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Are you looking for a phonics curriculum to teach your child to read? Well you’ve come to the RIGHT PLACE! Let’s be honest here, only, YOU really know what is best for your child.
However, it’s not easy to pick tone! If you know nothing about them. So, here I am to make it so much easier for you! I will lay out the STRENGTHS and WEAKNESSES for the Phonics curriculums, I have had personal experience and training in. Now, remember this is my opinion from my own experience. You may disagree with what I say. These are in no particular order.
However, I will say that, overall, my firm belief is that it depends on what is best suited for you and your child! You need to be comfortable with what you’re teaching them and they should be able to enjoy it. I would advise that if your child is in school, you should teach them using the same scheme to help them consolidate (practice) their learning.
Welp! Here I go…
1. Ruth Miskin (Read, Write Ink)
Type of homeschooler: Traditional, Classical and homeschooling with unit studies
Strengths: At first I wasn’t really sold on Read, Write Ink but once I had the formal training, it was quite good. Ruth Miskin helps you with structuring your reading. It has some really interesting rhymes to help with forming letters and has a very good approach to remembering sight words and an amazing approach to reading comprehension (understanding what you have read).
Resources: There are many resources for Ruth Miskin available. They have available parent guides and packs. They also have a lot of tutorials and guides on YouTube.
Type of learner: Ruth Miskin works well with children who are young and have a deep interest in reading and writing. It tends to work really well for students who like to sit still and take their time to absorb information. I feel as though the approach is mainly for the auditory (those who learn by listening) and visual (those who learn by looking at pictures and videos) learners.
Teaching: Teaching Ruth Miskin is quite simple and easy. There are many examples online.
Weaknesses: My personal experience has not seen it work well for kinesthetic (Those who learn by doing it themselves or active activities like running) learners.
Type of homeschooler: Traditional, Classical and homeschooling with unit studies, world schooling
Strengths: Oxford Reading Tree has the advantage of being around for many years! Everyone knows ‘’Biff, Chip, Kipper and Floppy’’. Even if you don’t remember learning them. I’m sure their faces ring a bell! Floppy Phonics has a wide range of books and stories to read from.
Type of learners: I would say again that this is more suited to children who are auditory (learn by listening) and visual (learn through pictures and video) learners. The scheme has many resources to choose from and their biggest strength would be their reading book series.
Resources: They’re use of characters really gets children attached to the story and learning tricky words can be simple and easy. You can also obtain parent books that help you guide you and your child all the way. There are some e-books available for free on the oxford owl website.
Teaching: Another strength is that Oxford Reading Tree is flexible doesn’t force you to follow a certain formula. It can be quite easy and simple to take on.
Weaknesses: I would say that Oxford Reading Tree can be quite repetitive. The picture ques for the letters are not very creative and don’t have rhymes to it. Some orthodox parents do not like the content of some of the books, for example; magic and music can be main themes in the stories.
Type of homeschooler: Unschooling, Charlotte Mason homeschooling, eclectic homeschooler and road schooling
Strengths: Jolly Phonics is another scheme with many years of experience and GREAT for active children and free learning. The actions, stories and sounds are very easy to get hold of. Many people think Jolly Phonics is about music and sounds, but I’ve taught the curriculum to children of orthodox parents and it does not need the music. It is active and fun and every sound comes with a story, action and image. This scheme works really well with children who find reading difficult to grasp.
Types of learner: It really works for all types of learners but I see the active learners enjoy this scheme the most. Jolly phonics can be done anywhere, when learning sounds. Outside and inside! It very rarely requires you to sit on a table unless that is the route you want to take.
Resources: The resources are many and the packs are very good! They contain all you need and are inexpensive. They also have a home pack, that can get you teaching them to read from age 3 and upwards. You can continue your learning using the Jolly Grammar series as they age. It is also available in British, American and Australian dialect.
Teaching: Jolly phonics is really simple to teach and doesn’t take much effort to learn how. There is an online course on their main website for £99. To gain a deeper understanding, it can also be very fun to teach if you like to be active. There are so many books to teach from. Whether you want to follow worksheets or get creative. Jolly Phonics has that available
Weaknesses: I haven’t really seen a strong guided reading programme for Jolly Phonics.
Type of homeschooler: Montessori, free school and unschooling
Strengths: This is very good for hands-on learners and works well at the pace of the child. This approach is also in favour of active learners.
Types of learner: All Learners
Resources: There are a lot of specific resources for Montessori Phonics- known as The Montessori Language Area. Although, the first set of resources such as sound paper letters and movable alphabet are quite pricey and difficult to get hold of authentic Montessori materials. It does become easier with the rest of the scheme. You can create your own print outs for the pink and green scheme. Many find it hard to access the whole curriculum guide but don’t worry my fellow NQT, I have your back! HERE YOU GO!.
Teaching: Montessori Language is easy to teach if you have Montessori training but it can be very difficult if you have no experience in Montessori and time consuming to learn each presentation. However, if you are dedicated you can get through it! teaching.
Weaknesses: I would say the scheme is slow paced but it is working at your child’s pace, which is very important. However, the resources authentic can be difficult to obtain and it is difficult to present unless you are dedicated and have time to learn.
5.Sight Readers Approach
Type of homeschooler: Traditional, classical and homeschooling with unit studies
Strengths: This scheme is based on memorising words and letters. It does not use the phonetic approach. It is simply having the child memorise words. Some children find the phonics scheme far too difficult to decode. It is usually aimed at children who are highly pragmatic and would prefer to learn without systematic phonics.
Types of learner: Visual. This scheme is for children who have strong memorisation skills.
Resources: I don’t have direct resources for a scheme that follows this. However many use flashcards.
Teaching: It isn’t very difficult to teach using this approach, you need to keep track of the words you have exposed them to and make sure they understand their usage and meaning.
Weaknesses: As it is not a phonics scheme, children will have to memorise each new word. This method is not very sustainable in the long term.
YouTube Video: I would not recommend starting from such a young age. I would first try the other phonics approaches and then use this method if you do not see progression over a sustained period of time.
I hope this review helps your child on their jouney to becoming a fluent and independent reader! If you want more blogs like this. Place your email in the subscription box below.
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