Phonics & Learning to Read
 
Phonics is a critical step in learning to read.  Yet teaching phonics without children having phonological awareness and phonemic awareness or basic print concepts, will fail.  The steps in learning to read include phonics as one of many critical steps. The Reading Skills Pyramid illustrates a typical sequence for acquiring reading skills for use by parents for homeschools and enrichment. The reading skills are organized using the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) system. See below for more details.
 
The Reading Skills Pyramid  illustrates a typical sequence for acquiring reading skills for use by parents for homeschools and enrichment. The reading skills are organized using the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) system.

The "What Works?" Report found that the five key areas in learning to read are phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency.

Learn to Read online with Time4Learning. It is  a comprehensive educational enrichment and entertainment service for children ages 3-11. It combines educational enrichment with a safe internet service in a single system. Time4Learning is an advertisement-free online service providing a mainstream prekindergarten through 3rd grade curriculum, great games for kids, and progress reports for parents. Children like the lessons, they love the playground. Parents love the convenience and effectiveness.
 
 Vocabulary Games    interactive homeschool curriculum   spelling tests

 

The Reading Skills Pyramid

Key skills and dependencies

Learning to read is an exciting time for children and their families. While thrilled by their children's emerging literacy skills, many parents are surprised to learn that reading is not automatic and that, regardless of family background, children require support in learning to read. Recent advances in research document some methodologies that work in most cases.

A language-rich environment forms a solid foundation on which skills including decoding, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension are based. Mastery of decoding comprises understanding print concepts, phonemic awareness and phonics and is usually attained by the end of second grade. Some skills, such as vocabulary development, will grow as long as children are challenged by involvement in a rich language environment and by tackling increasingly complicated texts.

Research shows that children who develop phonemic awareness and letter-sound knowledge early on are more likely to be strong, successful readers. Children build these skills by reading aloud, practicing nursery rhymes, and playing letter and word games. Tutoring or structured computer programs can also effectively reinforce these skills.

The Reading Skills Pyramid visually depicts the patterns of concept acquisition that children follow in becoming successful readers up through third grade. We recommend a high level of parent involvement in this process by providing high quality educational materials, establishing a pattern of daily reading, creating a rich language environment, and discussing your child's progress with teachers and following up on their recommendations. While most children follow the same sequence of acquiring literacy skills, they do so at their own pace. All children are different: if you have questions or concerns about your child's progress in reading, contact his or her teacher.

Time4Learning – Learn Reading & Math Online – is a comprehensive educational enrichment and entertainment service for children ages 3-9. It combines educational enrichment with a safe internet service in a single system. Time4Learning is an advertisement-free online service providing a mainstream prekindergarten through 3rd grade curriculum, great games for kids, and progress reports for parents. Children like the lessons, they love the playground. Parents love the convenience and effectiveness.

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Note  
This Reading Skills Pyramid illustrates the analysis of skills and grade level targets determined by the U.S. Department of Education. Curriculum differs from state to state and many children will develop faster than these targets These norms represent average levels of reading achievement.

Sources
Learning First Alliance ; U.S. Department of Education; WETA, Washington , D.C.

Armbruster, B.B, Lehr, F., & Osborn, J. (2002) A Child Becomes a Reader: Proven Ideas for Parents from Research -- Birth to Preschool & Kindergarten through Grade Three. (2001) Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read Washington , DC : National Institute for Literacy.

Burns, M.S., Griffin , P. & Snow, C. E. (eds.). (1999). Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success . Washington , DC : National Academy Press.

National Reading Panel. (2000). Teaching Children to Read: An Evidence-Based Assessment of the Scientific Research Literature on reading and Its Implications for Reading Instruction. Washington , DC : National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Interesting Links for Reading Skills & Issues
SEDL - Online Library of Cutting Edge Reading Research
Online Reading & Math - http://www.Time4Learning.com - Great for Visual Learners