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I love the Lord as much as a broken person can; love and loved by my husband; blessed by 5 amazing little people who have helped me to learn much about me; grateful to serve even more as God gives them to me; blessed every day to be a home school teacher; college student; I hope to change the world by loving as many people as possible, because there is nothing greater than loving another.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Our Path to the Phonics Road to Reading and Spelling (a favorite curriculum in my house)

I traveled a different road with my oldest children and by the time the 4th grade exit came up, we couldn't quite get off the highway. Gaps here. Gaps there. No understanding that language arts is one category with many parts. We had no idea there was a connection to all the work we were doing. Many subjects, too many purposes, too many parts, not too much joy or love of learning.

We could read, although we were kinda weak in phonics. What was supposed to be EZLessons created tears and made sounding out unlearned words difficult because the lessons winded about, with no clear interstate highway-- things were just not connected. Then, when we finished, where to from here? It was like coming down a 100 mile road and winding up at a dead end.

We knew a little language from some First Lessons and followed through by not sparing the Rod. After one year, we had given the tried and true a new name. Dare I say the Staff became Rottin'. We gained a ton of knowledge, but also a dislike for grammar. Eeeww grammar! What a rottin' stench!

We could write without tears, but the time flew by so quickly we could only practice through arbitrary dictation and copywork. Neatness wasn't really a focus b/c it was just too easy to fill in workbook pages and tuck it away for the day.

And spelling...well, list by list still left us with no understanding or Power to comprehend of the rules of the road. Next, A Bucket of letters and rules down another winding road with no clear destination. We could read the signs, but we had no idea what the signs meant and how they could cross over from one list to the other.

Then, a friend mentioned an uncharted road. I got lost in the grid of a convention hall and came across our saving grace, The Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading. No more gaps. We don't fall into anymore sinkholes in language arts....just smooth, straight, nicely paved roads! It was like a map fell from the sky and we finally had directions that all led to the same place...Language Arts Successville where love of language arts is on every corner and joy comes in 30 minute sessions! We're even learning a little about the construction business as we travel The Phonics Road.

there are references to several curricula in this, all italicized, no offense meant, just having some fun playing with words and sharing a secret to our success :)


momof4sweetsisters said...

I got lost in all those twists and turns! Wish I had a been able to take that new road. God's Grace.

Lindsay said...

I am reading through your blog via WTM oldest daughter in in K, and I've just started reading about Phonics Road. I think it may be everything I want in a LA curriculum (I have a degree in English Ed, so my standard are pretty high!), but my problem is not being able to "see" it. I have read through the website, watched all the sample videos, and searched through WTM forums. As you mentioned before, it seems to get bad reviews as much as positive ones--I know there are a lot of great programs that garner strong love/hate relationships. Anyway, my question is, could you do a post on beginning PR 1...what are the strengths, what are your DCs expected to do? We are using OPGTR right now for phonics, and some kind of random handwriting, and no spelling as of yet. We've been kind of struggling learning to read, partly because my DD has a low tolerance for frustration, and partly because I feel like I don't know what I am doing! Any insights you give are greatly appreciated!! Thanks for your time

Tina said...

I will post for you ASAP. Since I am back around in PR, it will be nice for me to think all the way through the level again :) Food for thought makes for a better teaching recipe!


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