Friday, 6 April 2012

Jolly Phonics - Is it me or is this wrong??

My eight year old daughter is one of those children who was really not ready for school and learning to read and write until the age of seven.  Unfortunately her confidence has been dented in the three years of schooling she has so far endured.

However, now some progress is being made, I purchased a Jolly Phonics Activity Book for her to do at home. It contains stickers which she just loves and a variety of fun activities.  I chose one which contained phonics that I know she has not yet managed to retain.  Now she is in year 3, apparently phonics are no longer used because of course they have already learnt them!

I was looking through it before showing her so I could be sure of what was required and make sure I could guide her to the activities she would enjoy, learn from but be achievable so we could boost her confidence when I came across the activity aimed at recognising the sound.

For the "ou" sound (think ouch), you are asked to draw a line from the pictures of things that contain the "ou" sound with the big "ou" letters in the middle.  That's all fine.  However, the pictures it contained were: "house", yep get that; "hedgehog", yep get that this is the one they have to realise doesn't contain the sound; and then "owl" and "cow"!  Yes they have the "ou" sound in them but they are clearly made by the letters O and W not O and U.

Now maybe it's just me, and I would very much like to hear other people's views, but surely this will then lead to my daughter being unable to read the word "cow" and trying to spell it "cou"??!!

Surely it is more beneficial to teach in a group all the phonics that will make the "ou" sound?  For example, focus on the "ou" sound for a length of time but teach that it can  be made by, "ou", "ow" and any other combinations of letters to make the same sound.

I'm now left unsure what to do and feel as though actually I can't use half of this book for fear of confusing my daughter further than she already is.  I am a teacher but at high school level so this really is not my field. I very much want to use a multi-sensory approach and have her make sounds out of a variety of materials etc.  Does anyone know of a better resource I could use to teach the phonic sounds in a more sensible, less confusing approach?  Surely I can't be alone in thinking this book is really taking the wrong approach?

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