Phonics review in grades 2+

Copywork, Cursive, Dictation, Grammar, Handwriting, Letter Writing, Memory Work, Narration, Read-Alouds, Spelling, Vocabulary, & Writing (many of these topics apply to other subjects such as Bible, History, and Science)
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Phonics review in grades 2+

Unread post by Marie » Fri Oct 22, 2004 11:01 pm

Date Posted: 6/17/2004

For spelling, you might consider using "Spelling by Sound and Structure" -- Grade 2.

The spelling lessons include an excellent phonics review that builds on basic phonics skills. The workbook is not overwhelming (only 2 pages per weekly lesson) so you may be able to go a bit faster through the book. But don't rush...a solid foundation in early years pays off big in later years.

I would wait on Spelling Power until you felt he was at a solid third grade level in his language arts. It is important to build his self confidence and have him view himself as successful. We all love to do things we are good at. But if we know we are struggling, it is hard to be motivated.

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SSS - Starting over in 3rd grade

Unread post by Tina » Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:46 pm

Mom Emily wrote:My 2nd grader is using Spelling Power and is at Level A. She just finished Review Test 4 and missed 4 words. Many words in her everyday writing are spelled incorrectly. Do I need to switch spelling programs or is she at her level for a 2nd grader?
Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:55 pm

I just wanted to give you our experience with spelling. My dd would have done fine with SP in 2nd grade. However, my ds in 2nd grade needed the Rod and Staff Spelling by Sound and Structure recommended by MFW.

I actually started the book over again with him in 3rd grade. He sped through the first 10 lessons, but now, being on lesson 14, he's where he left off at the end of 2nd.

Spelling is a tough subject for him. I don't mind going slow with it and re-doing this book with him until he's comfortable with spelling the words. I won't use SP until we successfully complete the Rod and Staff book. It's okay if it's not "grade level".

Hope some of this helps you.

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spelling ? for after MFW 1st - SSS over 2nd/3rd grades

Unread post by LizCT » Mon May 05, 2008 10:08 pm

TammyB wrote:I am thrilled to report that my son is two weeks away from completing the phonics lessons in MFW 1st! Since my son is a little older than most when finishing MFW 1st, I want to double check on how best to proceed. (He turns eight next month.)

I plan on using Spelling by Sound and Structure next. We have actually completed one lesson in it, and my son really enjoyed it. It is a definite winner. He needs a gentle introduction to being accountable for spelling, and I think this program is perfect.

Is there any reason not to continue it to its completion even though it will stretch into his third grade year? I know Spelling Power is recommended for third grade up, but I am assuming it would still be most beneficial for a new reader/speller to complete the second grade material first. My only concern is that Spelling by Sound and Structure does not cover some of the topics I think he needs like compound nouns. (I assume that is in Spelling Power.) Perhaps just some Mommy-made mini-lessons would work? So......Is there anything I would need to add to Spelling by Sound and Structure for a child who uses it the first half of third grade?
Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:20 pm

Congrats to you and your son - isn't it great that you are almost done with the phonics portion of MFW 1st!

I finished MFW 1st with my dd when she was almost 8, last Spring. We are doing Adventures now. We picked up Spelling by Sound and Structure 2 this past autumn, and we are close to finishing the book now. Since she had just finished with the phonics & was becoming more fluent in her reading, my decision was to take it slow & easy on the spelling lessons. I had been told that with lots of reading of quality materials, she will start picking up on the correct usage and spellings of words. She does not appear to be a natural speller.

I am figuring out now what our next step will be - I have thought we would now move on to Spelling Power and continue with that. You may also want to call the MFW office to see what they suggest.

Liz in CT

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Unread post by LSH in MS » Mon May 05, 2008 10:09 pm

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:37 pm

My son is my 8 year old. He will be 9 in October. He will be finishing the phonics in 1st soon.

I plan to use SBSAS 2 for him after phonics It may not take him a whole year to do it. He seems to have taken off in his reading all of a sudden. This is so encouraging to me as he started MFW 1st last March and we had to slow down for a while.

"Technically" he will be in 3rd grade next year, so I looked at SBSAS 3 but I thought it might overwhelm him (the reading the instructions part). 2 has large text and is much simpler. You can see samples at
SBSAS 3 also has the spelling words in cursive which he hasn't learned yet. That is another reason I am starting with 2.

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Unread post by Renai » Mon May 05, 2008 10:10 pm

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:47 pm

My daughter turned 8 at the end of September, currently in second grade Adventures. Since we hs bilingually, we waited a year before teaching reading in English- she'll just finish MFW 1 phonics at the end of May (she's doing well, I should add!).

I was also wondering, like you, to do SBSAS or Spelling Power in the 3rd grade. After reading, I've (tentatively) decided to continue the sequence; do SBSAS in the fall, and when finished start with SP. She'll already be doing enough grade-level language arts in her other first language.


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How do you know when to STOP teaching phonics - Special Need

Unread post by bunnytracks » Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:51 pm

marsha617 wrote:I will be using Adventures with my 8 and 7 year old beginning in August. My 8yo has special needs. He has a language/communication disorder. We have used Rod and Staff Phonics and Reading 1st grade. He can read Level 1 and 2 readers. He is not writing stories yet but can write a sentence.

I am wondering what I should do for next year. Should I start with Rod and Staff Phonics 2nd grade which moves at a faster pace. I could even skip what he already knows. Then later move into English. Or should I just start English and forget phonics? With phonics, spelling, english, and handwriting/copywork, I don't want math and language arts to take up our whole day. Thanks!

you might just want to buy a workbook like explode the code or CLP adventures in phonics. A whole program would be alot of work. It sounds like your son is coming along and he just needs a bit more review.
Proud wife 14 years to my Air Force man.
Homeschooling mom of 5 (4 boys and 1 girl)
I have used MFW ADV, ECC, and K

Julie in MN
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Re: How do you know when to STOP teaching phonics

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:01 pm

Hi Marsha,
I am sure bunnytracks has more experience teaching reading than I, but here are my random thoughts as a mom who brought home a good reader in 3rd grade who didn't know his phonics.

1. "English" class should start where your student is at. If he's finished enough phonics, then start PLL or something else that starts introducing language in more ways. If not, then continue to use phonics for his English for now. Don't try to do it all. Their little brains are amazing, but they can't really absorb endless amounts of new stuff every day.

2. Knowing phonics to me doesn't mean having every single tidbit memorized. However, it does mean that he has enough solid grounding in how written words come out of spoken sounds to progress well on his own. I pulled my son back to phonics in 3rd grade, even though he was reading before K. Now, he still doesn't have all the tidbits of phonics down, but he has a more solid understanding of how to break words into their parts & has done well going forward.

3. If you have your Adventures manual, you will see how MFW has scheduled the different bits of language arts throughout your week. Even if you choose different materials, you don't need to do everything every day. Also, you don't want to duplicate endlessly. For example, if you're doing MFW copywork, then you don't need more copywork in a Language Arts program.

Your children are young. Start where they are and build their skills. I personally think many kids who have trouble with English skills in later years would have benefited from backing up and doing less but doing it well, rather than piling it on and going forward.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

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Re: How do you know when to STOP teaching phonics

Unread post by TriciaMR » Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:23 pm

It depends...

There are some that say around 3rd grade or so.

Then there are those like Don McCabe of AVKO that say we really need to be teaching "phonics" or "word patterns" until college. I don't agree with *everything* at AVKO, but there are some good ideas there.

For example, the word "bouquet" - if my dd were to see that word in book, she would probably say "bow-kwet" instead of "bo-kay." Since in English we simply use many foreign words as they are spelled in that language, we need to be teaching the patterns that they might see in words. Or, did you know "victuals" is really pronounced "vittles"? I didn't until recently, and I'm 39. It may not be "phonics," but we do have to keep teaching them about patterns or words that don't quite follow the usual rules, that they might meet in their reading as they get older.

Maybe have them highlight or write words down that they come across in their reading to look up pronunciation and meaning.

I don't know all the rules - I was one of those "natural readers" who figured out how to read by the time I was 4. But, I have at least one kid who is NOT a natural reader and needs lots of direct instruction. The really frustrating thing is, if she says a new word wrong, then it takes FOREVER to get her to say it right. And I can never tell what words she might have trouble with before we start reading. She might get "frustrated" right, but "George" wrong. So, that is my interest in the phonics stuff - how to help my girl with things like that, and why I've tried so many spelling programs this year.

I just wanted to say you don't always stop teaching phonics at a specific point, necessarily.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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Re: How do you know when to STOP teaching phonics

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:09 pm

TriciaMR wrote:Then there are those like Don McCabe of AVKO that say we really need to be teaching "phonics" or "word patterns" until college.
I'm just chatting out loud. I wonder if I would call it vocab (not phonics) in my classification system. It would be hard to teach all foreign pattern words. (and that's what you kinda end of saying at the end anyway......)

I wonder if it is better to teach them how to look up a word in a dictionary when it is a new vocabulary words.? Then they will see the origin of the word and how to say it. but not at 2nd or 3rd grade. I'd just model it for them so they could hear it correctly and wait on dictionary stuff until older. well, unless I let them play on line with me on it.... but.....
Maybe have them highlight or write words down that they come across in their reading to look up pronunciation and meaning.
yeah... .that's what I was saying too. and I might add in the word origin aspect as part of "word patterns" for other languages, but not at 3rd grade level. it can wait....

After they are taking off with reading, I tend to try to move toward phonics based spelling that eventually turns to just spelling and dictionary work too. I'm not sure there is a set age for that. But I'm just a homeschooling mom.


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Re: How do you know when to STOP teaching phonics

Unread post by RachelT » Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:05 am

marsha617 wrote:Here is some background about my son. He didn't start talking until he was 4yr. So he is definitely catching up and fast! He was diagnosed with Language Development Disorder. The neurololgist stated he is not autistic although he has about 3 characteristics of an autistic child. As many special needs parents will say, my son is very smart he just has a different way of learning and understanding. He is very capable of working on the level of any 7 or 8 yr old. As my dear friend put it: "He was a baby bird, and now he is ready to fly." I need to allow him to do this work for himself and not help him so much. I am guilty of that. Working on that one. I need him to work independently since I have a 7, 3, and baby. I could use some suggestions for this too!

Ds speech is not where it needs to be. His sentences tend to be choppy or he will leave out words like to, is, are, etc. Sometimes he slurs words. I would say many people that do not know him well are not sure what he is saying. I used to repeat EVERYTHING he said. Now I just let it go and quietly tell him the proper way to say something so he can relay it to the person. He doesn't pronounce the "l" or "th" sounds very well. Working on improving his speech will be a goal, as it usually is every year. Narrating and dictating are improving. I will stop there.
Hi Marsha! Let me give you my background (short version). We just completed Adventures in May with my dd in K and my ds in 2nd gr. We began the year with all the recommended spelling, English, and language arts. After a couple of months the spelling got more frustrating and I knew that we could do a lot of PLL orally, but he could not write the dictations, yet. Over the course of the year we got a diagnosis of dyslexia (reading challenges, especially phonological), dysgraphia (writing challenges), and a bit of ADHD. So, for the rest of the year we began using another reading/spelling curriculum designed for this type of learner. I just did this phonics work in place of "reading" and "spelling" on our grid and we accommodated the PLL lessons. So, we got through lesson 82 of PLL like we were supposed to, we just had to do some of the lessons a little differently than described.

So, I would recommend that if you still feel like you don't have an independent reader and need more phonics work to continue with what is working for you and count that as "reading". For us, PLL just didn't take that much time and was still valuable even though my ds couldn't write out every assignment. He could tell me what he wanted to say and I could type it and at this point, that was good.

We have had to modify some things about the schedule and subjects to make it work for us, but my children really looked forward to the history, read alouds, state studies, and all of the fun Adventures things this year, too.

Rachel :)
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
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