If you use Sonlight for your homeschool, then you know all about the natural reading process. You read to your children, they read to you, and then they read to themselves. It works beautifully…for some children. My first two kids had no problems. I thought, “Hmmm…not sure what I did, but these kids can read!” Now, my third child didn’t fit this same mold. He read beautifully. At first. Then, as is fitting for our dynamic language, the sounds that worked for one word, simply didn’t work for another. He started just sounding out the first letter and guessing the rest. I did my best to help him for a couple of years. I figured he was a late bloomer. And then, last summer, I read Reading Reflex.
After spending this school year working through Read America’s Reading Reflex with my eight-year old, I’ve decided to be proactive with my younger children, and not simply wait and see if the natural reading process will work for them. And so, I’ve applied the Sound Mapping technique–saying the sounds as the word is read–and rhyming, another great technique for learning the sounds in words, to the CVCe and CCVCe word families that my first grader (in Core B, starting in Week 24) is learning.