Real Spellers

English Makes Sense!

So, I recently talked with an educator about how they were teaching their kids in regards to spelling and reading instruction. She was talking to me about word families which I was also taught in college. It got me thinking about all the different ways the spelling is taught and then that lovely queen from the toolkit, you all know the one, popped up in my head. There are so many "approaches" that are competing for our attention as teachers and instructors, which ones are trustworthy? What do we want to accomplish as educators in the world of English? 

I have my opinion on word families, amongst other approaches and beliefs, but I wanted to pose a question that dealt with the beginnings of English language instruction: where do you start? Or better yet, which comes first? The grapheme or the base? 

I'm growing confused, because I'm so used to launching lessons from graphemes and discovering the graphemes and phonemes in bases that we find or study. I'm starting to get a feeling that maybe I should teach the base and let the kids discover the graphemes. I'm frustrated with this, but I thought I should ask the community. 

Which comes first? The base or the grapheme? Or phoneme?

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