Our “learning to read” program is based upon the Orton-Gillingham approach to phonics. We use the Bible to teach phonics, combining it with the latest research to provide your younger students with a firm foundation in reading. Our method is multisensory (sight, sound, and touch), and phonics concepts are taught in a logical, sequential way. Each lesson builds upon the previous lesson, but Mom remains in charge — helping her child move as quickly or slowly as needed. We believe in teaching “phonograms” so that no guessing is involved. Order and the beauty of language will be emphasized, with lots of opportunity for review and practice each day.
You can download our Sequence Chart to see the order in which we teach letter sounds and phonograms.
Each lesson includes the following activities:
- Flashcard Review – Student sees letter or phonogram and tells you the sound. Then you’ll reshuffle the cards. Now you’ll say the sound, and student will spell and write it.
- Practice Reading Blends and Words – Student begins with simple blends and progresses to words. Finally, he will read sentences. We transition to reading from Scripture as soon as possible.
- New Sounds – You’ll teach new phonograms to the student, who will write them, spell them, and read them.
- Practice Sounds – Student will use magnetic letters to spell words.
- Dictate Words – You’ll dictate words to the student, who will repeat them, spell them, and write them.
- Dictate Sentences – As student’s reading proficiency increases, you will dictate sentences to the student, who will repeat them and write them.
- Games – You will end each lesson with a fun activity.
- Stickers – As student masters a sound, he can add a sticker to his Sequence Sticker Chart so that he can see his progress.
How to Use This Curriculum
The lesson plans are set up in “units” rather than daily plans. We want you to help your child master a set of skills before moving on to the next unit, so we purposely kept the units short and without daily numbers.
Practice, practice, practice — this is what makes a confident reader!
We strongly recommend that you pace the instruction to the needs of your child rather than simply trying to complete the next lesson as rapidly as possible. Children mature at a variety of rates. Take as much time as your child needs!
Try to have your daily reading, writing, and spelling lessons at the same time and place each day. The room should be orderly, uncluttered, and without too many distractions. A predictable daily routine has been shown to create a state of mind that is conducive to learning.
(Maybe this would be a good time to have babies and toddlers spend a few minutes playing safely by themselves in a playpen or gated room. Older siblings could take turns supervising other younger children. Try to make it possible to have 15-20 minutes of uninterrupted time with your beginning reader.)
Have your child face in the same direction each day, working at a comfortable table. This will help orient your child in space and in the awareness of left-right directionality.
LESSON PLAN FORMAT
The lessons include a “Teacher’s Manual” and “Student Worksheets” that are designed to be printed and inserted into 3-ring binders.
In addition, we include charts that can be printed on standard 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper. You may print them with color or black-and-white ink. We recommend inserting the charts into plastic sheet protectors or taking them to a local office-supply store to be laminated. You may wish to hang the charts on the wall, or Mom can keep them handy in her “Teacher’s Manual” binder.
We also include “writing paper” that you can print. If it would be less expensive to purchase writing paper at a store near you, be sure to get the right size. Have your child write his name on an unlined piece of paper, then select the writing-paper size that provides a close fit to his spontaneous writing. Bigger is better.
- The child will need a pencil with an attached eraser, never a pen or crayon.
- 3″ x 5″ unlined index cards. Mom will use these to make a set of phonetic sound cards. If you’d like, you may use white cards for consonants and another color for vowels.
- A small box to hold the index cards and dividers to keep everything organized.
- Markers for making the cards: black for consonants, red for vowels, blue for phonics markings.
- Plastic sheet protectors for charts. (You could also laminate them.)
- Small dry-erase board for student. We prefer one that is lined on one side and blank on the other.
- Dry-erase markers.
- Magnetic letters.
If money is tight, be creative with what you have on hand!
This curriculum is intended primarily for children ages 4-8 who are first learning to read. You may easily use it with older children (or adults) to teach remedial reading, but you will probably be able to move much more quickly through the lessons.
Need Help Teaching Phonics?
If this is your first time teaching someone to read, don’t be nervous. Send us an email if you’re having trouble understanding or explaining a topic. We’ll make a video and show you how we teach it at our house. That’s what community is for!
About Foundations of Reading (Level 1)
Foundations of Reading (Level 1) is copyright 2013 by Anne Elliott.
All rights reserved. No part of this curriculum may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. You do have permission to photocopy the curriculum for your own personal use. You may select individual pages to copy, or you may copy the entire curriculum! It is up to you how much of the information you want to copy and for how many children in your family you want to use it. You can copy this curriculum for use in your immediate family only; redistributing the book to other families is strictly prohibited.
Scripture taken from the King James Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted.
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12).
Published by Foundations Press.