How Clever Parents Speed Up Maths

July 4, 2016 2:25 pm Published by Comments Off on How Clever Parents Speed Up Maths

Number? Well, yes. Once upon a time there was simple addition, multiplication, division and subtraction. We all learned these drills and the easy methods to carry them out. By the time we left school we may not have been too hot on simultaneous equations, or applying Pythagoras but our very basic drills were set in stone. Then hoved into view the ‘experts.’ They changed old methods to ‘simplify’ them for slow learners. But, big problems arose. As I have said many times, parents provide the golden element in their child’s education. They are the people who deal with homework, parents shine a light into those dark, fearsome corners of a child’s misunderstanding. New maths, however, is simply not understood by...

My Journey to an MBE with Phonics

June 20, 2016 11:52 am Published by Leave your thoughts

I have never liked cliches but an apt one does spring to mind ‘my journey’ to an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours has certainly been long – 57 years, but, above all it has been wonderful and fruitful. So many children, so many tearful mums with the same story, ”Johnny’s teacher has said he’s useless.” Each child was a human being, with a life and future to fulfil. That was when the ‘magic’ happened. A handful of phonics, time, patience, love and every child became a reader. And for every little reader the world of knowledge opened up. He/she could now read the questions in maths, the information in science and could read and comprehend English. Each child became a...

How Did Grammar and Punctuation Get Worse?

June 6, 2016 1:23 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

From the mid 1960s, rules of grammar and punctuation were deemed pedantic and even unnecessary. When I asked a child to write a sentence with a verb and Johnny/Susie wrote, ”I were going to the circus with me mum and me sister,” it was not to be corrected. After all, the child had grasped the ideas of ‘sentence’ and ‘verb’. He should not be burdened with the pressures of grammar. Spelling was still near-enough-is-good-enough and red pen became an evil element that would scar a child’s self esteem and ergo, his social and emotional future. Of course, at base level, teaching became a doddle, child’s play. Teachers’ knowledge of grammar and punctuation became sketchy and marking was reduced to a...

Early Childhood Reading – Why It Went Wrong

May 26, 2016 1:24 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

My family was spread out. The youngest, Kerry, is 20 years younger than myself. When Kerry was 8 years old I was a trained teacher with 6 years’ experience. When I helped her with her spelling one day and insisted, like for my own class, that the spellings were correct, she burst into tears and said, ”Mrs Plum says we only have to get the words nearly right!” That was 1964 and that year began the rot in education. From then forward hippy, creative, avant garde thinkers began to change education. Phonic reading was dropped in favour of reading books with 4 or 5 words relentlessly repeated, ‘Look, come, go,’ etc, until the child could ‘read’ the book from memory and almost...

Bright Kids Can Win Despite Their Parents

May 22, 2016 3:53 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Two events occurred in the last few weeks, juxtaposed events that speak volumes. Firstly a teenager I know was invited to spend a week or so teaching in Africa. Other teens had described to me their disbelief when they had, on their first visit, seen how several family members would share one uniform, getting a day or a half day’s learning a week. Often they walked miles to and from school, so highly prized is education. The second thing that happened was a newspaper trumpeted the success of a father winning his battle to extend his child’s holiday into term-time in order to get cheaper travel. This ‘good news’ was duly passed around Facebook as as a ‘Yippee’ ruling. How...

Reading Every Day

May 12, 2016 2:48 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Supervised reading aloud – with an adult checking the correctness of EVERY word – should be carried out every day for every child. Reading should be done like this at school, but increasingly schools are claiming it is too time-demanding. As a result, more and more frequently, reading is being left to parents. Many parents simply refuse to help, wrongly believing that school subjects belong at school. If you are one of those or if you listen to your child while driving, chopping the beans or mixing up a cake, be warned. Poor or halting reading does not, categorically does not, ‘come good’ by Year 6. Regardless of the degree of difficulty of KS2 SATS papers, your child has to...

Welcome to our new website!

March 11, 2016 4:08 pm Published by Comments Off on Welcome to our new website!

Introducing our new website, offering the best phonic books to aid your child in becoming a successful reader – Fast! Please get in touch with us if you’d like more information or advice on purchasing the best book for you.