In the past few months I’ve been trying to get my head round phonics to help teach my daughter who’s in reception. Kind of struggle to get my head round it, and find it incredibly frustrating, so was interesting to see this today:

I don’t remember learning to read myself. I remember we used the Letterland materials in primary school - Hairy Hat Mat and company - and Biff, Chip and Kipper books (which I was amazed to find they still have) so not sure if I learnt via phonics as well.

But yeah, interested to hear from teachers / other parents about your experience with the whole thing.

Clueless. M teaches me more than I do her. Oh mummy that’s a diagraph!

Yes yes it is?


Used it loads when I was doing ESL stuff. Found it very useful for that but English being English means that the principles only apply 80% of the time (exceptions to the rules and then exceptions to those exceptions).

With the above in mind I think phonics is amazing at giving learners the confidence to have a go at new words.

Also, there’s loads of bad bad bad phonics teaching out there which probably doesn’t help the perception of it

Fuck Phonics!!!11

I honestly thought that phonics had been dropped as a teaching method back in the mid-00s after it was claimed to be mostly guff, but my niece is being taught with it now, and it seems to be widespread, which surprised me.

doesn’t it preview linked posts?
A lot of the time I feel like I am teaching him 2 completely different things. How to read and write (when I read with him and learn new words) and phonics. Just seems to be a disconnect between all the phonics sounds and actually applying them to reading and writing. I’m sure that in time it would feel more connected and he starts to recognise patterns etc, but feel like in the time he does that I could have just read books with him and he would get there that way anyway.
My wife thinks I’m a dick and is fully on the phonics train and says stuff like “well, how did you learn new words then that are unfamiliar? phonics is the building blocks for that” etc and I just say “who knows, through reading books? I just did!”

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What will be the first post to reference Stereophonics?

This one

Yeah I wish I could remember how it worked for me

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Here’s my take - phonics is fucked, but the English language is fucked too. Phonics seems to be a system for making sense of it, rather than just putting words in front of children and telling them they just need to learn it

Both ways fail children, because there isn’t a one size fits all solution and children learn in different ways


Like 90% of my stress/run ins when home schooling was honestly down to phonics. Because there was so much of it, and I was too busy/lazy to learn it myself to teach it (becasue the whole concept really annoyed and baffled me).
Can’t wait until we get into some serious maths down the line to see what wild shit they are teaching now!

Having done two stints of phonics home schooling with Offspring II over the past couple of years (one Reception, one Year 1) I now know a lot more than I used to about phonics.

And the thing I know best about phonics? Fuck phonics…

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Can’t pronounce ‘th’ sounds so will be utterly useless if I ever have to try to teach them

For a while Jimbo was putting a smile underneath the A and E in his name, and it took us ages to realise that it was because that’s how they teach split digraphs

Oh yeah, trying to do “r” with daughter yesterday but it turns out she can only do “w”, so that complicates things.

At Jimbo’s school it seems to be a combination of the two - learning common words, and also giving them the building blocks to figure out words they haven’t seen before (I was quite impressed that he managed to figure out Disguise and Familiar in a book he was reading to me last night)

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Billy Blue Hat was a dick wasn’t he?

We had him, but the teachers seemed to lose interest - from memory we only seemed to do a few of the series then moved on to something else but no idea what.

There’s even a Cbeebies program now!

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Ahhh phonics. Ofsted love a scheme and then the books must match the scheme and £££ are made.

Some children are fine, others don’t get it at all and need sight words etc. Some are just too young and get it later.

Reading, books, talking etc is crucial. The gap between those who read at home/have access to books and those who don’t is massive in reading, writing and in general.

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