I was reading about some research done with preschool students. Two classes were formed. One class was taught standard phonics and official school drills the other was taken on school trips to museums, play grounds, theater, had books read to them and did lots of discovering the world around them experiments such as growing beans in class.
If my memory serves me right - after three years each class was divided in half and combined with the other. So the new class consisted of 50% of each of the original classes. Within three months the students who had done no formal learning to read lessons were reading up to three years above their chronological age.
The reasons touted were that the students who explored the world around themselves had a deeper understanding of vocabulary and a larger bank of vocabulary to draw from. So when they started learning to read they only had one skill to learn, the skill of decoding the symbols on the page. Most young students are trying to attain a double skill the skill of decoding and the skill of understanding the word they are decoding at the same time. (sorry I can't remember where I read about this research. If anyone recognizes it please let me know so I can give appropriate credit)
To keep doing life made sense, and did set my mind at ease that what we were doing was making a difference. Whenever I feel a little guilty doing life I remember what Ruth Beechick has to say about it. (Read about it in this blog post: No need to feel guilty !
Time to go back to the tool box. I am sure Sonlight had added some how to books in with my order. They must be important ???
I took out my books by Ruth Beechick which Sonlight had graciously added to my order as a thank you gift. I read A home start in Reading. I highly recommend this book (it has now been combined into one book called: The Three R's ).
Ruth did an amazing job of equipping my understanding of how and when to teach phonics, how to know when my student was ready to learn, and how to develop comprehension skills. These little books (now in one book) are worth their weight in gold!
Feeling better equipped we continued with our daily phonics books (Get ready for the code) and sat together reading great books from Sonlight Core K (now called Core A) But I still worried and fretted over the whole thing.
Some tools of interest
- Teaching reading with beginner readers (Sonlight)
- Who wants to be a reader by Homeschool.com
- Phonics vs Whole Language by Succeed to Read
Factor 3 is becoming equipped with the tools that are needed to teach this precious skill of decoding letters on a page.
What tools do you have in your tool box ?
Other posts you might enjoy
Other posts you might enjoy
- Factors influencing Learning to Read - Part 0.1
- Factors influencing Learning to Read - part 1
- Factors influencing Learning to Read - part 2
- Factors influencing Learning to Read - part 4
- Factors influencing Learning to Read - part 5