From the archives...
The following article was originally posted on the old LOE Forum.
A customer contacted us with the following question.
I started Foundations with my 6 year old son at the beginning of the school year. We had been working on reading for a year prior but with little success. I'm so thankful for the Phonemic Awareness help as that was what was holding him back- just not hearing the vowels in the middle of words. We still have a long way to go but I'm finally seeing forward momentum so that is really encouraging.
We decided a little way in to switch to cursive and he wasn't writing much in manuscript anyways. (That has always been a struggle.) But now we aren't keeping up with the phonogram writing as they are introduced. In other words, he can read more than he can write. I've been holding back trying to catch up with the writing while going over the phonograms, blending, segmenting. This has been fine but I think we need to move on even though he's not writing what is being introduced. I'm wondering if I should just focus on reading and do Rhythm of Handwriting separately. I bought the digital version for another child so that would be fine. What would you recommend?
There are two parts to my answer.
1) I would recommend that you continue to at least teach the handwritten phonogram each time he learns to read a new phonogram, and continue to do at least a little handwriting practice when indicated in the lessons. Incorporating the kinesthetic component of learning the phonograms can be helpful for reinforcing his visual and auditory knowledge of them, so don't separate it completely.
2) However: the level of mastery for the handwriting does not need to keep up with the level of mastery of the phonograms for reading; not even close. Keep introducing them and practicing them, but don't slow down your progress through Foundations . It is fine if you move faster with the phonograms for reading than he can keep up with in terms of being able to write them with proficiency; in other words, keep introducing each one but don't linger there, even if he's nowhere near mastering it. Keep the handwriting practice big and fun and laid back, and not very long; that can come with time. Then let him use letter tiles or other supplements for spelling and reading activities.