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Does the reading program teach phonograms?  XML
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MommyInTraining


Joined: 03/05/2008 11:57:26
Messages: 27
Location: Pacific NW
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I am currently using Spell To Write And Read and I'm interested in learning more about the Keeper's reading program. I am wanting to know if it teaches phonograms, such as ai is 2 letter A, au says aw and ey says A, E, i.

Thank you for any help you can offer

Terri in WA

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 03/05/2008 12:09:55

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TonyZ


Joined: 12/03/2008 14:56:50
Messages: 156
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Hi Terri,

The Succeeding at Reading will teach all phonograms. Teaching a child to read phonetically is a very simple process. The first step is to teach them their short vowel sounds and simple consonant sounds. The next step is to teach them to blend two letters together such as ba, ca, be, se, etc. The Reading Readiness will accomplish this for you. After they have the concept of blending, you can progress into Succeeding at Reading. Succeeding at Reading is the only book you will need to finish teaching reading. You will begin with three letter blends such as cat, bat, bet, and progress through all of the blends and phonograms.

One of the main differences between Succeeding at Reading and other curricula is how it will teach. Many curricula will have children memorize all of the phonograms before beginning to read, or they may have them memorize many different sounds. For instance, if we have a student memorize three sounds of a, and then we show them the following three words: cat, fate, and car, how would the child know which sound of a to plug into the word? The long a sound in fate and broad a sound in car are not specific to a. Succeeding at Reading will introduce the silent e phonetic with the long sound of a, and then the student will practice reading words that all pertain to that phonetic. It will also introduce the ar sound, and the student will practice reading words that follow that sound as well. When teaching reading systematically the way the language was designed, it becomes much easier for the student to learn. Also, by using introduction and focused practice, any student can become a proficient reader.

Ten to Fifteen minutes per day, four to five days a week, using Succeeding at Reading is all it takes to master reading.

I hope this helps.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 05/05/2008 14:49:09


Tony Z
Keepers
MommyInTraining


Joined: 03/05/2008 11:57:26
Messages: 27
Location: Pacific NW
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Thank you Tony for your prompt reply. So, would you say that Keepers is comparable to SWR in teaching the phonograms, but just goes about presenting them in a different way?

Can you please tell me what you suggest for teaching spelling?

Also, does Keepers have recommendations for high school curriculum?

Thank you,

Terri in WA

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 05/05/2008 17:56:03

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TonyZ


Joined: 12/03/2008 14:56:50
Messages: 156
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Hi Terri,

I will preface my answer by saying that I am not intimately familiar
with SWR, but I have done years of research on modern curricula versus
curricula written in the last century, and do tutor children from the
local public school system in reading.

I would not say that Succeeding at Reading is similar to SWR in teaching
phonics. It is very important to understand the mechanics of reading
and spelling. Every modern day reading program claims to teach phonetic
reading by teaching phonics, but in reality, they do not teach phonetic
reading. It is important to understand the mechanics of phonetic
languages such as English, German, French, etc. Phonetic languages are
built on a system, and then that system is applied to words. We could
also say that those words are built on the phonetic system. This makes
phonetic languages very easy to learn. It is not uncommon for people in
Europe to read, speak, and write several languages. When taught
properly, an adult can learn a phonetic language in a relatively short
amount of time. An example of a non-phonetic language would be
Chinese. It has over five thousand symbols and therefore is much more
difficult to learn.

I want to use the example of learning to play the piano as
that is a little easier to understand, and thus relate to the proper way of
teaching reading. Music is also a language. There are many programs on
the market to teach how to play the piano. We want what works, and what
will work well. Music is made up of a system of notes, scales, timing,
etc. If you have ever had the opportunity to speak to, or read a great
piano player's thoughts about music, they will emphasize developing the
foundation of music. The musical notes are introduced and practiced.
We then practice combining notes. Then scales are added. All of these
parts of the musical system are introduced and then practiced. Why?
Because this is what makes up music. Songs are unimportant. If a
student masters the system of music, they can play songs they have never
seen or heard before. While the student will play simple songs as they
go along, the main focus will be on learning and applying the system of
music.

Some piano programs teach piano playing by teaching the student to play
songs. The student practices playing individual songs until they master
each, and then they move on to a new song. This may seem
to work well, and this student may even seem to progress more quickly in
the beginning. However, as time progresses, the benefits of the first approach will
clearly be seen, and the student who learned the system of music will
become a proficient piano player, and be able to play any song.

How does this relate to reading? Reading is the same process as
learning to play the piano, except that it is easier. Does it help us
to memorize all of the phonograms? No, we can memorize all of the
musical notes, but we still have to put our fingers on the piano and
practice playing them, otherwise they are meaningless to us. Does it
help us to memorize the phonetic rules? No, we should become familiar
with them, but we need to practice using them in order to become
proficient in reading. Does reading books help us to become better
readers? Not nearly as much as focused practice of a specific phonetic.
Once we have mastered specific phonetics, we can then combine our
skills, and reading books becomes much, much easier. The key to
learning to read easily and efficiently is to be introduced to the
pieces of the system, and practice using them. No amount of memorization
or remembering is going to make an extremely proficient reader. Ten to
fifteen minutes per day in Succeeding at Reading will give every student
a mastery of phonetic reading.

Curricula is just a tool to help us get a job done. Succeeding at
Reading is not a new way of teaching reading. It is just patterned after
the structure of the language and how reading was always taught, and
still is taught, when taught properly. The same would apply for any
phonetic language we would like to learn. There are thousands of
students supposedly being taught foreign languages in our public school
systems, and the first thing they do is listen to a spoken word and
repeat the word. The whole language course is about words. Most of
them never succeed at learning to speak the language.

Spelling is an entirely different skill from reading. We have received
phone calls from hundreds of people who complain that their children are
good readers, but poor spellers. You can have a student who is six
years old be a fairly proficient reader, but that does not mean they
would be able to spell all of the words they can read. In fact, they
would probably not be able to spell most of them. Modern curricula
teach spelling through word memorization. When phonetic spelling is
used, we should listen to the word, identify the sounds we hear, and
plug in the correct letters and digraphs based on those sounds. The
student becomes much more familiar with phonetic rules while being
taught spelling, but we still apply the technique described above. We
introduce a rule and make sure the student understands it, and then we
practice spelling and breaking down words that follow that particular
phonetic rule. The student will have exercises in breaking words apart
and putting them together. By working with words in this fashion, the
student is learning to apply the phonetic rule, and it is becoming
habit. When they are sixty years old and can no longer remember the
rule, they will still be an excellent speller.

The McGuffey curriculum in our catalog will teach spelling in this
fashion. The McGuffey speller is based on Noah Webster's speller, and it
is only about one-hundred and fifty pages in length for eight years of
spelling. If you compare that page count to other curricula, there is a
huge difference. That is because the speller is teaching spelling. It
is not teaching word memorization. The Reading and Writing workbooks
combined with the McGuffey Readers is a complete English curriculum.
You would open up your workbooks and do two pages per day in each
workbook. The workbooks will act as the teacher. Your directions and
the student's directions are right there in the workbooks. It will tell
you when to use the McGuffey Readers as well as the speller. If you
average two pages each day, you would finish your school year in nine
months. You can teach spelling without the McGuffeys, but you would
need to understand how to teach it, as well as come up with your own
exercises. The workbooks do make it much easier.

We do not have a recommendation for high school at this time. When a
student reaches high school, they have a much wider array of choices and
directions in which they might proceed. As a company, we are
focused on the elementary years at this time.

I hope this helps.

Tony Z
Keepers
MommyInTraining


Joined: 03/05/2008 11:57:26
Messages: 27
Location: Pacific NW
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Tony,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. I am just torn right now as to what to do. I have been thinking that SWR is a superior program and have not wanted to give it up, but the time involved with it is a little overwhelming. I feel like I have learned things I didn't know before using SWR and I am looking for something that will continue teaching me and my children about the English language. I am concerned about using another program that may not be as thorough as SWR. I hope you can understand.

I was also wanting to ask why you no longer carry the Victory Drill Book. I used it with my 9yo daughter when she was starting out.

Thank you for all of your help and wisdom.

Terri in WA
[Email]
TonyZ


Joined: 12/03/2008 14:56:50
Messages: 156
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Hi Terri,

Academically speaking, we have never found a curriculum superior to the McGuffey curriculum. If you use Succeeding at Reading with the McGuffey curriculum, you will not be disappointed with the academic results. My goal with my reply was not to simply convince you to use our curriculum. I was attempting to explain the mechanics of phonetic languages. There are hundreds of curricula on the market, and each one tries to convince the customer that their curriculum is the best to use. How do we evaluate each and know which tool to use? If we understand the structure and mechanics of what we are going to attempt to learn, we can then make an informed decision about which tool to use. If I was going to study Spanish, I would use the same evaluation criteria as I would for English. They are both phonetic languages.

The Victory Drill Book is a great tool and has been published for many years. I learned to read using it thirty years ago. However, it is mostly used in a school environment. Succeeding at Reading is geared for the homeschooling parent and student. It is structured a little differently and has a many helpful tips as well as additional information included.


Tony Z
Keepers
 
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