Teaching boys often involves teaching mechanical thinkers.
Not all boys are mechanical.
Girls can be mechanical too. -True.
Still, it seems that thinkers who are predominantly mechanical at the age when they are learning to read are boys.
What happens in these cases?
The mechanical thinker needs to know precisely how letters and sounds fit together. They need the precision of different types of letter sounds, but they can't learn them on their own.
Teaching a general oo sound and not explaining why and when the sound will not work is a dirty trick to a mechanical thinker. What if multiplication tables really did not contain only whole numbers answers all the time? Would we still teach only whole numbers and expect a child to pick up on his own when an answer might be off by a few decimal points?
I have seen phonics perceived by young minds in this way (to varying degrees). The glitch slows or stalls reading progress.
The paragraphs I've just added are from my learning letter sounds. It's a bit lengthy. If you have a boy and nothing on the market for teaching phonics has worked yet, its worth your time to read it. It is based on our family's experience and tons of researching.
Why does everything out there fail mechanical thinkers who are learning to read?
Because current, standard phonics only accurately predicts the sound a letter will make 50-75% of the time.
That's A Problem!
A mechanical thinker needs precision. Even 75% accuracy does not cut it.
You may remember from our homepage: one student asked "Is phonics even a system at all?" He is a mechanical thinker. We called him the mower magnet. He could tell me the type of belts on the tractors our neighbors used to mow their lawns. Phonics was too inconsistent to be worth learning to him.
So here is the really serious part. The letter sounds article explains that audio and other styles of thinkers fill in the gaps for phonics on their own. Mechanical thinkers can't. Nothing available today, other than English Decoder (that we have found- and we looked hard) explains it to them.
Conclusion: Anyone may learn to read really well with English Decoder. For mechanical thinkers it may be the only way they can learn.
Without our more accurate phonics, those raising reading boys (especially boys who are mechanical) may very well fail.
Read more in 3 Ways Standard Phonics Fails Boys
If you have hit a snag in teaching reading boys, learn about the different kinds of letter sounds. See how your mechanical genius is a gifted thinker who can really read.
Not sure if you have a mechanical thinker? Read about the types of people who I would recommend starting with English Decoder worksheets to get an idea.