July 21, 2014

And I Wonder Why Teaching Phonics is so Difficult?

Apr28

Our eight year old daughter just finished reading a story to me, and unlike our eldest child who polished off The Hobbit in second grade, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy in third, this sweet blessing is slowly plodding through her basic readers.

I mean, can you blame her when there are  EIGHT different ways to spell the LONG A sound alone?
Who came up with this anyhow?

Let’s think about it.
ey (they), ay(pay), ai (pail), a-e(cake), ei (as in veil), eigh (weight), ea(break)….you get the idea.

So when I read this on facebook, it hit home right about the time when I corrected the twentieth phonics rule, and I just had to chuckle.

This wonderful world sure would be boring if all of our children were created equal, so I guess that sentiment holds true for languages as well. ;)


Comments

  1. Amen to that sister! My youngest who’s 6 almost 7 has been struggling with phonics until we stumbled across Reading Eggs. It’s an online program and he loves it. Not to mention he’s actually grasping and learning the concepts. Yay!

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  2. I’ve always loved that poem. It’s so true! We are homeschoolers. I’m relatively new to your blog, and didn’t realize that you are too!

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    Jen Reply:

    Yes, I have been homeschooling all of our children since the beginning and am just getting ready to graduate our eldest. :) (But I have many more years to go.) I just don’t blog much about our homeaschooling, since there are so many others that focus specifically on it, and cover it thoroughly.

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  3. haha This post speaks volumes concerning conversations I have with my husband over and over again. He is the math/science mind…and I am the arts/grammar mind…and he struggles terribly with his written grammar skills. So he is constantly coming to me to edit his school work for grammatical errors (we are both in college online right now). It spawns conversation about the English language frequently between us…and honestly, he makes valid points. However, it always winds up coming around to simply just “following the rules.” haha It is amazing how English is a simple, yet complex, language. It can easily confuse even those of us who love words with our hearts. :)

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  4. It’s a function of the fact that English came from so many other languages. Anglos, Saxons, all the conquering going on, taking the good and kneading it in, meshing, incorporating, and then melting together again and again. Inexplicable. Beyond explanation. Not something I’d like to learn as a second language, frankly! (and who is this Frank and why is he so honest all the time?)

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    Jen Reply:

    @Ami, Oh Ami – just chuckled out loud at that one!! Seriously, Frank. ;)

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  5. Lisa Jacobs says:

    Some kids don’t get phonics as well as others. Kids learn in different ways. Teach to her strengths. English is a very hard language to read. So many rules are broken.

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  6. This so true! My six year old is learning how to read, so I know exactly what you are saying.

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  7. I love this! I too am teaching an 8 year old who is still in the process of learning to read. While her twin sister has been well on her way for a year now. I needed this to remind me that I am not the only continuously correcting phonics and praying for my girl!

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  8. We learned Ukrainian for my husband’s military assignment in Kyiv (we’re back for a second tour). After studying this language, it became even more apparent how difficult English really is!

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  9. I hear exactly what you are saying. We are using All About Reading/Spelling. It’s a wonderful curriculum for kids who struggle with knowing when to use which sound/letter combination because it breaks things down in a way they can understand. I don’t really ever remember struggling with reading or spelling, but my kids do…each in her own way, whether it’s learning to blend sounds together, auditory processing, or whatever the issue, this curriculum has taken the arguing out of it. For all of us.

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  10. I totally know where you are coming from, it starts getting so frustrating trying to explain the 80th “exception” to some phonics rule! Eventually the rules start having no meaning at all!

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