kimber79 wrote:I'm looking for some information on the difference between learning phonics/to read with the blend ladder vs. word families. My son is 5 and we'll start kinder in Sept. He already knows the majority of his letter sounds and can read several two- and three-letter words once he learned the words at and cat (we mix the first letter around to make more words.) He's also started reading some of the words from the -it family and -ad family. Since we began this way, I noticed after reading through the kinder TM that ladder blending is taught (using sa- then adding t, m, n, on the end vs. learning -at and then adding c, h, f, etc. at the beginning of the word.)
I'm curious to know if anyone can share whether there's a major difference in how this is taught and if there will be confusion for my son when we begin our lessons in the fall. I could definitely see that using a blend ladder would help him review some of his letter sounds that he knows but the word families also have helped him to accurately sound out the letters. Should we continue with word families and use the blend ladder as review? Any thoughts or ideas??
Thanks in advance!
I'm sure the experts will disagree and have their debates and rebuttals and all of that.
When I was getting ready to teach my oldest how to read, I went to the library and got some books on how to teach your child to read. They were different. oh dear. I didn't have a clue what to do.
So I bought a program that seemed to do both blend approach with syllables and then do it as word families for new words.
Looking back, I still don't know the theories out there about how to teach reading. I just know that working with syllables and blending sounds works for a lot of children and gives them the tools to approach new words, and eventually with more syllables. Yes, there will be patterns along the way with some of it.
I'd go with MFW K as main approach and if you want to use some word families on the side for some things, that's ok. You asked will this mess him up if you started with word families and then moved to a phonics blend approach? It shouldn't for most children unless they really aren't learning how to put it all together on their own. We read from left to right, dont' we?
anyway, I'm no expert, but just wanting to share that my worries never panned out to reality. I know that my children were taught with blend methods and had some word families things thrown at them from TV shows, and speech therapy (to distinguish beginning sounds). and doing both wasn't an issue. But from the teacher side of it, I'd use the one that I have an actual step by step instruction.
One advantage of word families is that some kiddos might transition easier from short to long vowels.
Honestly, though, there are tons of ways to teach how to read. I'm not going to say no child will have problems..... but in most cases it will not be an issue. will it bother autistics, dyslexia, etc.. maybe. (remember, I have an autie).
all children and teachers will hit road blocks when learning to read. So, there might be times a teacher will hit a natural road blocks or a slow down point. It doesn't always mean to toss a curriculum/program/method. Sometimes it means, slow down, review, add games, relax. Some parts will be very easy for a child, then something seems horrible. don't stress. review, games, fun, help. smile. keep going.
P.S. I meant to also suggest some thinking points.... If he has already shown this much interest in learning to read, why wait until September to start MFW K? He's already 5. He doesn't have to be reading in order to start MFW K. Going faster doesn't matter. Work more on hand writing and letter formation with him. Ask him to put together and spell the words that he can read. Try to dictate short 4 word sentences that go with the words he can read. Don't rush too far ahead in reading skills between now and start of a program. Work on fine motor and pencil holding and tracing letters and putting words together. Have him tell you stories, you write them down and let him draw a picture or two for the story.
I'd worry more about leaving those things out, rather than learning differences between theories of word family vs. blend ladders.
the best source of info in this is to call MFW's office. it gets confusing unless we're all around a kitchen table in person...