to be streamlined. Even if you love rich, colorful, in context-learning - decide you can like black and white (just this once!)
Frill-free reading is easy through a straight-forward word family book like Victory Drill. This has no color pictures. Our well-worn copy has red lines down the left margin. One of our readers flipped b's and d's often. The red lines were a good fix.
Please keep in mind that your young adventurer may favor most any learning style. He or she is what I like to call the active-life variety of hands-on learner.
If your just-the-facts child happens to be a mechanical thinker then the word family book will let you know. He or she will complete the work but not learn to read solo. It's amazing but true.
Another fuss-free method is English Decoder. Just skip the fill in the blank pages for now and keep reviewing lessons.
Letter Sound Troubles # 2
Dealing with the reality that one size learning does not fit all can be tough. We live in a society where 95% of children attempt to learn the same thing at the same age.
If you have always asssumed that there is a mountain of evidence somewhere supporting this fact, just look at your child's friends and/or cousins. There is a huge variety in their outside characteristics (hair, size etc).
Your hunch that they are just as different on the inside (in the thinking department) is correct. No amount of studies can budge this conclusion. Some children are just not ready to sit and learn reading, in all its fullness, before 8-10 years old. What is a Mom or Dad to do?
Answer: Teach reading without some of the nuances.
Syllables, consonants, long and short vowel sounds can be avoided. When letter use is taught, these more complicated road signs are not needed. The process of matching letters to sounds in nearly one to one.
I am sure the youngest learners can comprehend this because my small son told me about it. (This is a funny story retold in learning styles )
Learning Sound Troubles - #3 Variety
Standard Phonics is just not accurate enough. Before I bore you with yet one more description of how English Decoder fixes this problem, let me cover how you can tell if accuracy is your problem.
If irregular spellings are disastrous and the reception to your explanation is worse, then more accuracy could be for you.
If you explain "that some words just work that way" and your child appears to be brooding over why you feel qualified to teach - look into English Decoder.
I added a little more humor to learning sound troubles 3. If you are in this category you probably need it!
"OK" you say "bore me". Why is English Decoder really a fix to inaccurate, standard phonics?
Our phonics tells your brilliant child how to correctly pronounce 95% of English words. Standard phonics works for 50-75% of the words in our language.
A glutton for punishment? Read more . . .
95% of English Decoder rules match one letter (or letter group) up with one (and only one sound). Hurray! Much rejoicing!
. . .but wait, there's more ! If you are allergic to word-memorizing that is : )
There are only 12 (that's right, just 12) sight words in English Decoder.
Now for a few more pointers on avoiding letter sound troubles and getting on the road to reading wonderland:
If you are generally disapointed with available phonics programs join 600 other people.
Rules That Cure Phonics Frustration.
Did someone say read out loud?
Does anyone else finding it tough to teach boys to read?