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Our daughter is currently in an inclusion preschool 1/2 day, and we are considering whether to continue next year for KG or homeschool. (Well actually I'd like to homeschool either way, but we're deciding whether to also do KG. She has a vision impairment, and we would not get any assistance from her vision teacher if she were not enrolled. Of course, we're not getting a lot now, but that's another story...)

 

I'm a big fan of phonics -- her older brother (now 10) taught himself at home with just a little phonics. Our daughter now is in last year of preschool but also has loved Leapfrog and is starting to put letter sounds together and spell words. This is coming from home, they are not doing at school.

 

My question is, would it be confusing if we take a phonics approach (with reading lots of books of course, and probably doing FIAR) and she does KG which is more whole language based?

 

I just asked her school what approach they take to reading in KG and this is what I got:

 

"Basically, it's a combination of whole language and phonics through the framework of guided reading . We determine where each child's reading level is (though a running record) and place them in flexible groups at their instructional level. Skills are taught using texts at their individual instructional levels. Groups are made with anywhere from 2-6 children per small group. There is also a lot of opportunities for inventive spelling, which also supports print awareness."

 

To be honest, I'm not sure I understand. But it sounds like a mixture and I'm really not at all happy about the inventive spelling. I remember her brother was spelling in KG and no one seemed to appreciate it, there was a lot of emphasis on inventive spelling. I just don't understand (myself) how encouraging invented spelling and getting used to that is going to help down the road when they have to start spelling words. Am I missing something? In her preschool class now they are doing "Tools of the Mind" curriculum which is very structured, they need to make play plans (draw picture and pretend "write" before they start to play (even if it is just scribbling on a line.)

 

Just not sure where the school approach is leading, and what would happen if we also schooled at home. Would we have a collision of minds or would she implode?

 

Any thoughts and suggestions would be much appreciated. :)

 

Amy

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Just not sure where the school approach is leading, and what would happen if we also schooled at home. Would we have a collision of minds or would she implode?

 

Any thoughts and suggestions would be much appreciated. :)

 

Amy

 

I think a child of average or above average intelligence will be able to easily learn both methods at once. Your school's method incorporates phonics, so the teacher should be able to recognize what your dd is trying to do if she displays phonetic knowledge.

 

I used Reading Made Easy to teach my dds. They picked up lots of sight words in addition to the ones learned in their lessons.

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Our daughter is currently in an inclusion preschool 1/2 day, and we are considering whether to continue next year for KG or homeschool. (Well actually I'd like to homeschool either way, but we're deciding whether to also do KG. She has a vision impairment, and we would not get any assistance from her vision teacher if she were not enrolled. Of course, we're not getting a lot now, but that's another story...)

 

I'm a big fan of phonics -- her older brother (now 10) taught himself at home with just a little phonics. Our daughter now is in last year of preschool but also has loved Leapfrog and is starting to put letter sounds together and spell words. This is coming from home, they are not doing at school.

 

My question is, would it be confusing if we take a phonics approach (with reading lots of books of course, and probably doing FIAR) and she does KG which is more whole language based?

 

I just asked her school what approach they take to reading in KG and this is what I got:

 

"Basically, it's a combination of whole language and phonics through the framework of guided reading . We determine where each child's reading level is (though a running record) and place them in flexible groups at their instructional level. Skills are taught using texts at their individual instructional levels. Groups are made with anywhere from 2-6 children per small group. There is also a lot of opportunities for inventive spelling, which also supports print awareness."

 

To be honest, I'm not sure I understand. But it sounds like a mixture and I'm really not at all happy about the inventive spelling. I remember her brother was spelling in KG and no one seemed to appreciate it, there was a lot of emphasis on inventive spelling. I just don't understand (myself) how encouraging invented spelling and getting used to that is going to help down the road when they have to start spelling words. Am I missing something? In her preschool class now they are doing "Tools of the Mind" curriculum which is very structured, they need to make play plans (draw picture and pretend "write" before they start to play (even if it is just scribbling on a line.)

 

Just not sure where the school approach is leading, and what would happen if we also schooled at home. Would we have a collision of minds or would she implode?

 

Any thoughts and suggestions would be much appreciated. :)

 

Amy

 

I am sorry, but I just need to laugh:lol: because the bolded section must be what all teachers/schools are told to memorize. It sounds exactly like what my kids former ps told all the parents. It sounds good, but honestly, my 6 y/o dd just sat in her "spot" and stared at her books, walls, whatever, because she didn't know how to read that well yet, and the teacher was spending so much time dealing with behaviour problems that I think she barely got around to the kids to help them read. Honestly, it stunk. The kids were supposed to go "book shopping" once a week for their new "just right" books. Yeah right. She would have the same books for 4 straight weeks. She would memorize them, since we read them so much. Okay, I am done venting. I honestly had such a bad experience with my younger dd, if I could do it again, I would have just hs (if I knew to). However, my older dd pretty much taught herself to read in kindergarten, and was bored. But, at least I knew she could sit there and read. Tough decision. Maybe go in unannounced and observe the classroom during their reading time, and really look at the kids faces, etc.

HTH.

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I appreciate your comments. Not sure about going in unannounced though -- at least the way it was with my son (we just started HSing this year in 4th) you had to have a reason ("job") to go into the classroom. It is hard to get in these days! I can't stop shaking the feeling that parents are not encouraged to be part of the educational process. (Not what they say, but certainly what is shown.)

 

Amy

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Homeschool. That is a bunch of educationalese made to sound good but is not. For phonics, you get lists of Dolch Sight words and maybe a little on short vowels. Take inventive spelling and you get kids who learn the wrong 'picture' of words. I am still trying to correct my older kids' 'inventive spelling'. Ok, I will stop venting now. Surprising how even after all this time, it still makes me mad.

 

Honestly, buy something like All About Reading pre-Level 1 or OPGTR or Memoria Press Kinder or one of the many other options out there. LOADS better.

 

Then again, if it is the only way to get the services your dd needs, you may have to go with it and afterschool her.

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How interesting; that's the same thing I was told by a ps K5 teacher as well. I was assured phonics would be part of the program. Ds' reading homework consisted of a book which had a word on one page and a picture illustrating it on the other, including the word "elevator" (it was the 'E' book). He wasn't reading, he was saying what the picture was! We made the long-term commitment to hsing 3 weeks into that school year.

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I would ask a lot of questions of the parents you know in that school district. The teachers aren't going to tell you what you need to know... We decided to homeschool because our daughter needed a strict, phonics-only approach to avoid dyslexic tendencies that run in our family. I talked to many moms in my neighborhood and I heard over and over again "I was worried about little XYZ but they kept telling me everything was fine until third grade, when they suddenly wanted to get XYZ tested for learning disabilities before the state testing." (The scores of learning disabled students do not count against the school.)

 

Anyway, my daughter's best friend went to the local kindergarten and it was sight words. The school said they used phonics but by the end of the year my child could read short chapter books and her best friend forgot every sight word she'd learned over the summer. She had to start all over again with reading.

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Homeschool. That is a bunch of educationalese made to sound good but is not. For phonics, you get lists of Dolch Sight words and maybe a little on short vowels. Take inventive spelling and you get kids who learn the wrong 'picture' of words. I am still trying to correct my older kids' 'inventive spelling'. Ok, I will stop venting now. Surprising how even after all this time, it still makes me mad.

 

Ugh, I hated inventive spelling too! Let's encourage kids to spell words wrong, then go back later and teach them to spell words right (via rote memorization of lists of random words). Huh? :confused:

 

The reason they use inventive spelling is that it gets the kids writing sooner, and they want them to be writing, writing, writing at an early age. So I understand the need for it given their writing philosophy. I just disagree completely with their writing philosophy. :tongue_smilie:

 

Oh, and some schools are even going to multiple-choice spelling tests. So they've encouraged inventive spelling, then they don't really teach spelling, and they do a multiple-choice spelling test which kids are capable of acing without having any clue how to spell the word when writing. :glare: At least one of the local schools here has gone that route, and that's insane. They're doing it so the kids can pass the spelling portion of a standardized test. Those poor kids aren't being taught to actually spell. Picking out a misspelled word is not the same as knowing how to spell it in the first place!

 

Ok, rant over. :lol:

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I came across this last week on another forum - schools expecting children as young as 3 to "write" something - basically they wanted scribbling or some letters. Children who knew how to read at that age would say they couldn't write since they knew what they wrote was not words. My question is: When is letter formation taught?

 

I actually think that teaching reading with both phonics and the whole word (I am not too sure about whole language which is not always the same as whole word) approach works best although every method has its own pros and cons.

 

Inventive spelling is perhaps encouraged simply because it very often is seen as a milestone to writing correctly, but if no actual teaching goes on to get them from inventive spelling to correct spelling then it can be harmful. Also since it is a natural milestone it is not so necessary to push it and expect children to do it earlier than normal - I do not think that hurrying inventive spelling will hurry the actual writing - it would be better to teach actual spelling while waiting for the writing to catch up and teaching proper letter formation in the meantime.

 

No I do not think it would be confusing - it would probably just help or prevent them from hindering her with their approach.

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