Monday, 18 April 2016
The Phonic Pharce (Adventures of L-Plate Gran)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Grandma in possession of a small child must be in want of practically nothing. Except advice. Lots and lots of advice. Currently on how I am blighting Little G's academic chances by the stuff I let her do.
Now, anecdotally I didn't 'learn' to read until I was 7 - my parents sent me to one of those knit-your-own-yoghurt schools that were trendy in the 1950s. But I was definitely reading by the time I was 4. I taught myself from library books, because I wanted to know what was happening in the pictures.
Little G has been 'reading' for ages in that she knows the stories in several books, turning the pages at the appropriate time. She can recite most of Slinky Malinki ... saying words like 'rapscallion cat' with evident glee. She can pick out and say letters on shop signs and associate them with words.
But according to the phonics police on Twitter, I should not be letting her. She MUST NOT say 'Dee for Daddy ... Gee for Grandma' etc. because in Year 1 (that's around FOUR YEARS OLD) she may have to take a phonics test. Yep, a test!
I remember phonics stuff from the early 1970s when I was branch librarian at Harlesden Library. It was the only way to teach kids reading (sic). We had picture books and simple stories in phonic-type words. Nobody (including the kids) could read them. It was dropped a short time later as it was considered that it hindered rather than helped children to access literacy.
But that was then, friends. Today, trendy educators who never knew any better have re-introduced it. Over my dead body. So, fellow Grandparents, please join me in a corporate act of musical defiance. Altogether now - after three:
W,X,Y and Z
Now I know my ABC, next time won't you sing with me?''
To be continued ... ....