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A Guide to Teaching Phonics by June Lyday…
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A Guide to Teaching Phonics

by June Lyday Orton

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This book is very difficult to follow and the lessons are not well-organized. The first 23 pages of this thin, spiral-bound book basically consist of the author's reasons for teaching phonics. While I agree with her reasons, I don't think it's necessary to spend 23 pages telling everyone else why they should learn phonics. Most people agree with phonics anyway and if they don't, they probably aren't going to pick up a book called "A Guide to Teaching Phonics."

I say the lessons are not well-organized, but perhaps there just thought out very clearly. For example, lesson seven is to cover "short vowel i." You're supposed to review a bunch of other letters, then show the letter card (igloo), and then introduce new words such as hip, dip, did, hid, tick, sick, etc. That all makes sense. New letters contain anywhere from two to four letters, with the exception of "quick." There are short sentences that use the new words. The student then practices with some new words and other vowel sounds already learned.

The lesson then goes into more new words with the "ng" sound, which creates an entirely different "i" sound, with sample words like sing, ring, wing, even ding-a-ling. Then there's a section on "nk" syllables.

All that would be fine, but the lesson also goes on to two-syllable words that are supposed to encourage students: rabbit, admit, signal, bandit, etc.

THEN, there is a section which is titled "older students," but it includes words such as liberty, victory, filibuster, pinnacle, etc.

I'm just wondering exactly who is supposed to be using the book. If it's for the average child learning phonics - say ages five to eight - they don't need to have words like "pinnacle." If the older child is having difficulty reading, I doubt their vocabulary includes words such as filibuster!

I found the whole book a little confusing and disorganized. While Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is a little dull (boring), I would definitely recommend it over this if you want something broken down by words. And of course there are tons of great phonics materials out there by Ruth Beechick, The Learning Company, Bob Books, and many others.

Sonya Haskins, author of Homeschooling for the Rest of Us (Bethany House, 2010) ( )
  sonyahaskins | Sep 21, 2010 |
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