Can a Three Year Old Read with Fast Phonics?
January 20, 2017 10:24 am
Time gentlemen please! No, I’m not referring to pub closing but, more accurately, to the closing of the school time table. Schools were actively teaching small groups of children in Greek and Roman days, but schools, as we know them, date from around the 16th century. From earliest times the basic idea has been to educate children in the 3Rs – Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. Today we can look back on vast numbers of architects,scientist, judges, poets, mathematicians, and all the great and wonderful thinkers who have emerged to lead the world, all educated under the 3R system. It has worked extraordinarily well, until now.
More and more frequently strident pressure groups are demanding their own politics du jour become part of the school syllabus.
Gender and transgender issues, totally inappropriate in school anyway, should not be taking up valuable class time. There is a mountain of empirical evidence to support the fact that any sex education is better left to an age when young people are ready to accept it and sufficiently mature to deal with the information. Rachel Johnson, in her article of 15 January, 2017 in the Daily Mail remembers asking her classmates to call her Richard. She was a tomboy – as simple as that. Children are children, they find their own identities in time. So let us leave politics out of school and clear the decks for a return to the 3Rs – two of which are right now being regretably ignored.
Of overwhelming importance is school time – that guinea stamp of education is being looted. Day after day another political issue is thrown up by some shouting minority, and because they drown out reason, yet another ten, twenty, forty minutes is shaved from your child’s education, from your child’s hope of a better job and a brighter future. I know this is my soap box, but believe me, time is one of the few things we can’t retrieve and are losing by the shed load. Already reading, writing and in many cases spelling have fallen victim to extraneous subjects, there is simply no time for them any more.
However, a hijacked timetable is only one issue. Another huge problem today is behaviour. I would love to see CCVT in every class in this country so that irresponsible parents, who refuse to confront their child’s bullying and behavioural issues, could be faced with proof. A Year 5 child tearfully told me this week she can’t hear the teacher because of all the noise around her. This is primary level and children walk around during lessons, they talk, they sing and even text. A Year 10 boy is being forced to change schools to escape the behaviour in his lessons. Added to this many of his classes are taken by supply teachers who simply hand out photocopies of old work to ‘go over.’ He is learning next to nothing. Class sizes are being blamed for everything from irregular attendance, to staff stress, to inadequate results, behavioural problems and probably global warming.
Classes in the UK are categorically not too large. China and South Korea have larger classes but, because they operate on respect and cooperation and a deep seated learning ethos, their results are much better. Parents expect their children to be respectful and to apply themselves with a sense of gratitude for their education. Greek and Roman scholars honoured their teachers and treasured learning. Sadly many parents in this country have no such expectations of their offspring and will even defend their right to be insubordinate saying, ”They’re only children, you can’t expect them to be perfect.” – and I have heard this many times.
I am not Ofsted. I rarely even walk into a classroom these days, but I regularly see the results of disrupted education. Dispirited children, of all ages, come to me and I teach them to read, to write, to comprehend and to interpret questions. For this reason it is imperative you teach them to read and comprehend at home. As I say it’s not rocket science. I hope it is becoming apparent as we move along just how simple the process is and if you follow my fast phonics programme at least your child will be in the higher level sets and will be given a fair chance.
Your reader now knows.
You, the, they, I, me, a, no, little, your, we, beautiful, come, go, to, be, she, saw, my, house, was, do, for, she, he.
Y as on the end of a word.
oo, ee, sh, th, wh, ch, ck.
Magic e (split digraphs).
ang, eng, ing, ong, ung.
ar, er, ir, or, ur.
said, oh, are, one, friend, magic, colour, their, great, who.
Now we move to.
all, ell, ill, oll, ull.
Print them singly in red pen on white cards. Take ‘ull’ shopping, blue-tack ‘ell’ to the kitchen door, put ‘oll’ to bed and wake him up in the morning. All the tricks of teaching and learning. For older students, simply set the sounds out and go over and over until they have been committed to memory.
Your new reader can now work out the following text from all the sounds and sight word learnt to date.
‘Jenny saw their friends with colourful magic balloons. She was very happy, all her family came along to see the beautiful display. There were pretty hills too with green trees and small pink roses that filled their senses with wonderful smells. Jenny was thrilled, she called her friend Benny who picked a rosebud and gave it to Jenny. Jenny and her family and Billy took their blue and green skipping ropes from a basket and skipped up and down the hills. They chased balloons and had great fun telling tales and singing songs.
Jenny and Billy fetched water from an old stone well and they mixed it with raspberry to make a refreshing drink. Jenny’s family loved the raspberry drink and called it ‘Raspberry Cheer.’
After a while they all went home with their balloons and skipping ropes and with some ‘Raspberry Cheer’ for Jenny’s Grandma.’
This is a formidable achievement and, using fast phonics, can be accomplished by a three year old – I have done it several times – and literally hundreds of times with four to five year olds.
My next post will cover ten new sounds and we shall be over half way. I will also discuss the best way to encourage your child to be a neat writer, so necessary today when formal writing lessons are disappearing swiftly.
This is Teaching Post 10
This post was written by Alonah Reading Cambridge