March 30, 2016 By Lynne Hanson
Too many children are discouraged when they are beginning to learn how to read.
Teachers tell children to sound out some words and to memorize others, but a beginning reader only knows that the word isn’t familiar and doesn’t know what to do.
That confusion and use of texts and assignments that require skills children haven’t been taught, create an unnecessary reluctance or fear of learning how to read.
Learning how to read is so important, we can’t afford to discourage children by not having a simple way to learn.
There IS a simple way to learn how to read, Hanson Reading, the Phonics Chart System.
“I can read, and it isn’t hard!”My mother took me to meet Mrs. Hanson, who founded the Phonics Chart System and taught reading classes in our neighborhood. I didn’t really want to go because I didn’t want her to know that I was dumb. Some of my friends went there already, and they were good readers, but I thought they were smarter than I was.
The part that took away most of my fear was when Mrs. Hanson told me that I didn’t have to know anything. She said she would teach me HOW to read hundreds of words I didn’t know how to read as soon as I knew my consonant sounds. Since I knew my consonant sounds (My mother must have told her), she showed me pages of words I would be able to read that same day. I’m not sure I believed her, but I wanted to.
Mrs. Hanson showed me what I had to know to read. It didn’t look hard.Everything I needed to know was on a series of Charts 1-9.
On Chart 1 I had to know the NAMES of the letters. I already knew those. On Chart 2 I had to know the SOUNDS of the consonants, and I already knew those too.
She told me that the “Tricky Vowels” were placed on Chart 3 because we couldn’t trust them. I had to know which letters were the vowel letters. Mrs. Hanson showed the vowels to me on the top of Chart 3 and asked me to turn around and tell her the names of the vowels without looking at the Chart. That was easy for me because there were only five: a,e,i,o,u.
She told me that figuring out the vowel sounds was the hardest part of learning how to read, but she would teach me the Hanson CODE Song that would make the 1st vowel tell me its sound. She told me that I wouldn’t get tricked again in the Phonics CODE Books she wrote. She said that before she taught me the CODE song, she wanted to show me all the words I would be able to read as soon as I knew the CODE. She turned to some pages and showed me a lot of words. I must have looked horrified because she told me not to worry, and I would be able to read all of them before I left. She said it would be easy once I learned the Hanson CODE Song. I only knew three of the words, and I wasn’t sure I guessed right. Even my mother looked a bit doubtful, but Mrs. Hanson didn’t wait long enough for me to leave. She sang the Hanson CODE Song and asked me to be the teacher and lead my mom and her singing the CODE Song together until I knew it. Mrs. Hanson said that when I could sing or say the CODE, I could read. I could say the CODE as well as my mom, and Mrs. Hanson said I was ready. Then the part came that I couldn’t believe. Mrs. Hanson told me to find the 1st vowel in the word. She told me that to read, I always had to make my eyes drive on the “One-way Reading Road” and bump into one letter at a time until I found the 1st vowel.After I found the 1st vowel, I had to “give it the CODE” and it would tell me its sound in that word. Sure enough, the 1st vowel told me its sound using the CODE Song.Then Mrs. Hanson reminded me that I already knew the consonant sounds as I had shown her on Chart 2, so now that I knew the vowel sound, I could read the word. I poked each letter as I drove my eyes along the “One-way Reading Road” and made each letter say its sound while I hopped over the “vowel-after” (the silent one). Then I was told to “snap” the sounds together. Even I couldn’t believe it, but I could read every word on all those pages. Mom chose a few words too, and I could read each of those too! I think Mom was surprised. Mrs. Hanson told my mom that the Hanson CODE Song I learned would decode all long and short vowel words,but that I would need to learn the Hanson CLUES to decode the remaining vowel sounds. She said that I couldn’t read just any book until I got through at least Chart 8. I didn’t care. I knew there was a simple way to learn how to read, the Phonics Chart System with only 9 Charts, and I already knew 3 of them. My mom looked so relieved. Now we both know that I am ok and there is an easy way to learn how to read.
My best to you,
From Lynne Hanson