Are you confused by all the different approaches to reading? Do you view each new advertisement for a new and improved phonics program with a degree of skepticism? Mary Pecci does a masterful job of sorting out the hype and helping us get down to the job of teaching our children how to read.
She gives us a good overview of current reading methods and explains that schoolteachers are not taught one correct way to teach reading. Thus, there is no continuity in reading instruction and our children are the victims of educational experimentation. Ms. Pecci gives us a uniform, yet versatile approach, because her book can be used along with any basal reading series or reading material of your choosing.
The method begins with teaching the prerequisite skills: the alphabet (letter recognition) and the sounds of consonants, digraphs, and vowels. She gives plenty of powerful, but simple, ways to introduce, then reinforce these concepts. The student then moves to a reading series of their choosing (many home schoolers like the Pathway readers). Using the vocabulary list at the back of the reader, the new words are introduced. In the beginning, the teacher gives the student an oral sentence that ends with the word being introduced. For example, to introduce the vocabulary word COME the teacher would say, "When I call you, I want you to ______." The students then sounds and underlines the left-to-right phonics clues in the word that will help him recognize it the next time it is encountered. If a word like AND is being introduced, the teacher gives an oral sentence using the word, such as "This word is AND, as in 'I see you and John.'" The student then, as always, sounds and underlines the left-to-right phonics clues in the word.
Students are next introduced to sight families as they are encountered. For example, the word HER. The student names the family ER and reads the word. A similar approach is followed for short vowel families. For example, with the word BIG, have the student underline IG, sound out the IG family, and say the word. Multi-syllable words are analyzed with each syllable treated as a separate word. Students are then introduced to long vowel families. Any exceptions are introduced with the "What's the clue?" technique. As the child gains facility and a repertoire of phonetic knowledge, approach each new word with these questions - what is the first vowel, what is the family, what is the word?
With a library card and this book, any child can learn to read - and any parent can facilitate the process. Sometimes we overcomplicate our work as home schoolers. This method gives a complete, simple, foolproof approach. Everything you need is contained within the covers of the book - making flashcards, games, worksheets, and more!
This method can be used effectively with a beginning reader, but can also be used for struggling readers. Following the step-by-step procedures, you can help your child achieve reading success, which may have once seemed impossible.