Request your eBook Copy of Timmy the Tug and Billy Barge

Meet Grace

Shop Amazon

Whole Language approach to reading

While I was getting my degree in Music Education one of the classes I took was titled Reading - A whole language approach. I had never heard of Whole Language before, but throughout the 3 months of the class the method seemed to have merit and provided a more creative any fun approach to learning to read than the way I had learned to read which was a phonics based approach.
Whole language learning stresses the flow and meaning of the text, emphasizing reading for meaning and using language in ways that relate to the child's own life, cultures, and interests. Whole language classrooms tend to teach the process of reading, while the final product becomes secondary. The "sounding out" of words so central to phonics is not used in whole language learning. Instead, children are encouraged to decode each word through its larger context.
One thing we have done at home and also at my child's school is to have them create their own stories. The Child(ren) dictate the text and then an adult writes it down reads it back. We have created a few books this way My daughter had first drawn pictures then tells us the words to write for each of the pages. We then go over the text and place the pages in the order that she wants. Once this is completed we staple it together and read the story.
This has been a good way to inspire and encourage reading.
We have also written sight words on post-it notes and placed them next to their related items (i.e. Light next to the Light Switch)
Where I think The whole language approach falls short is in providing the skill necessary to actually read a word based on the letters in that word and the sounds those letters make this is where phonics come into play.
Phonics-based reading programs tend to build better pronunciation and word recognition. The phonics formulas can be applied again and again, and will help a child with spelling more than the memorization and guesswork of whole language. If only taught phonetically, however, a child may have difficulty understanding the full meaning of a text, due to the constant breaking down of words into parts. Whole language also seems to foster a desire to read and write better than phonics based approach.

I think (as do many experts) that a combined balanced approach is best. You and your child's teachers can evaluate what approach works best. The important thing is to awaken and develop your child's joy of learning by encouraging their imagination and curiosity.
Above all read to your child it is never too early or late to begin this practice
With younger children reading is as much physical act, as it is a mental one. It involves hand-eye coordination. So, when you read, involve your child by pointing out objects in the pictures, following the words with your finger (so your child develops a sense that the words go from left to fight on the page), and having your child help turn the pages (to learn that the pages turn from right to left).

1 comment:

Michael said...

Fifteen-Minute Reading Activities
by the National PTA

Make 15 minutes go a long way. Try these quick reading activities with your younger kids.

1. License to read. On car trips, make it a game to point out and read license plates, billboards, and interesting road signs.

2. Better than TV. Swap evening TV for a good action story or tale of adventure.

3. Look and listen. Too tired to read aloud? Listen to a book on tape and turn the book's pages with your children. You'll still be reading with them!

4. Labels, labels, labels. Label things in your children's room as they learn to name them. Have fun while they learn that written words are connected to everyday things.

5. Pack a snack, pack a book. Going someplace where there might be a long wait? Bring along a snack and a bag of favorite books.

6. Recipe for reading. The next time you cook with your children, read the recipe with them. Step-by-step instructions, ingredients, and measurements are all part of words in print!

7. Shop and read. Notice and read signs and labels in the supermarket. Back home, putting away groceries is another great time for reading labels.

8. Your long-distance lap. Away on a business trip? Take a few books with you, call home, and have your child curl up by the phone for a good night story.

9. A reading pocket. Slip fun things to read into your pocket to bring home: a comic strip from the paper, a greeting card, or even a fortune cookie from lunch. Create a special, shared moment your child can look forward to every day.

10. A little longer? When your child asks to stay up a little longer, say yes and make it a 15-minute family reading opportunity.

Bonus item! Find more reading ideas from parents like yourself.

PTA and FamilyEducation's PTA® Connection

Post a Comment

Got something - Leave us a comment