Ruth Miskin’s top tips for parents

OMG it’s the end of the term 3 holidays and I had planned to write a blog for parents of children starting school in 2017, as a kind of antidote to any well-meaning but incorrect advice to encourage children to guess written words from pictures, first letters and context rather than sounding them out.

The internet to the rescue! I found some nice, short videos by the UK’s Ruth Miskin called “top tips for parents” about the following topics:

  1. Saying sounds correctly
  2. Linking sounds to letters
  3. Two letters, one sound
  4. Practise, practise, practise
  5. Putting sounds together to make simple words
  6. Tricky words
  7. Reading books
  8. Using pictures
  9. Writing letters
  10. Read to your child as much as you can

Of course Miskin is promoting her own programs and resources in these videos, but the very sensible and evidence-based main ideas can be applied using many other explicit, synthetic phonics programs and materials.

Miskin has a stack of other videos for parents here, but right now I don’t have time to watch them all, I’d be interested to hear what others think of them. Lots of useful stuff, I imagine.

Experienced and extremely nice Melbourne teacher Liz Chapman (who never blows her own trumpet so I like to occasionally blow it for her) was running very affordable Read Write Inc training earlier this year. More details and her contacts are on this flyer, if anyone wants to nag her to run some more.

I’ll embed links to all 10 Ruth Miskin Top Tips for Parents videos below, so they are easy to navigate and revisit and share without getting lost on YouTube.

1. Saying sounds correctly

I think the video about how to say sounds she refers to is this one, or try Get Reading Right’s Phoneme Pronunciation page (make sure you scroll down, there is more than just the video).

2. Linking sounds to letters

3. Two letters, one sound

4. Practise, Practise, Practise

5. Putting sounds together to make simple words

6. Tricky words

7. Reading books

8. Using pictures

9. Writing letters

10. Read to your child as much as you can

 

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2 thoughts on “Ruth Miskin’s top tips for parents

  1. Karina

    ReadWrite Inc. was the first synthetic phonics programme that I learnt to teach when I was training initially to be a teacher in the UK.
    The advice is great for parents, but even more relevant for teachers. Most teachers in Australia do not graduate from Uni with this level of knowledge in how to teach reading. No wonder Australia’s literacy levels are so low.
    Can we please rename the post ‘Ruth Miskin’s Top Tips For Teachers’ and get it out to all of Australia’s teachers and student teachers.

    Reply
    1. alison Post author

      Hi Karina, yes, teachers are in the difficult position of not being taught the stuff they are meant to be experts about, but addressing this is a tricky thing because of course since they are meant to be experts, and suggesting they aren’t is not a popular thing to do. I think conversations with parents are the key to changing this, I’ve certainly seen change happen as a result of these conversations in some of the schools I know. So I’m hoping that arming parents with good information will help them have helpful conversations that encourage teachers to revisit their thinking on this topic

      Reply

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