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You Wouldnt Want To Be Middle Ages

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Items 1 - 5 of 5
  • Item #: 009176
    ISBN: 9780531245040
    Retail: $9.95
    Rainbow Price: $7.50
  • Item #: 009107
    ISBN: 9780531238516
    Retail: $9.95
    Rainbow Price: $7.50
  • Item #: 036840
    ISBN: 9780531231531
    Retail: $9.95
    Rainbow Price: $7.50
  • Item #: 001678
    ISBN: 9781883790257
    Retail: $0.00
    Rainbow Price: $27.95

    If conventional phonics is not working with your child, or if phonics instruction is turning your "eager to read-er" into a "do we have to?" reader, here's an approach you should try. Based on techniques used in the Reading Recovery program and on observations of methods used by "natural" readers (children who learn to read at young ages despite no formal instruction), this approach takes a middle road between phonics and "sight reading." It is designed to be used one-on-one in a tutoring situation – not in a classroom environment – so it works very well in a home school. The first ingredient is reading, reading, reading to your young child. Predictable readers are used heavily in beginning instruction so that the child can begin to "read" successfully without knowing all of the rules, and can begin to recognize letter-sound correlations in familiar words. Some separate phonics instruction is done as part of the lesson. Initially, letter sounds are taught. From there, instruction depends on the previous day's experience. However, most of the phonics instruction is done within the context of reading and writing about real stories in real books. Phonics rules are not learned in any set sequence, but as the need to use them arises. Books are reread until mastered, then rotated out, with a book on the "cutting edge" of the child's ability added to the mix. A list of recommended children's books is included.

    The author is no stranger to the "great debate" on reading instruction. He has sixteen years of experience teaching in both public and private schools and, as headmaster of a Christian school, oversaw a home education program in which he worked with parents teaching their children to read. He realizes the strong preference homeschoolers have for phonics, but he makes a great case for considering a less "pure" approach. I do think this book is worth reading. After reading it, I realized that my children all learned a little this way, despite my attempts to teach them strictly phonetically. When Mark was learning to read, he just wouldn't wait for me to slowly make it through our phonics program. Armed with the essential basics, he wanted to read, and proceeded to do so; reading and rereading familiar books until they were mastered, demanding explanations of unfamiliar constructs as he went, and then applying this knowledge the next time he encountered a similar phonetic construct. All this from a child who seemed almost dense to me (compared with his older sisters) when using a strictly phonetic method. On reflection, I think he might have done much better from the start if I'd read this book and employed some of these methods. While not for everyone, and certainly not for those of you who won't even consider less than "pure" phonics, I'm hoping this will help with children who may "fall through the cracks" using a traditional phonics approach.

  • Item #: 043358
    ISBN: 9780967634906
    Retail: $79.00
    Rainbow Price: $35.84

    While it may sound ambitious to think your child can learn letter sounds, letter recognition, blending sounds, reading, writing, spelling and typing all in one program, this well-produced and engaging software may help them do just that. It is made up of two CD-ROMs: Read, Write & Type! and Spaceship Challenge. Read, Write & Type! is the core of the program and provides the instruction, while Spaceship Challenge provides assessment. There are 40 lessons in Read, Write & Type! with a new letter or sound introduced in each one until children have learned the basic 40 speech sounds in English. These sounds include 21 which are represented by one consonant, 5 represented by two consonants (sh, th, ch, wh, and ng), the short and long sounds of each vowel, and then "oo" as in both "look" and "tool," "ou" as in "loud," and "aw" as in "hawk." The lessons are grouped into levels where four letters or sounds are learned at each level. If you follow the plan provided, children will complete one level in Read, Write & Type! before they switch to Spaceship Challenge for testing on what they've learned (starting after Level 2). The lessons are based around games, so learning is a fun and interactive experience. When you begin the program, the user can view the introduction to learn the back-story and be introduced to the characters (or storytellers). Most of the time the screen you will see includes a keyboard with keys divided under right and left "houses" and two little hands in the corners. The player also sees that each of the letters (and corresponding storyteller) "live" in a key shown on the animated keyboard. Above the keyboard, the scene changes as the user plays different games. In the introduction Vexor, a nasty virus, comes to town and steals all the letters from the animated keyboard. It's up to the player and the two talking hands to work together to win all of the letters back. As the player begins each round, they see which letter Vexor will offer to give back, pending the player's performance on the games. The player is instructed on how to type that letter on the keyboard, and the sound of the letter is pronounced (letters found on the left-hand side of the keyboard within easy reach are the first to be introduced). The player then plays a series of games with Vexor to try and win the letter. These are based heavily on sound and ask the child to associate the sound with a picture and determine if the sound is made when saying the name of the object in the picture. Different games test the player's ability to identify the sound at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of words. Players are constantly encouraged to say the name of the pictures or the sounds of the letters out loud as they type to engage their eyes, ears, mouths and fingers to learn the letters and sounds. After they play the letter/sound games with Vexor, they must help the letter's storyteller get to the Story Tree by typing the letters they hear pronounced by an animated mouth. At the Story Tree, the mouth again pronounces the sounds of letters, and later words and simple sentences, as they type to complete the story. The games are different in Spaceship Challenge, although the emphasis is still on recognizing sounds and matching to letters. In the Sound Game, a picture shows one of three different monitors, and the player will identify the sound at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the word pictured. The Reading Game tests reading comprehension by asking the player to match the sentence or word to one of the pictures shown below. In the Spelling Game, a picture is shown and the word is pronounced, and the player is asked to type in the word correctly. If the player completes these tasks at or above the threshold for passing, they move on to the next level in Read, Write & Type! Additional fun reinforcement activities include the Power Fountain game which reinforces typing accuracy and speed, and a simulated e-mail area, where children can type and "send" messages (a selection of stored responses are "sent" in return). The spiral-bound lesson book also includes plenty of introductory material for parents, including an overview of the program, a scope and sequence, suggestions for students of different ages/abilities, explanations of the games in the software, and more (please note that the book does reference some additional pieces like posters and keyboard covers that have not been included with the program for quite some time). All in all, this program has some good things going for it. The software is well-produced, not cheesy, and the sounds that are pronounced are clear and easy to understand. Because the emphasis is on learning the sounds, not just letter recognition (players are even asked to type "fffff," not "F"), this aids them in learning to sound out and recognize words later on. The games are fun to play and motivational, and the range of supplementary materials included and available (some on their website) round out the program to include non-computer time. Additionally, children will get plenty of typing practice with no pressure for speed, which gives them a leg up on children who don't learn to type until they are older. While I wouldn't use this in place of a phonics program, it is a meaty supplement that may be best used with a "no-frills" instruction book like How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, Reading Made Easy or The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading and/or with phonics workbooks (to reinforce writing skills which are not used as much in the software). This will provide practice they'll want to do! Please note that this is the 2000 edition of the program on CD-ROM; the newest version is only available from Talking Fingers as a download.System requirements: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista (but not Windows 7); Macintosh 7.5-9.2 or OS X Classic. - Jess