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Author Topic: Learning letters vs. whole word method  (Read 7809 times)
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Antje
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« on: December 21, 2013, 02:12:57 PM »

Hello,

I would like some advice and experiences of people who have a three year old and have tried the whole word method and teaching letters.
My son is now 38 month old. I have done flash cards with him for about two years but not very consistently - he knows some words but he started to recognize letters a few months back.

I searched this forum and someone recommended the Leap Frog letter factory. I showed him the Leap Frog Letter factory video in 8-10 minute chunks and he LOVES them. He can recognize all the letters now - sometimes there are still difficulties with lower case letters but he knows all the sounds of the letters. We speak German at home but we have American friends so I would say to to him "We say "zet" for "z" and Jackie (a friend) says zzzz" - because some sounds are different in German and English. He does not like the Word Factory from the Leap Frog videos and unfortunately he doesn't like Little Reader any more. I have made a German curriculum for him and also used the English one but no luck for a few months now.

I also like the starfall.com website and the app they have for the ABCs and he LOVES it. He does not like Zac the Rat.
I try to teach him how to put the letters together with magnet letters and with all the big letters we see at stores or when we write something but lately I have had doubts if he is now forgetting the whole words that he used to know.
I think it hasn't "clicked" in his mind that the letter sounds need to go together to make a word. In German it would be so much easier than in English because we write as we speak.

I would also like to hear about people teaching their children to read in their native language and English in a non-English environment. Was there confusion on the side of the kids ? How do you make sure they develop a vocabulary.

I will continue to use Starfall and will try reading bear with my son, too.
Any advice or experiences are appreciated.

Thanks and Happy Holidays
Antje


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Korrale4kq
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 09:17:43 PM »

I can't help with the language aspect. But I highly recommend that you check out www.readingbear.org for English. It is free and really well done.

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http://littlemanlogic.wordpress.com/

JJ: 5 years old.
Math:  CLE2, Singapore 2A, HOE, living math books.
Language Arts: CLE2
Reading: CLE2
Independent Reading: Half Magic, Boxcar Children, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.
Writing: NANOWRIMO.
Science: BFSU, Peter Weatherall, lots of science books.
Americana: Liberty\'s Kids, Complete Book of American History, Story of Us.
Korrale4kq
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2013, 09:18:40 PM »

Non Americas say "zed" for the letter z. So even in English zee is not universal.

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http://littlemanlogic.wordpress.com/

JJ: 5 years old.
Math:  CLE2, Singapore 2A, HOE, living math books.
Language Arts: CLE2
Reading: CLE2
Independent Reading: Half Magic, Boxcar Children, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.
Writing: NANOWRIMO.
Science: BFSU, Peter Weatherall, lots of science books.
Americana: Liberty\'s Kids, Complete Book of American History, Story of Us.
Frukc
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2013, 06:42:34 AM »

As non-English parent I can share my material
http://library.brillkids.com/download.php?cid=6&tid=&lid=104&fid=9287
which is based on Reading Bear.

I think, most of the parents use several approaches at the same time, and search for the preferences of their children.

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Jenene
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2013, 10:27:39 AM »

I have taught two of my children using a conpmbination of sight words, whole words and phonics.  They were both 3 1/2 when they could read simple readers independently.  Not early for brillkids but reasonable...  I tried whole words earlier off and on but wasn't consistent enough and neither of my children showed any real interest with it.  
The  for us was learning letter sounds really well and learning the frequently used sight words for early reader books.  Both things I just made myself with cut up boxes.  Nothing fancy.
They did do starfall and the first did reading eggs.  

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Adina_B
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2013, 02:40:26 PM »

Hi,
I think we're in a similar situation.We're Romanians, living in Ro, but I speak mostly English with my 5 yrs old daughter.
I've been homeschooling her in English until now, so I've been reaching reading in English.

She learned the letter sounds in English when she was about 3 mostly from Starfall ABC. (I taught her only letter sounds because those are used connect and build up words). Then it took a few months until she understood that sounds connect to make words -- first it clicked on her hearing the sounds making words -- in conversation -- and then a couple months later, visually too.

As regards whole word reading --- I only found out about Doman and whole word reading when she was 3.5, so that was a bit late I guess, because she wasn't in the least interested about it. I tried showing flashcards but no success, she would try to decode everything phonetically.
We continued to use the Montessori reading series, ipad apps, games, early readers etc. Readingbear is good too.

And recently, I realized she wants to have more fluency, that she's trying to sight read as much as she can -- so we learn sight words every day and she's been doing great, progress was quick and guess what, now she enjoys flashcards!

As for reading in Romanian -- that proved to be way easier, once she already knew how to read phonetically in English. Some letter sounds are different but the way you read is basically the same.
Adina
http://ourenglishhomeschool.blogspot.ro/

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Antje
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2014, 07:55:36 PM »

HI,
thanks for all the input and suggestions.
I have looked at reading bear.
All the sudden he now likes the STarfall Learn to Read App - Yippieh !
I need to be patient for him to "click" that letters make sounds and together they make words but he's on his way.

Thanks again for support and sharing your experiences. This forum is really valueable.

Best regards, Antje

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lillok
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2014, 08:18:41 PM »

We are also reading mainly in German and I also found it very difficult to teach whole words in German so
we did it the phonics way.
Try to build up the phonological awareness of your son (beginning sounds, ending sounds, rhyming, ...).
There are several threads in this forum about phonological awareness.
I often spelled my children easy words again and again the same way as reading bear is doing that in English.
My kids learned the most at car drives (they couldn't run away ;-)) and just before sleeping directly before
the final good night. As you described, one day it just clicked and they could connect the letters to a word.
As complete German reading manual we then used "Das ABC der Tiere".


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