Continuing on the subject of reading, I got into a conversation with a dear friend of mine who is also a homeschooler, mashaa`Allaah and we were exchanging our experiences on teaching our children to read. We had slightly different approaches and I wonder whether anyone can share their experiences too.
Umm J: Does not show flashcards of words with pictures, stating to the child what the word is – obviously the child will ‘know’ what it is due to recognition of the picture. Umm J prefers to do pure phonectics, working with the sound of the letters and helping child connect sound with letter, then spelling it out.
Umm A: Implements the showing of words (i.e. apple), teaching the child each letter of the word and getting them to learn words through this medium. Her third child learnt his name via this method and now knows not only how to spell his name, but can write it and confidently say each letter.
I personally tend to shy away from showing Junayd words and teaching him via this method as I am worried that he’ll not be reading, but rather he’ll be chanting. I can recall reading in a Montessori book on the subject of reading that parents/ teachers can tell when a beginner is reading and when they are merely ‘chanting’. According to the book, a beginner reader who reads, takes time to decipher the words, while a chanter simple states it outright. Any thoughts on this? I believe this to be true to an extent – when presented with C A T, Junayd will stare at the word and then say “cat”… however, he’s beginning to be a little chanter – is this because he now ‘knows’ the word?
~ Umm Junayd.