Heart Parenting
& Montessori

Educating the
heart and mind
of the child

International Parenting Association



Babies have genius potential. A child's
gift of genius is developed through
much nurturing in the home.

Early Learning Pathways


Teaching reading can be easy and your child can become very interested in learning to read. The magic formula is to teach the sounds of phonograms (called phonemes) and to accompany each phoneme with just the right word. The right word to go with the single and specific phonogram sound, or phoneme, is what empowers the child to read.

In the Home Reading Program, which you can DOWNLOAD from this site, the right words are selected for you. The right word is a word that the child will be able to decode, which is another word for read. It is pivotal that children experience a sense of achievement and victory from the very beginning of their reading adventure!

Are phonograms too hard?
Phonograms are depictions, or symbols, of the sounds of speech, which sounds can also be referred to as "phonemes". Because of ineffective teaching methods, phonograms have earned the reputation of being difficult to learn and difficult to teach. This need not be so.

Reading is commonly taught by the use of two opposing methods.
Experts do not seem to agree on what is the best way to teach children to read. The two most commonly known methods for teaching reading are widely divergent. One method uses words, only, and phonograms are never taught; and the other uses phonograms first, and words come much, much later. There is something to be said for each of these methods. Nevertheless, I believe both methods to be lacking –whereas combining the two methods makes learning much more effective and eliminates the major deficiencies.

Phonograms are the keys to decoding words.
A child that merely memorizes various combinations of letter-symbols, or words, without learning phonograms does not know how to decode the words; and his activity is not true reading. Words Only proponents say that if you show children enough words, the children will subconsciously figure out the phonetic code. The problem with this approach is that children need to memorize more, and parents need to show more –many more, words than they do when children are taught to read with phonograms and carefully selected supporting words.

The Words Only method is a much longer road for both child and parent to take in order for the child to learn to read.
When children are taught to read with phonograms, they can read books at an earlier age; and because phonograms empower reading, children will be able to figure out words on their own.

On the other hand, phonograms shown without words delay reading, also.
There are 70 phonograms with one hundred and eleven phonemes represented by the 70 phonograms. The phonemes do not mean anything in and by themselves. This, too, is a longer road to travel before a child can comprehend what he is learning and can gain the satisfaction of reading –which he can have if the right words are introduced into his reading program.

An Example
Take a simple word like "cats", for example. There are multiple phonemes for three of the four letters. If you ask the child to sound out what he sees (without having been exposed to words) what comes forth is nothing like the word cats. The child will say that cats (c+a+t+s) is pronounced: k”+“s”+ “a" (short vowel)+ “a” (long vowel) +“ah”+ "uh" + “t”+“s”+ z” –which has no resemblance to the word cats!

Phonograms have been made too difficult.
After phonograms are learned in the absence of words, using the Phonograms First method, the instructor is faced with the challenge of teaching, and the child has the challenge of learning that in order to read the above word “cats”, he must first choose between the “k” and “s” phonemes; then choose between the short vowel “a” phoneme, the long vowel “a” phoneme, the “ah” phoneme and the "uh" phoneme; the “t” doesn't require a choice; and finally he must choose between the phonemes “s” and “z”. No wonder students and teachers, alike, have recoiled from working with phonograms!

Naming phonograms is not a breeze.
The names of the phonograms are not the same as the names of the letters comprising the phonograms. Rather, the names of the phonograms are the sounds the phonograms make, or phonemes. It takes quite a bit of time and practice for an instructor to memorize the multiple phonemes that accompany so many of the phonograms. Besides, one can get a bit tongue-tied trying to remember strings of phonemes, and parents don’t have the time to go through this process. In today's busy world that is a luxury few people have.

Is the fear founded?
Phonograms First proponents claim that offering words with phonograms undermines the learning process. They fear it will interfere with the child’s ability to grasp the concept of the sound-to-symbol relationship. While there may be some truth to this if words are chosen indiscriminately, I am aware of no evidence to support this claim when the right words are carefully selected and the parent proceeds in a rational, orderly fashion.

I believe the right word reinforces the sound-to-symbol relationship by proving the case for the child. The child can see for himself that the phonogram does, indeed, make a particular sound in a particular word.

Learning sounds one-at-a-time with a supporting word for each sound does not hinder learning to read. It accelerates reading! Simply tell the child that some phonograms have more than one phoneme, or sound. Let the child know if he is learning a phonogram that has multiple phonemes, and let the child know that he will be learning the phonemes, one sound at a time.

Easy to Learn
Phonograms can be easy to learn and easy to teach by using a simple, balanced approach. In the Home Reading Program every individual phoneme that a particular phonogram represents has its own flashcard with a phoneme-specific word shown on the back of the flashcard.

Parents will not find it difficult to say the phonemes, as there is only one sound to pronounce with each flashcard. All they need to do, in order to determine how to pronounce the phoneme, is to look at the simple word, which is the key to its pronunciation.

The phonogram is colored magenta for easy recognition.
he phonogram is colored magenta on both sides of the flashcard. The child can easily identify the phonogram in the word because it stands out in magenta color, while the rest of the letters are black. The child is able to easily recognize that the phonogram shown in the word is the same phonogram that he saw on the face of the flashcard. (Editors note: Phonograms with Words also come in black and grey for those without colored printers.)

Here's how to do it:
The parent shows the child a phonogram and pronounces the phoneme for that flashcard. The parent then turns the flashcard around and points to the magenta phonogram shown in the word and pronounces the phoneme for a second time. Using good articulation, the parent then reads the word. Next, the parent pronounces the word for a second time, this time slowly, while giving special emphasis and pointing to the magenta phoneme, but without segmenting the letters. The word is then repeated for a third time, as in normal speech.

If the child maintains interest, the parent may say, "Let's look at all of the letters in the word _____. Then segment the letters comprising the word and sound out the entire word by pronouncing each individual phoneme with special emphasis. Then read the word, one last time, running the phonemes together, as in normal speech, using normal emphasis and speed. As you read the word run your finger under the word from the child's left to right, the same direction as in reading.

Words impart understanding and a sense of purpose to the child who is learning to read.
The words demonstrate for the child the phonograms in action, reinforcing what the phonograms sound like. All words are carefully selected so that the child can hear the phoneme, represented by the phonogram being shown, and read each word. This ability is based on prior knowledge of the alphabet and in having gone through the Alphabet Phonograms with the child one or more times before introducing the words.

Alphabet Phonograms

The Alphabet Phonograms teach the letter sounds, called phonemes. The first phonograms children learn in the Home Reading Program depict the phonemes of the alphabet. The child should first become acquainted with the names of the letters of the alphabet before beginning with Alphabet Phonograms. (Editors note: There are Alphabet Flashcards for this purpose. They are double-sided, showing both upper and lowercase letters.)

Work with Alphabet Phonograms is based on the child ’s familiarity with the alphabet. If you know the Alphabet Song, sing it often for your child. This song is what first keys the child’s interest in the alphabet, which is a preliminary step to reading.

The child is reading words almost from the start.
The Home Reading Program incorporates words into the flashcard sessions practically from the beginning. From the very first word shown with the very first phonogram, the child is reading! This claim can be made because words are carefully chosen to insure that the child knows the sound of each phonogram in every word at the time a word is first presented.

Knowing the names of the letters is helpful, too, because the letter names often contain the phoneme and will make learning the phoneme easier. For example, the letter "B" sounds like "bee" (phoneme b + ee).

The alphabet is learned first, not last.
In the Home Reading Program the child becomes familiar with the alphabet before he begins learning alphabet phonograms. This is done primarily through singing the Alphabet Song, every day, and then presenting the Alphabet Flashcards.

Ironically, the only thing the reading experts who are in opposite camps agree upon is that the alphabet should be taught last. Is this not backwards?

Start with simplicity.
I believe in starting with the simple and working toward the complex. I also believe that the child should be taught a complex phonogram, containing multiple phonemes, at a later stage than you would teach the simpler phonograms that contain only one or two phonemes.

This is how the program works
Before showing phonograms to the child, get his permission for you to show him the flashcards by the giving to you of his whole-hearted attention. (Make a bit of a fan-fare to attract his attention.) Before presenting phonograms for the first time, inform the child that letters have sounds and that when learning the sounds the letters are called phonograms. Also inform the child that the sounds the letters make are called phonemes. Tell him that you will show him a few phonograms and let him hear their phonemes.

The first flashcard that you present is recognized by the child to be the same as the letter “a”. There are four “a” flashcards because phonogram “a” has four phonemes. The first “a” flashcard represents its short vowel sound, which is pronounced for the child. The word shown on the other side of the flashcard is “at”. This word contains the short vowel sound for “a”. Words shown on the back of the flashcards will guide the parent in the pronunciation of the phonogram's phoneme for that particular flashcard.

Some phonograms have more than one phoneme. You present the most common sounds before giving second sounds, such as are found in the vowels (a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y) and in the consonants c, g, s, x and z. Before you begin teaching second sounds, tell the child that some phonograms have more than one phoneme, and name the letters that have more than one sound.

The child decodes the word he is shown
The first word flashcard is the word “at”. When shown the word, the child is able to read it because the short vowel sound for “a” was just given when the child was shown phonogram “a” on the other side of the flashcard. The presenter articulates the word clearly and slowly with emphasis placed on the short vowel “a” sound. The child is able to definitely hear the short vowel “a” sound in the word “at”.

The child is also able to recognize the “t“ phoneme because the child has been shown all of the Alphabet Phonograms in previous sessions. Furthermore, the child is familiar with the letter “t” and knows its name, “tee”, which name definitely contains the “t” phoneme. Therefore, the child can quickly comprehend the sound of the "t" phoneme in the word "at", even though he has not been shown the word flashcard for phonogram "t", yet.

The child is illumined from the start.
He knows what letters and phonograms are all about. He is reading, and it is easy! He becomes very interested and wants to know more. He is not puzzled by the process or bored with myriad words that he must memorize but can’t decode. Neither is he bothered by seemingly endless rounds of sounds that have no further meaning than the sound itself.

Download everything you need for free.
Because the alphabet (names of the letters, not sounds) is learned before beginning with phonograms, you may want to DOWNLOAD the free Alphabet Flashcards first. Both upper and lower case letters (capital and small letters) are shown with these flashcards. Upper case is on one side of the flashcard and lower case is on the other. The child learns both upper and lower case at the same time. ALL phonograms and learning materials can be downloaded from the above link.

It doesn’t take long for a child to be ready for phonograms.
You may wonder when a baby has learned the alphabet well enough to begin with phonograms. I recommend presenting Alphabet Flashcards several times before presenting phonograms. And remember to sing the Alphabet Song, over and over again!

In order to teach the Home Reading Program you should follow the guidelines for presenting flashcards. I strongly recommend that you read my two other articles on the subject of flashcards, as they contain guidelines.

For your convenience here are the links:

Accelerate Brain Development with Flashcards

Raise Your Child's IQ with Flashcards







Children and youth, the family, America and the nations are all under fire.. It will take heroic effort and a higher way of life to turn things around.

Articles will help you discover what the child needs to have available in the home environment for optimal learning.
Affordable online training and a wealth of free information for parents and teachers – moving early childhood and elementary education forward.
For parents, grandparents, teachers, mentors, childcare providers, and anyone who loves children.

Male and female energy comprise the whole of being. The spiritual union of Twin Flames results in creativity on a cosmic scale and can be seen to equate with the sexual union of father and mother in the planes of matter that results in the conception of the child.

This is my perspective on the indwelling worth and unlimited potential of human life in the womb.

If you are contemplating abortion, this LINK will tell you what you need to know about the soul's coming into embodiment, karma and reincarnation.
This is a detailed account of what is happening with the child's developing body during the first trimester of pregnancy. Also see "LEARNING in the Womb".
Making all the difference in the lives of many precious children. $20 per month enables a child living in the New Jerusalem Children's Home to attend Montessori preschool.
Studies prove children are endangered by CELL PHONE radiation and they shouldn't use them.
Some INFANT DEVICES can kill or do harm.



If you make your Amazon purchases from this site, the commission will help support site development. Any product counts, not just the books recommended on this site. To order, click on the icon below.

Thank you for shopping Amazon from this site!

Disclaimer:  This website hosts Internet publications for the dissemination of trends in education and is for informational purposes only. Viewers must use their own discretion. Publisher does not endorse or guarantee the efficacy of information, educational methods, products or learning materials found on this website, and does not give medical, legal or personal advice.

Home | Education | Learning Materials
| Children's Activities
Coloring Book | Contact Us
Links | Privacy Notice

Copyright Clare Parker
All rights reserved