This is the hard-th sound. It usually leads a word rather than ends it. If you aren’t quite sure, say: the, these, this, then. See how it is harder and has more sound to it than the soft-th ending words like with or in the middle of words like pithy? Notice that with the soft-th, your tongue tends to be out and in between your top and bottom front teeth. With the hard-th sound, it tends to be just behind your top front teeth.
It’s a subtle difference, but it is there.
At least, I think it is.
Digraphs, if you recall, are when two or more consonants together have their own special sound. If you tell the children this, they will more readily accept this lesson.
Let’s make another little chart:
The children won’t need to know the word this just yet, but I like to give at least three examples when I’m starting these charts, and the word is simple for them to read using what they already know. Remember that as we add more digraphs to our repertoire, we might want to leave enough room to add more words that fit the rule as we go on, so keep that in mind when you’re making it.
Since your child already knows the word the, he is only a step away from sounding these words out on his own. Tell him the special sound, and then encourage him to do the reading. Once he’s practiced a couple times, move on with the regular lesson. The introduction of digraphs, diphthongs, and the rest, ought to be brief. If you find your child has trouble understanding, cut down on the number of pages of reading for the day. Do not go over the 15 minute maximum for the lesson length.
An exception might be for a child who is older, but I still encourage the time limit if the child is having trouble grasping the new idea.
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