View Full Version : a couple of phonics ?s

04-25-2004, 07:22 PM
I am jumping over from abcteach to post this!

I will start hs'ing in the fall and went to a hs bookfair last weekend. I am looking into what phonics program to get my daughter and checked out Saxon, etc and have also seen Abeka. Then I stumbled across Explode the Code workbooks and I really like the way they are set up. So, my question is- Do I need a big $100 kit with all the trimmings, or can I buy a couple of those workbooks for $15 and be fine? She knows most 2 letter combinations (sh, ch, th, etc) and knows at least 75 sightwords, so she's already in the groove, so to speak.

Here's my other question. I am planning on using TWTM method and it advocates spelling work. Is that the same thing as phonics, or does she need a separate dose ot that? I'm just a little confused on the blurry line between those two. She'll be in first grade, btw.

Thanks for any advice with this!


04-25-2004, 10:55 PM
Hi Suzanne....you made it;) I didn't know if you had seen my post on abcteach...So I'm glad you did!

Explode the Code (ETC) is great! I will be using part of that for my third son.

As far as phonics, they should have intensive study in the first grade. One school of thought of which I believe too in having done it with my children is to have a separate phonics program at least through 4th grade.

Spelling Workout does have phonics rules. However, since the phonics rules are being applied to spelling they are not very interactive for reading purposes. Spelling workout is also a workbook unlike an interactive phonics instruction. You might need to go sequentially through a good phonics program. Most start with initial consonant sounds (beginning phoneme or sound) and work through, short vowels, long vowels, digraphs and dipthongs. They don't need to know all the sounds of the letters or blends to start reading good.

If she is doing blends, then she probably has down CVC (consonant vowel consonant) words like fat,cat, bat, mop, pop, win, fin,etc. RIGHT? Rhyming is so important and recognizing cvc words because they eventually make up bigger words. If she understands how they are formed and letter pairs (example ow makes ow as in cow and ow as in mow) then as she gets better at her reading you can ask her to *look for the word part she knows within the bigger word *. For example, *catastrophic*. YOu can reason that she knows CAT and STR and that PH is one way of say the /f/sound..this gives her the clues she needs as her reading level increases. Hence the need to have a good phonics program and lots of practice with easy readers.

So I'm from the *school*that feels before you can start spelling you need to learn what letters to use. Spelling is applying the phonics rules of reading into spelling.

If a child gets a good intensive grounding in phonics in the early grades and is reading very well by the end of first grade, then she is well on her way to becoming a good reader.

Explode the Code is good, Saxon phonics is good and WTM is coming out with a good primer called The ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading by Jessie Wise in a couple of months.

The problem with a lot of phonics programs is they want the child to write. Most children's reading skills are way ahead of their writing.

I used Steck Vaughn workbook along with Calvert's teaching manual that they sell. I substituted letter tiles to form the letter combination or words when I taught phonics. I bought Spelling Time atWalmart. its a spelling game that comes with lowercase plastic letter tiles. We used that part of the year, until the children get control over their motor skills which is about 1/2 way through first grade.

Does this help?:D


04-27-2004, 11:44 AM
Yes, thanks Tina. My main concern was whether or not I could get by without buying a huge kit like the Saxon curriculum. You're saying I should hold off on the spelling until she's reading like a pro, correct?