Monday, January 16, 2017

Recommended Phonics Resources

Many Home School families ask for advice on which reading programs to use if their child has dyslexia. While there are many good phonics programs to choose from, each one has strengths and weaknesses. Most still require supplemental work, shuffling the order of things, etc. I have not yet found a single phonics program that hits the "jack pot," but I do have my favorites:
1. Orton-Gillingham based programs are based on sound research. Using the OG program itself requires either a tutor (which can be an excellent choice) or getting the training. It is pricey, but worth every penny. Know that OG tutors are not SLPs (not qualified to do therapy for language disorders), but have a solid foundation in sound work for reading. 
2. Wilson Reading System is based on OG. All About Spelling (AAS) and All About Reading (AAR) are based on OG. I like the pace and wealth of practice that Wilson requires, and often use these books with my students for ongoing phonics drill. 
3. Barton takes OG and delivers a step by step program for Home School families. Both OG and Barton are more regimented (requiring specific lesson routines), which may or may not be helpful to you. AAS/R and Wilson allow you to move at your own pace, which also may or may not be helpful to you. 
4. Recipe for Reading has great supplemental materials and is better for the child with mild dyslexia (or any young learner). Also remember, the child with dyslexia needs explicit instruction and practice all throughout the school years. So you may begin with one phonics/spelling program for a few years, then move to another, etc. 
5. Logic of English is considered to be a great program if your child is mild, a typical learner, or is onto the second round of learning and has done OG-based programs first. 
6. Phonographics and Reading Reflex are also both great phonics tools for new readers who need a strong phonics foundation. 
7. Handwriting Without Tears is considered to be the most helpful for handwriting, but I will be discussing ways to modify it to fit the recent research in my online classes. 
Grammar is another issue entirely, and can't really be handled in a blog post. However, it is best worked on in Copywork and Dictation for the child with dyslexia. OG programs are phonics programs, and therefore do not provide enough writing, or the type of writing practice with grammar practice that the child with dyslexia needs. So, I suggest Brave Writer as the perfect supplement. Many writing programs are too regimented and further the disconnect between the dyslexic child's ideas and their writing.
My online classes are designed to help you (the parent/teacher) wade through some of these programs and learn how to best use and adapt them to best fit your needs and best serve the dyslexia/dysgraphic child! 
Currently, I am offering a FREE 1-hour online lecture called Welcome to the Forest, on February 10th at 4 PM, EST. Together with my daughter and fellow SLP, Moira, we will discuss how to build reading from the ground up, using phonics, for the emergent reader. If you enjoy this course and are left wanting more in-depth guidance and instruction, we are also offering a 3-week online parent training course called Laying the Path: Phonics and Spelling, beginning at the end of March. Visit my website at www.rootedinlanguage.com (Services-->Our Services-->Online Parent Training) to register and learn more about all online classes we offer!
~Rita


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