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What do you think about Abeka's Blend Ladders?

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I'm a bit confused and I'm sure you will notice my ignorance when I ask, Which is the better/easier way to teach phonics to children?


When I was learning to read, I remember learning, for example: -it says /it/. Then p-it would say pit, n-it would say nit, s-it would say sit, and so forth.


However, Abeka's blend ladders seem to do it 'backward'. Ba, Be, Bi, Bo, Bu will all teach you the *beginning* sounds to which you'd an an 'end'. So: ba-t says bat, ba-d says bad, etc.


What are your thoughts and experience on this, or am I totally out in left field? :001_huh:


My reason for asking this is that I wanted to make a Go Fish type of game using phonograms (right word?) such as 'ough' and 'ing'. So I wanted to know which approach was the best to take. This game was suggested to me by someone who used the Spalding method.

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Share on other sites This is my HANDS DOWN favorie for teaching reading.


The word families where you have it, fit, mit, kit, etc. have the child looking at the end of the word and then coming back to the initial sound. Most kids can likely do this but for those with any dyslexic tendencies or vision issues, I would not want them doing this. They need to track left to right each and every time. No letting those eyes dart around in the word.


I don't like ABeka's blend ladders the best either but at least they go left to right.

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I used Abeka for Phonics and when my dd was annual testing the end of 2nd grade, her word attack was 12.9. Yes, you read it right...beyond high school in sounding out words...thanks to Abeka's phonics program.


While it's dry, it's thorough.


First they teach short vowels, long vowels, consonants, and progress from there.


Let me know if I can help. Sheryl

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We had better success with Victory Drill (word famlies so to speak). Although we use Abeka we went from single letter sounds to three letter words - skipped the ba, be, bi, etc. It made more sense to them to do it this way.



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You should be sounding out from left to right teaching either way, even with word families you should still go from left to right. Word families promote guessing in some students, it's best to use a program that mixes endings but works on one vowel at a time each lesson: mat, tap, man, nat, map.


The reason for the blend ladders is some young children cannot hold 3 sounds in their head, and to keep the focus on proper phonetic left to right blending, you just blend the first two sounds when starting out. Most students can handle 3 letter words, but a few need to start with 2 letter blends.


That's why I like Webster's Speller, it starts with 2 letter blends, but it does them the way that works in larger words, through syllables, ba as long a like in ba-ker, and those ending with a consonant as short. (ab, eb, ib, ob, ub; ba, be, bi, bo, bu, by.) So, when they're learning the basics of how to sound out and blend, they're also preparing to sound out 3 and 4 syllable words later in the year.

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