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Homeschool 601 : Teaching English as a second language at your home

To be honest, I did not use any specific syllabus or using any specific programs on educating my eldest boy, Hanafi, the English language. Neither do we send him to any English class. Basically, it dawned back to self-research, the available resources and the knowledge and experiences that I possess.

My objective on how I approach my son to meet the needs of fluency of this language is very simple. As long, he can read, be able to pronounce the words correctly, understand what he read and write and able to communicate in that language, it is good enough for his age for the time being.

I started of the exposure on English by repetition of read-aloud to him, educational videos and simple sentences and common action words in our daily conversation. These went on since babyhood to toddlerhood and by the age of 3 and a half, the lesson became structured and routine. Here’s a little bit sharing on how it went and still an ongoing process.


English is a funny language. You have Phonics and the Whole Word approach to teach reading. There is many debates ongoing on which is the best approach to teach child to read in English.

After much debates going around, many education experts agree it is essential to use both approaches. Most teachers or parents and many centers that provides English lesson, a lot of phonics has been emphasises. And some concentrate on the Whole Word approach. Actually you need to do both. Tthe difference between them is that Phonics is based on sounds and identifying common syllables which is great for spelling. While Whole Word approach is more on memorizing and emphasizing and widening your vocabulary.

Click here to understand more what is Whole Word Approach.

Click here to understand more what is Phonics Approach.

For a structured reading lesson, I begun with Whole Word approach for Hanafi for two years and only last year, I started Phonics. I did this because I do not want him to get confuse and since Hanafi has a great memory, he speeds up his reading. I used Keywords With Ladybird or famously known as Peter and Jane. Currently, Hanafi almost finishing his 5A book and going for 5B very soon. For your information, the Peter and Jane comes in 3 parts of Series. The A series is for introduction, the B series is for drilling and the C series is for emphasizing by writing practice.

I make it a point to possess the whole sets which I don’t buy it at one go. Bit by bit and getting them by best deal several times from several major bookstores. I am a bargain hunter!

Then, add on with Phonics and as I had attended Phonics method training, I created the Phonics system on my own and utilised these Phonic books that comes in set of 12 books.

2) Writing

I believe in Copy Writing for a beginner is a must. Started off with common words like objects, verbs and nouns and explained the meaning as he go along copying the words.

Then, move on to sentence writing. Again, common sentence which is part of common conversation too.

3) Comprehension and Composition

I used Read With Ladybird series which is very good for the way its upgrading its level of difficulties based on child’s capabilities. After reading each story, I would asked Hanafi to copy the short story. By this, he is not reading again, but simultaneously, familiarise himself with sentence structure and spelling.

As Hanafi ongoing his reading, I did’n stop to explain what he is reading at. I emphasised the sound and the familar words beforehand. Only after he has finished each book, I would jot down seveal words that can be found in his Peter and Jane book and write down the meaning by translating it to Malay language. I call this Vocabulary Book.From time to time, I asked him to read this book.

4) Speaking and Interacting

At most now, we mixed languages when interacting and conversing. This part needs lots of improvement since Hanafi could understand but sometimes he’s a bit reluctant to converse back in English. We are planning getting a hold of Classic Indoor Games like Scrabble, Monopoly, Happy Family, Old Maid and plenty more whereby the conversing English would be on role.

Apart from that, currently, Hanafi is doing lots of spelling for common words which we did spontaneously anywhere and anytime.

Hanz’s Note : This sharing chat is dedicated to Pija for her inquiry the other day. Sorry for this delayance, dear. It’s been ages I did’nt up chat on our Homeschool routines.And sorry folks for this chat contain lots of grammatical errors.

February 24, 2010 Posted by | Adore HOMESCHOOLING, Lifestyle on Parenting | 10 Comments