We give children anchors 

of love and affection. 

We give them sails 

when we teach them to read.

Why Anchors and Sails?

Most children love chanting rhymes and music and for them to learn a series of sentences is not really very hard, especially if the story is amusing. So the child can actually repeat the entire text of the story quite easily giving the impression he is reading. It is apparent to me though that this is not really reading . This is memorizing and the test of whether he is reading or not is whether he can identify the words of that story in other contexts and he often cannot. 

For instance, the child may have learned “ the elephant is in the zoo” and he may have a clue for himself that “elephant” is the long word with the long letter in the middle. He may then read “telephone” as elephant. Some children have been taught to identify only the first letter and then guess at what the rest of the word says, in order to speed up reading –  and those kids may see duck and read it as “dance”.  

The second method which was old fashioned but which worked was PHONICS. The idea in that method is that kids learn to identify individual letters, then put them together to make syllables, then  to make words, sentences and so on. This is the bottom up method and very logical. 

Unfortunately it also fell into disrepute because it was taught analytically so kids learned categories of analysis like blend, digraph, vowel , syllable and they memorized rules. It was boring. It was also a little detached from real life because it dealt with a list of words, all of the same type (chest, church, chimney cheese) without a logical link to make them fun. Some also criticized the method simply because there are a few words like’ the’ or `are’ that really break the phonics rules and they are quite basic words. A few people said that if a child learns to sound out words to figure out what they actually say, this will slow him down.  They wanted the child to guess right away and flow quickly onward to reading entire sentences. By my observation though, logic should win and phonics was a better answer. But it should be more fun, and should not bog the child down with labels, categories and lists that  don’t matter to him. 

So I created a new method.

 

The method is described further at this site.  You may also want to consult:

http://www.canadianchildcare.com/reading.htm

http://www.parents-talk.com/expertadvice/ea_sl_0001.html

http://www.ukparents.co.uk/archives/teach_3_5.shtml

 

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