Our Teaching Method
We want to teach our kids to read before they go to school.
The classroom's not the place to teach their letters and their sounds.
Using only words,
kids already know,
we teach phonics first!
It's the real thing.
Phonics is the real thing.

We use a mix of the whole word method with direct phonics instruction by first discovering/assessing the words a child recognizes and may even be beginning to speak.

We present those words already known to the child, pronouncing a word, then analyzing or segmenting the word into letters/graphemes, sounds/phonemes, and perhaps syllables. We then blend or synthesize these elements to get back the original word, expecting the child to speak or sing along with the same segmenting and blending.

We then present the word in one or more easily readable/decodable sentences from everyday expressions or from nursery rhymes or songs, expecting that children already speaking will accompany the reading.

There are no repetitive drills with "meaningless" letters or syllables. Neither are there any of the "cues" of the "psycholinguistic guessing game" of whole language advocates, for the simple reason that our beginning readers are focussed on the few words they already know, and are years away from recognizing the surrounding contexts needed to make such guesses.

We find children are really happy to see, to hear, to spell, and to write words they already know. We encourage them to try writing their words with paper and pencil or crayon, with help from parents, grandparents, siblings, or more experienced friends, who can share the excitement and pleasure at their new learning.

Should a child arrive at kindergarten without having learned to read, our method is an excellent starting point for the teacher, who can tell the child to use our free online tools from home (if their family owns a computer or smartphone) or a neighborhood library with computers and internet access.

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Author: Bob_Doyle
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