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Memorizing Whole Words Doesn’t Work!

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It is absolutely absurd


that American children


are not learning how to read!


Memorizing whole words

instead of learning to sound out words is ridiculous.


TONS OF CHILDREN are NOT LEARNING TO READ because instead of learning to sound out words, they are concentrating on The Common Core Dolch Sight Word List which emphasizes the memorization of WHOLE, high frequency “service words” for children as young as kindergarten.


Of course, the memorization of whole words is an ABSURD way to teach small children how to read, but most parents (and teachers) desire to trust “the educator” (or “the professor”) believing that it’s in the best interest of American children.


However, let’s imagine for just a minute if we taught other “services” in this same way. For example, let’s take the “servicing” of broken washing machines.


Suppose you decided to train someone who has been raised in a remote area (someplace where electrical service was not available) to “service” broken washing machines.


The first thing you’d need to show him is what an average homemaker knows:
1) what a washing machine looks like
2) what it does
3) which button to push to make it work


After that you’d take the washing machine apart and show him each mechanical part, explain each part’s function, and, finally, demonstrate for him exactly how each part carries out its function in correlation with all the functions of the other mechanical parts.


Now imagine just how RIDICULOUS it would be to skip all of that instruction (simply because teaching all of that takes so much time) and, instead, show your student pictures of each of the machine parts, and then ask him to memorize the name of each part by showing him the pictures of the parts over and over and over and over again.


Then, make your next step the following:

“Hey, Joey, now that you know what each part looks like, go on over to Mrs. Smith’s house and fix her broken washing machine.”


How many Joeys would be able to pull that off to a customer’s satisfaction?

You see, Joey may learn what a motor pulley looks like or he may be able to recognize an off-balance switch

or an agitator or a water inlet valve, but how many washing machines do you think Joey will go through before he either:

a) learns how all those washing machine parts function together or

b) develops such a low self image that he up and quits his job?



And yet,

as ridiculous

as all of that sounds,


all the necessary instruction

and jumping right into 

the memorization

of whole words

is precisely the method

we’re using to teach

our small children to read, 

simply because

our educators believe that

“Teaching phonics 

takes too much time!”  

(Yeah! That’s BOLOGNA!)


You see, instead of first teaching our students the individual letter sounds, and then teaching them the short vowel sounds and then building them into simple, short-vowel words by showing them how to BLEND THOSE SOUNDS TOGETHER in order to read beginning short-vowel words like:


INSTRUCTORS TODAY MAKE THE MISTAKE of trying to SAVE TIME by jumping them into memorizing WHOLE words like:


and even r-controlled words like:



No wonder so many kids hate school or develop self image problems.

We are asking them to do things in life we haven’t prepared them to do.

You don’t teach a kid how to swim by throwing him into the deep end of the pool and telling him to swim a few laps.

Yeah, some kids may tread water and make it, but I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that at least 40% of them WILL DROWN!


But, hey, what do we care, right? The majority survive. They muddle through. Hey, some even go on to college.



So how do we answer this absurdity?  I hear this one often:

“That’s life. I guess it’s about time we all learned to deal with disappointments. I’ve done everything I can, and my child still can’t read.”


MY ANSWER:  Have you tried a basic synthetic, step-by-step ABSOLUTELY FREE, parent-friendly phonics program?



Carol Kay, President

Candy 4WAY Phonics


P.S. check out our basic synthetic, step-by-step affordable, parent-friendly phonics program.  IT’S ABSOLUTELY FREE.  


 You CAN teach your child how to sound out every word on every page.