Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Teaching Phonics While Learning Them Myself

Early Bird came across the word "allegiance" the other day. He asked me what it was, and I sounded it out and gave the rules for the sounds. Thing is, I only learned the rules for hard/soft 'c' and hard/soft 'g' a few weeks before. I was taught to read using sight reading/whole word memorization. I can read words I know, but I can't sound out new ones. If I haven't heard it, usually I can't pronounce it correctly. My spelling is atrocious (and it took two times and spell check to get "atrocious" right.)

Having my kids be handicapped as I feel I was was one of my biggest fears when I started teaching my kids. I was so petrified of them learning sight words even Hooked on Phonics seemed liked it had too many sight words. With some help from the parents on the Well Trained Mind Forum, and the list of 150 sight words by rule at, and an early reader who refused to not memorize words, I had learned to be more flexible, and let go of my fears.

We have been using the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading from the beginning. I thought at first I would learn the rules along with Builder Boy. But circumstances showed me that I needed to work ahead of him. Which I did, but not as faithfully as I should. 3 or 4 weeks ago Builder Boy and I covered the rules for hard/soft 'c' and hard/soft 'g.' I had never heard the rules before! I have been reading words with those letter combinations before, but never thought about it. Apparently 'c' makes the /k/ sound and 'g' makes the /g/ sound when it is before an a, o, or u. But if they are before an e, i, or y, the 'c' makes the /s/ sound and the 'g' makes a /j/ sound.

Both of these soft sounds are in the word "allegiance." 4 weeks ago I would not have been able to tell Early Bird why 'g' was making a /j/ sound and 'c' was making the /s/ sound. I am really glad I did know. And I am renewing my resolve to learn ahead.


The original link is to the author's printing press website where you can buy the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading directly from the author. The picture is a link to the book on don't get paid for reviews.)

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