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How do I avoid mixed methods reading.

(37 Posts)
Carla123 Thu 15-Nov-12 00:28:23

Having read through many posts on the benefits of systematic phonics, I am convinced. However, much to my disappointment, Dd's school uses the old ORT reading scheme books, with corresponding lists of sight words. I am trying to get around this by segmenting the sight words and explaining the sounds. This is mostly fine, though I am having to cover some sounds and graphemes that (reception) Dd hasn't been taught in school yet. It feels too soon to discuss the alternative spellings within some of the 'tricky' sight words, until Dd learns them in class. I am reluctant to simply let her learn the sight words as 'sight words'. What do I do? Should I go ahead and teach Dd the alternative spellings myself, as they come up, or give in to the mixed methods? I don't want to confuse Dd.

Pozzled Sat 17-Nov-12 11:25:15

OP, I am in exactly the same position with my reception DD. I have basically decided that we will do the synthetic phonics at home, using our own books- Songbirds and ORT phonics. We're also using the Reading Eggs website which is mostly SP with a few 'sight words'.

When she has sight words to learn, I explain the tricky phonemes and then get her to practise sounding it as normal. I also make connections with other words. So the school sent home 'he' I taught her that the 'e' makes 'ee' and showed her that it's the same in me, we etc. So she can sound out around 5 New words instead of having learned one by rote.

We do read the school books together as well, and we look at and talk about the pictures. But I make it clear that she is to read the words by sounding, not guessing. If she doesn't know a phoneme I might either: a) tell her the word b) tell her the phoneme and just move on or c) sit down and teach her the grapheme- phoneme correspondance. It depends how common the grapheme is and how tired she is.

mrz Fri 16-Nov-12 21:23:33

also remember learnandsay has been teaching her daughter to read since she was two

CecilyP Fri 16-Nov-12 21:13:11

I don't think it is a matter of either agreeing or disagreeing. Learnandsay is simply reporting what actually happened. Her DD managed to work it out from the limited information she already had. No doubt if she had been formally taught (and remembered) that aigh made and an ay sound, she could have used that, but don't forget she is only in the first term of reception.

mrz Fri 16-Nov-12 17:19:10


mrz Fri 16-Nov-12 17:18:40

So you agree that it's more useful for a child to incorrectly sound out

<s> <t> <r> <a> <ie> <t> that to be told <aigh> in this word spells the sound "ay"? Unbelievable!

SenClayDavis Fri 16-Nov-12 16:06:36

It not on that particular code chart, but it is on other PI code charts. 'Aigh' is taught as part unit 9 of PI.

CecilyP Fri 16-Nov-12 14:34:39

I think that rather takes us back to what learnandsay was saying.

maizieD Fri 16-Nov-12 14:17:32

I suspect that 'aigh' is missing because it is not one of the common ways of spelling /ay/. The chart doesn't show every single letter/sound correspondence, just the most common ones.

However, if they have been taught good 'phonics', most children are quite happy to accept that it is a way of spelling the /ay/ sound when it is pointed out to them.

For the more rare correspondences this 'incidental' teaching is just fine.

CecilyP Fri 16-Nov-12 13:58:45

'aigh' seems to be missing - unless I am looking in the wroing place.

maizieD Fri 16-Nov-12 13:56:59

Excellent, Carla123. You can't go wrong with one of Debbie's charts. What she doesn't know about phonics and teaching phonics would go on the back of a postage stamp!

Carla123 Fri 16-Nov-12 13:44:03

I have been using this as a guide.

learnandsay Thu 15-Nov-12 22:37:45

Er, no. The point is that your ay is pretty useless if she's never going to need it.

mrz Thu 15-Nov-12 22:12:29

Well since there are none where <aigh> is "igh" you seem to be missing the point.

learnandsay Thu 15-Nov-12 22:09:34

Please name them.

mrz Thu 15-Nov-12 22:08:19

more than they will encounter that are sounded out "igh"

learnandsay Thu 15-Nov-12 22:06:05

How many "aigh" words is the child (or the adult) likely to come across which don't contain the entire word "straight"?

mrz Thu 15-Nov-12 22:04:08

It's a very straightforward process learnandsay .... the adult reading with the child notices that there is a word in the text containing a spelling the child won't know so they say <aigh> is how we spell the "ay" sound in this word and then the child can sound out the word first attempt.

learnandsay Thu 15-Nov-12 22:00:36

There seem to be 44 words containing aigh, of which the overwhelming majority contain the entire word straight. The others:


I've never heard of.


I think, on that basis, I'll let her carry on with her home-made method. It works for her and she's unlikely to come across the other eight words.

mrz Thu 15-Nov-12 21:53:44

s-t-r-ay-t (aigh is a way to spell the sound "ay")

learnandsay Thu 15-Nov-12 21:51:33

And she should have been doing what?

mrz Thu 15-Nov-12 21:48:25

meaning ...if she's doing that she's been badly taught.

learnandsay Thu 15-Nov-12 21:44:05

Meaning what?

mrz Thu 15-Nov-12 21:42:11

"She can sound out stra igh (eye) t" oh I hope not! shock

learnandsay Thu 15-Nov-12 21:38:41

Maybe the child can either read, or work out the word herself. There's no need to expect that she can't just because it's spelt oddly. My daughter seems to have no problem with the word straight. She can sound out stra igh (eye) t

stra-eye-t (that makes no sense.) But she voluntarily translates that nonsense into the word straight. I have no idea how she does it. But she does it. She also does that type of thing with loads of other words too. My suspicion is it's because she knows how to speak and she's mapping the written words onto the language that she understands in speech.

mrz Thu 15-Nov-12 21:26:44

Carla explain the tricky spelling of the sounds in the words ... you'll be surprised how easily your daughter takes it in her stride even if she hasn't been formally taught it yet.

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