I feel I've had my eyes opened to something this week--- to see more clearly why controversy exists in the minds of some people about whether phonics or whether whole-word reading programs are chosen. Because of all the research done now, especially about INTENSIVE phonics, I've found it difficult to understand why certain voices seem to be so against phonics. Well, a friend emailed me her second-grader's note that came home from his "teaching team" Tuesday. It was such confusion-planned teaching that I couldn't believe it. Explicit, systematic and sequential phonics instruction is completely different from random alphabet soup where any kind of spelling goes!
No wonder there might be opposition to a reading program labeled as phonics. The note I referred to indicated that their class' spelling program would now be aligned with "phonics". As a result, for testing: "In scoring the correct use of the letter combination that produces the target sound, the actual work may be spelled incorrectly, but your child will still receive credit for the word." Also, "If there are two spellings for the same sound being studied at the same time, either of the letter combinations will be accepted to represent the sound." How would a child with dyslexia ever grasp what the rules for building words are with this type of approach? Their mite es will bee know speling proagrem. If you are faced with this type of confusion, take the free phonics training for parents/tutors available at our website. It will take about four hours to complete, and you'll be able to print off a syllabus at the end. It usually opens eyes wonderfully, and I'd enjoy hearing what your feelings are after completing it!