The Amazing House, through entertainment, teaches children about phonemic awareness and the alphabetic principle (the sounds that letters and diagraphs make (e.g. sh and ch). Current research shows that these two skills go hand in hand with each other and are critical for a child to be able to read. This is why BOTH these aspects are covered in The Amazing House.
Reading is a complicated process. When we read, we are reading the letters in a word as a whole. We are not individually sounding them out. Unlike speaking, reading is learnt! EVERYBODY learns how to read. Some people, though, pick it up more quickly than others. Beginner readers therefore need to be taught the necessary decoding skills to read the word as a whole.
For example, with the word hat, we know that hat is made up of sounds h-a-t. But we wouldn't know this unless at school we were taught what sound "h" makes, what sound "a" makes and what sound "t" makes and that when we add all the sounds in h+a+t together we get the word hat!!! This is why decoding is critical to being able to read.
The Amazing House is based around the Carnine Order. The Carnine Order was developed by Douglas W. Carnine, who studied the most popular sounds in English and made an order to determine what sounds were most common and what sounds were least. Episodes 1-10 of The Amazing House are based on the first 10 sounds of the Carnine Order while in episodes 11-13, three diagraphs are learnt. Diagraphs are two letters that are not individually decoded. For example when we read sh, we do not go "s"-"h" when saying ship. It is read as "sh"-"i"-"p".
The Amazing House not only focuses on alphabetic principle. It also focuses on phonemic awareness, which is the ability to hear, manipulate, substitute, rhyme, segment and blend sounds in words. Phonemic awareness skills are critical building blocks for reading.
As you can see learning to read is really confusing. This is why The Amazing House is designed to be a useful tool for parents and teachers to entertain children whilst teaching them foundational reading skills.
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