Charlotte Mason’s Reading Method
After your child has reached the age of 6 and has become comfortable with letter sounds and phonetic word building, he may be ready for Charlotte Mason’s First Sound Lesson, as described in Home Education, Volume One. This lesson’s sequence is found below, and it can be used with any beautiful nursery rhyme or poem. Suggestions for poems are at Charlotte Mason Reading Lessons.
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Here is an example to teach a child’s First Sound lesson using Charlotte Mason’s method found in her Home Education, Volume One, this lesson is followed by the Spelling Lesson:
1. Find a short poem of interest to the child, Ms. Mason uses the following:
I like little kitty
Her coat is so warm
(I have used a word substitution here.)
2. Collect each letter from the words in the poem, using a moveable alphabet, or paper letters cut up.
3. Write on the board one of the words, for example, “kitty”. Say the word out loud. Have your child say it out loud.
4. Erase the board and have your child create the word “kitty” with his moveable letters using his memory.
5. Show him the poem, have him find the word “kitty” in the poem.
6. Teach the words “coat, little, like, is, her, warm, I so” using the same above steps.
“When each new word is learned, (he) makes a column of the old ones, reads up and down” (218).
7. Now remove the moveable letters from the table, replace them with cut up words from the poem (one set only).
8. “(Place the words) in ‘reading’ order, one after the other, and then (read) off the sentence” (218).
9. Now create new sentences, such as:
Her little coat is warm.
Kitty is so little.
I like kitty.
Kitty is little like her coat.
“To make the verses up with his own loose words will give (your child) such a delicious sense that knowledge is power, as few occasions in after life will afford. Anyway, reading is to him a delight henceforth, and it will require very bad management indeed to make him hate it” (219). I love Ms. Mason’s humor here!
She does not delve into how often each lesson should be repeated, but I would suggest to follow the child, if he is receptive, then move onto your next lesson, and when you do come to a sound lesson again, try the next verse or a new poem.