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When Educators Disagree
How to teach your child to read

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Phonics? Whole language? Small Group? Large Group?

Many parents and educators have heard of controversies about how to teach kids to read. We cannot escape controversy among thinking people and basically your child will be exposed to one method in school or several, whether you like it or not.

It is my feeling that the best way to teach a child to read is to show the sound-letter correspondence and to cater to the logical mind of the child. I do not endorse memorizing word lists or sentences, such as was common for a while in the whole-language approach. My approach is much closer to the phonics method although it is not quite phonics either. I do not use terms like blend/ digraph or boring stories phonics used to be mocked for like 'See Spot run'.

That is not to say that only my method works. I have seen children who learned to read from several methods and I have even seen kids who learned to read while the parent was not sure at all how the child figured it out.

But what is most disturbing to me is that as a teacher I have seen kids who did not learn to read well ever and who by grades 7-9 were so flustered and defeated by the process that they did whatever they could to evade, avoid, fake and escape reading. Their marks showed it in every subject, even in phys ed and art, wherever in fact they had to read instructions. It was heartbreaking.

So I am not suggesting that my method is the only one that ever works, but I am saying that this method has worked now for hundreds of kids and it 'proofs' and protects a child from methods which might not work as well.

If your child is between 3-5 I hope you do something to casually and gradually open the doors to reading. I hope you choose a method that is logical and teaches sounding out words. From my teaching experience, that would be a great favor to your child.

Best wishes

Happy reading! You get to watch the unfolding of a miracle. Every time I see it it warms my heart. Lucky you.