Teaching Dolch Words with Logic of English

Hello friends. I hope you are enjoying your summer!

Due to back-to-back moves with a vacation sandwiched in between, we ended up taking about 4 weeks off from homeschooling this spring, so we are still finishing up our final weeks of school with the occasional break here and there. But don’t worry, the kids are still having a blast with swim lessons, great library programming, VBS, drama camp, and season passes to Six Flags.

We will probably finish up this school year sometime in July, and I actually plan to begin our 2017-2018 school year on August 7, which is about a month earlier than I usually start. With the baby due in October, I want to plan for a 3-week fall break while we all adjust to life with a newborn. So I guess we are year-round homeschoolers this year, which really isn’t such a bad thing. I love the structure that homeschooling gives to our days, and the kids still have plenty of time to play and participate in summer activities. I am also excited that we won’t be taking so much time off that we completely fall out of our rhythm, but will be able to start right back up where we left off.

Something I have recently added to my daily routine with my first grader is the new Sounding Out the Sight Words supplement guide by Logic of English. As you know, I have used and loved Logic of English for 4 years now and am always interested in checking out any new products they are releasing.

Sounding Out the Sight Words from Logic of English

While high frequency words are introduced in conjunction with the phonograms being taught, rote memory of Dolch sight words is not part of the Logic of English programs. Here’s why…

While native English speakers are often taught that the words on the Dolch list must be memorized by sight because they cannot be sounded out, this is in fact not true. Logic of English students learn phonics concepts that accurately describe 98% of the words in English. Of the 220 Dolch Words and the 95 Dolch Nouns, only seventeen (5%) have a sound or phonogram that does not follow these rules completely and requires some additional instruction before the words can be sounded out. The remaining 95% are phonetically regular.

While many believe that Dolch words must simply be memorized by sight, Logic of English believes that reading fluency is not gained by skipping the understanding of the sounds and memorizing whole words as a visual unit, but by developing deep mastery of how letters represent sounds. You can visit www.LogicOfEnglish.com/Research to learn more.

The new Sounding Out Sight Words supplement guide was designed for teachers and parents who want or have to teach the Dolch words, but want to provide the tools children need to master these words without simply memorizing them by rote.

This supplement guide is so easy to add to your existing program or works great on its own for summer review. There are 66 mini-lessons in all, each taking less than 10 minutes to complete. The Sounding Out Sight Words supplement guide comes as one simple spiral bound book that is designed to stand on its own to serve as both the teacher’s guide facing the parent/teacher and a Dolch word chart to face the student. At the end of these 66 mini-lessons, your child will gain the tools to read all 315 Dolch sight words – as well as thousands of other words.

The teacher’s guide is so easy to follow, and you don’t have to have any prior experience with the Logic of English curriculum to teach these lessons. In fact, if you have been on the fence about trying Logic of English, this supplement guide is a great way to check out some of the basic fundamentals of the phonics program before purchasing the Foundations or Essentials curriculums.

Let’s take a look at Lesson 1 of Sounding Out Sight Words. The first lesson teaches the phonogram S. Where many curriculums will only teach that the letter S says /s/ as in snake, Logic of English teaches that S says /s-z/ as in sent and as.

Here is a look at the teacher’s guide for Lesson 1.

Because I couldn’t get a close enough picture for you to read it clearly, I will write out the teaching steps which are pictured in green above.

  1. Teach the phonogram S says /s-z/ as in sent and as.
  2. Place your hand on your throat as you say /s/ and /z/. Feel how /s/ is unvoiced and /z/ is voiced.
  3. Explain that S says /z/ more often that /s/ when plurals such as chairs, tables, and lessons are considered.
  4. Ask the students to read the words in the green columns.

While the teacher’s guide is facing you, your student is looking at the opposite side which looks like this.

Words that can be read using only this lesson’s concept and the basic sounds of A-Z are listed in the green columns. These words, including Dolch words in the first (darker green) column and other common words in the second (light green) column, can be sounded out successfully if you have taught only this one lesson. This allows you to skip around among the lessons if you prefer.

Some later lessons also have blue columns. Here is an example.

The blue columns provide additional words that can be read using this lesson’s new concept with other concepts taught previously in the series. These words, also divided into Dolch words (darker blue) and other words (light blue), can be sounded out successfully if you have taught this lesson and all the ones leading up to it. The blue section should be used only by those teaching the lessons sequentially.

Here is the way I personally use this supplement guide. Each day, I have Aidan re-read the Dolch words (darker green and darker blue columns) from 2-3 previous lessons I have already taught. This only takes a minute or two. Then we move over to the newest lesson that we are scheduled to go over. Because have already been using Logic of English Foundations, he already knows most all of the phonograms sounds and rules that Logic of English teaches, so we usually just need to review that lesson’s concept. He then reads through the new list of words on the chart once or twice and we are done for the day.

Aidan has struggled a bit in his confidence as a reader, so taking a few extra minutes each day to review these phonograms, rules, and words that he is already familiar with has really boosted his reading confidence and I am already seeing improvements in his speed when he reads aloud to me.

Here’s one of my favorite recent school pictures of him, reviewing his Dolch words while dressed as a clown.

If you want to check out this great new supplement guide and view more sample lessons, you can click the link below.

Sounding Out the Sight Words: A Guide to Teaching the Dolch Words through Phonics

If you want to read more about my love for Logic of English, you can check out my review of the Logic of English Essentials curriculum here.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below and I will be do my best to answer in a timely manner.

I hope you have a great summer and I’ll check back in soon!

Always,

Amanda

A few disclaimers:

  • Although I looked at other Language Arts programs before we began homeschooling, Logic of English stood out as my favorite and it is the only Language Arts curriculum I have ever used. I say that to let you know that I have no experience with other Language Arts programs to offer you any type of comparison/contrast.
  • Although I purchased the complete set of Foundations A through D, Essentials 2nd Edition Volume 1 and Sounding Out Sight Words were both offered to me for free in exchange for an honest review.
  • I love Logic of English so much that I have been an affiliate for a while now, which simply means if you make a purchase after clicking over from my blog, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

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