Phonics vs. Literacy

by Joy
(Oklahoma City)

I am homeschooling my daughters after twenty-two years of teaching first and second grades in the public school setting. My experiences have shown over and over that there is no SINGLE method that will teach EVERY child to read.

My oldest daughter learned with a phonetic approach, and she is an excellent and avid reader.

However, my youngest could not get the hang of phonics. When I switched her to a sight word and context clue method she really took off in her reading ability. Her spelling is still behind since she does not have the phonics rules to fall back on.

Most children do learn to read no matter what approach is used. The real question is: what method will be best for my child's learning style?

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Can balanced literacy help my five year old?
by: Anonymous

You have an interesting analysis considering you have taught reading in the public schools and used two different methods to teach your daughters. That is an advantage that we have as homeschoolers: use the method that works the best for the child.

I've had trouble teaching my oldest son to read. We've used both a phonic and a sight-word curriculum. I'm not sure if the problem is the curriculum or his learnaing ability. He seems to comprehend math a little better so I don't think it is a learning disability. I'm wondering if balanced literacy would be the solution he needs.

How long should we try one method before switching? How can you tell by looking at a curriculum if it will work for your child?

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