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RESOURCES for PARENTS

Welcome! 

If your child/children are learning to read using Literacy Essentials, you are about to embark on an amazing journey. However, we know that most of us did not learn to spell and read with the method your child is using. We know that the uncertainty of “What can I do to help my child?” can be disheartening and frustrating for some parents.

Our intention is to provide answers to your questions and information that can relieve any stress from the unknown. We believe that all children benefit from understanding how the English code works and we are excited to be on this journey with you.  

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INTRODUCTION TO LITERACY ESSENTIALS

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Coming Soon:

There's a video introduction to Literacy Essentials in the works--stay tuned! For now, see our letter below to get started.

Introduction to Literacy Essentials

 

Dear  Parents,

If  your  child  is  learning  to read  using  Literacy  Essentials:  Journey  From  Spelling  To  Reading®  or  another  Orton-based program,  they  are  being  given  a  unique  opportunity  to  excel  as  writers  (spelling  correctly)  and  readers.

 

The  English  language  is  complicated  and  requires  instruction  that  includes  thorough explanations  of  information  in small,  well-ordered  chunks  that  are  each  practiced  until  mastered.  It  is  our  expectation  that  it  will  take  most  students four  years  (K-3rd)  of  working  with more  than 2,000  words  to internalize  the  information  about  the  spelling  code  of English  which  translates  into many  times  more  words  they  can  read.  The  journey  for  each  student  is  different.  

 

If  your  child  is  just  beginning  the  journey  and  struggling,  do not  be  overly  alarmed.  Some  students  require  a  longer period  of  time  to  achieve  mastery  of  the  phonograms  (English spelling  patterns)  and  the  orthography  or  spelling rules  of  English.  It  is  a  natural  parental  instinct  to want  to jump in and  help  your  struggling  student.  It  is  our recommendation  and  hope  that  you  will  follow  the  lead  of  your  child’s  teacher  and  support  your  child  in the  ways provided  by  the  classroom  teacher.  Unless  you  have  learned  the  phonograms  and  the  rules  of  orthography,  it  will  be difficult  to support  the  spelling  component  of  the  literacy  program.  However,  you  can  strongly  support  your  child reading.  In general,  the  students  struggling  with spelling  are  able  to apply  their  knowledge  of  orthography  to reading.  Listening  to  your  child  read  daily,  reinforces  what  they  are  learning  and  provides  the  practice  to  lead  them from  initially needing  to sound  out  the  words  they  are  reading  (accuracy)  to  reading  words  without  the  need  to sound  them  (fluency).

 

It  is  our  recommendation  to schools,  that  they  provide  all  the  spelling  practice  needed  within  the  school  day.  This practice  includes  identifying  which  phonogram  is  used  in  a  word  (see  uses  ee    versus  sea  uses  ea  for  the  same  sound) and  why  (cheek  versus  check  where  the  /k/  sound  is  spelled  with different  phonograms);  any  rules  necessary  to identify  which  sound  of  a  given  phonogram  is used  (back  versus  bake  where  the  E  at  the  end  is  silent  and  makes  the A  say  the  sound  /A/);  breaking  the  word  into  syllables  for  spelling;  and,  if  needed,  an  alternate  pronunciation  used to spell  which  may  differ  from  speech  (  spell  Wed  nes  day  when  we  say  Wenz  day).  Effective  practice  must  be  done  in this  manner,  and  it  is  difficult  for  parents  to provide  practice  that  matches  how  students  are  learning  and  practicing the  words  in the  classroom.

 

We are  excited  that  your  child  has  the  opportunity  to learn the  English code  in an explicit  and  systematic  manner from  spelling  to  reading.  Literacy  learned  in  this  manner  can propel  them  forward  in the  other  content  areas  as  they read  confidently  with comprehension  and  compose  essays  that  internalize  and  process  the  important  information they  are  learning.

 

As with  all  journeys,  mastering  the  English language  may  have  some  bumps  in the  road.  Yet, the  destination will  be worth the  effort.  

 

Best  wishes,

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Learn more about who we are.

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THE PHONOGRAMS

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Phonogram List

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A list of the 72 Common English Spelling Patterns used in Literacy Essentials with the sounds as the students learn them in the order of frequency of occurence in words.

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Phonogram Videos