Sight words or Phonics??

When I was in school (many moons ago), we learned how to read by understanding phonics. We learned the sounds each letter of the alphabet makes and then we learned how to combine those sounds into words. For me, I think that is a great way to learn how to read. If you can sound out all of your letters, then you are able to read just about everything.

Today in school, they are teaching kids how to read by “memorizing” sight words. This is not learning how to read, it’s learning how to memorize. Anyone can memorize words when they are put in front of you. But the real lesson in reading is to be able to sound words out without memorization. Sight words only help with those specific list of words. But what happens when they move off of that list onto other words? Then children need to learn to sound out the words. So why not start by using phonics? That is my million dollar¬† question.

I, personally, started our 4 year old off using phonics. We now have 25 words up on our word wall that she is able to sound out and read. The look of accomplishment that comes over her face when she is able to put sounds together to read words is priceless. And then she is able to put the words on the wall all by herself and she is so proud. To me, the fact that she can sound out these words by using the phonics being taught to her makes me feel proud that we started her early with phonics. As for sight words, we don’t use this list and never plan to.

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Changing Curriculum… A good idea?

My son is struggling with some of the curriculum we are using and falling behind in a few classes. This is the 3rd curriculum we have tried. I am asking myself the question, “Is it a good idea to switch curriculum again this school year?” My answer: “If we continue with the curriculum we are on, he will not make it through the sixth grade. So, even though it will be a big transition again, I think that it will be better in the long run.” I know that switching curriculums may upset the current school year, but I believe in the theory that if something is not working, then stop what you are doing and try something else. That is what is great about homeschooling. There are endless possibilities to the kind of curriculum and methods you can use to teach your children. Every child learns differently and not every method or curriculum is suitable for every child.

So, with that being said, here we go on yet another adventure of curriculum changes. I think it will be great once we get transitioned, and we are going to be using a lot of the Easy Peasy All-in-one-Homeschool (allinonehomeschool.wordpress.com) so we will not be going out to buy expensive books or anything. I believe it will be a great transition for our son, because right now, he has the “I don’t care” attitude about school and we need to shake it up so we can get that attitude to go away. Please pray for us as we make this transition.