How to use this book

How To Use This Program
Table of Contents: To begin, look at the Ta-
would only serve to confuse both parent and ble of Contents. Note that this manual is di- vided into five main sections. The first section Each of the four subsequent sections of the is the one you are reading now. It includes the manual begins with an introduction. Always Introduction, Questions & Answers About read the introduction to a new section before Teaching Reading, How To Use This Program Phonogram Lessons: The Section II includes
Instruction Schedule: The Instruction Sched-
twenty-five Phonogram Lessons (p. 25-90) ule (pp. 13-24) guides the parent/teacher in a that introduce the formation of letters and nu- coordinated use of all materials. Each page of the Instruction Schedule is divided into three grams, vowels, consonants, and syllabication. columns. The first column numbers the “days” The yellow phonogram cards are used in con- from 1-118. The term "day" is relative and junction with these lessons. Each lesson is should not to be interpreted as 118 consecutive written out in great detail and is supported by days. An average six-year-old child, working the audiotape that provides examples of all the at a consistent pace, should be able to com- phonogram sounds. (About half of the mothers plete all the material within a nine-month pe- find this tape useful while the other half say riod. However, it is always wise to remember they really don’t need it.) Before presenting that children differ in their rate of develop- new phonograms, the parent may listen to the ment, level of interest, and need for repetition. audiotape and practice saying and writing the For some children it may be necessary to di- vide a single lesson into two or more parts, while others will zip through two complete Phonogram Dictation: The Section III gives
lessons at one sitting. In practical terms, this fifteen sets of Phonogram Dictation Exercises means that there will be a wide variation in the (p. 91-109). These exercises begin after Les- speed at which different children move son 4 and continue on a regular basis through-through the program. The key is to make an out the remainder of the program. They serve objective evaluation of your child's needs and as a constant reminder and review of the forty- five basic speech sounds and their written rep- The second colnum of the Instruction Sched- resentations. The Instruction Schedule spells ule lists the Lesson number and concepts to be covered that day. The third column describes the preparation necessary for a particular Spelling Dictation: The Section IV offers
lesson. The last column offers space to record
twenty exercises in Spelling Dictation (p. 110- the child's progress. Without reference to the 146). In these exercises the child is introduced Instruction Schedule, this program cannot be to specialized spelling markings and spelling used properly. Though the pace at which the rules. For ready reference, the markings and material is covered can easily be varied to rules are summarized on the inside front and meet individual circumstances, almost without back covers of the manual. Each time the child exception, one lesson builds on another. writes a spelling word he marks its special fea-Therefore, any variation in the sequencing tures, e.g. long vowels, multi-letter phono- grams and silent e’s, and repeats any applica- ble spelling rule. This practice serves to draw non-existent. Do not point out the errors or repeated attention to the various patterns and display difficulty in reading the child's work-- rules of spelling. When the child writes words that would greatly dampen the fun. This activ- or sentences outside the context of this pro- ity is not a spelling test. Use the child's mis- gram, the spelling markings are not used. takes only as indicators of areas that require Worksheets: The reproducible Worksheets
coordinate with the Spelling Dictations to pro-
Sentence Dictation: The Section V includes
vide additional repetition and reinforcement. eighteen Sentence Dictation exercises (pp. Their use is spelled out in the Instruction 147-161). These exercises offer practice in capitalization, punctuation, vocabulary, oral language expression, antonyms, homophones, Command Cards: Beginning on Day 41 and
a review of all spelling rules encountered in continuing through the next several days the the spelling dictations, plus the introduction of program suggests the use of Command Cards (p. 162). Turn to that page now and read some of the commands. They are nothing more than Suggested Reading Material: Two different
simple sentences that direct the child to per- products are suggested for use in conjunction form some action. The vocabulary in these with Sound Beginnings but any other reading material of an appropriate level may be substi- introduced thus far. Though not essential to tuted. The Instruction Schedule indicates that the program, the commands provide an inter- Set One of the Primary Phonics Readers (from esting means for the child to translate written Educators’ Publishing Service) may be intro- words into actions. For all children, but espe- duced on Day 30 if the th phonogram is first cially for boys, this is a helpful practice. I have introduced. Set 2 may begin on day 41 and Set used these commands with one child at a time, 3 on day 61. These readers offer ten separate with a group of first-grade children, or with booklets of sixteen pages each. The stories are my own family of mixed ages. Most beginning better than similar readers of this type, the il- readers will not be able to silently read the lustrations are inoffensive, the format is un- commands and then perform the actions. They cluttered and most public libraries have them need to say the words out loud before compre- on the shelf. They are also available for pur- hension occurs. This is fine. Later in the year, however, it would be good to return to the Some children will be able to read an entire commands and see if the same activity can be 16-page story in one sitting, while other chil- accomplished silently. Another interesting dren will only be able to read two or three variation is to have the child (and any other pages. Adjust your expectations to the child’s friends or family members who wish to par- ticipate) write his own commands. Children Following Lesson 23 on Day 66 the Early especially love to command their parents and Reader’s Bible may be introduced. By this siblings to do silly things. This can provide a time, the child will have been introduced to all strong motivation for an otherwise reluctant but eight of the 71 basic phonograms. The child to spend several minutes a day writing reading level of these stories is higher than the original sentences. A cautionary note is in or- Primary Phonics Readers because a greater der here. Because the child is at a beginning array of phonograms is used in each story. level, many of his words may be incorrectly This requires the child to process successively many more pieces of information. As a result, his reading speed may slow down considera-bly. This is to be expected. Reading fluency will improve with time and practice. In spite of the many positive features of the Early Reader's Bible, it does pose a few con-
cerns that Catholic parents may wish to ad-
dress. 1) Jesus is never said to be God. He is
"God's Son" or "God's friend." 2) The story of
the Last Supper twists the plain meaning of the
text and therefore lacks a Catholic understand-
ing. In it, Jesus does not command the apostles
to, “Do this in memory of Me.” Instead, He
makes a passive remark, “When you do this, I
will be there with you.” 3) The three-letter
word sin is never mentioned. In a book de-
signed for first grade readers, this can only be
a deliberate omission. 4) The Ten Command-
ments are listed in the order Protestants know
them, the First Commandment being divided
into two and the last two commandments be-
ing combined into one.

Spelling List:
Pages 163-176 offers a 2000-
word spelling list. It includes all the words
from the scripted lessons of Sound Beginnings
plus another 1600 words that take the student
through 12-grade level spelling. Spelling
markings and syllable breaks are included. To
the right of each word are numbers that desig-
nate any spelling rules that apply to the word.
The spelling rules are listed on the inside back
cover of this manual. In addition to ordinary
vocabulary words, the list contains words that
should be part of every Catholic child’s read-
ing, speaking and spelling vocabulary. Infor-
mation on page 163 gives more information
about how the spelling list may be used as
both a teaching and a measuring tool to assess
a child’s spelling ability.



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