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Creative minds are rebels who survived the trauma of education.
One of my favourite learning to read 'programmes' is Jolly Phonics, but I don't go for all the bells and whistles - just the Teachers Handbook; and now the dvds.
Jolly Phonics was formulated in England (not the USA!) and therefore the letter and digraphs sounds are most similar to kiwi-speak, or vice versa!
This programme is based on using as many of the senses as possible to learn a letter - tell a story, trace the letter, do the action, and whatever else you want to add to it.
The first 5 letters are learnt in a set group so that at the end of 1 letter a day for 5 days the child can begin to sound out real words.
The recommendation is to introduce the 42 letters/digraphs on 42 consecutive days to keep the momentum up.
Likewise I would suggest that if your child doesn't 'get it' in the first 4-5 days, leave it for a while - take a break and come back to it later. It's not a race!
Jolly Grammar follows on from Jolly Phonics if you want to 'teach' grammar to your child. I left grammar for a year or so after phonics as I thought the practise and love of reading was preferable to quashing it.
I am sure I am the only parent on the planet that had this experience...but I felt like a right dork when I started to do the actions that paralleled the letters. I found myself looking out the window sure that someone would catch me looking stupid. Now I don't care, and actually being able to silently 'sign' to your child using Jolly Phonic actions can come in quite handy at times!