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Peter & Jane books

(55 Posts)
AnneEyhtMeyer Sun 13-Nov-16 21:19:03

Just seen the latest Book People magazine and they have the Peter & Jane books available as a set for a very reasonable price.

Well worth a look.

toldmywraath Sun 13-Nov-16 21:21:29

Wow thanks- I love those books. Bring back many happy memories. I'll have to have a look Anne.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 13-Nov-16 21:23:22

That sounds good How much?

AnneEyhtMeyer Sun 13-Nov-16 21:30:05

Only £29.99 for 36 books:

They also have some flash cards which link in for only £4.79:

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 13-Nov-16 21:35:49

That's not bad price.

1st link isn't working for me.

Flashcards look good though.

AnneEyhtMeyer Sun 13-Nov-16 22:05:45

Oh it works for me. Otherwise just search on their site for "Key Words".

mrz Mon 14-Nov-16 05:59:01

Nostalgia or to teach your child to read?

AnneEyhtMeyer Mon 14-Nov-16 15:58:19

Well my daughter can read now, so too late for her, but I think I'll get them for my niece.

toldmywraath Mon 14-Nov-16 18:15:35

My children are adults but would be lovely to teach my great nieces and nephews to read with these.

Caroian Mon 14-Nov-16 20:01:51

I honestly wouldn't try to teach a child to read with the Peter and Jane "Key words" books. They use the completely unintuitive and unnecessarily complex "Look and Say" method. They do not contain many phonically decodable words and thus are at odds with the way children are taught in schools - which can, at best, lead to confusion and at worst really hinder a child actually learning. They are also just completely illogical in terms of progression. I know that lots of us were taught this way and most of us ended up able to read just fine, but that doesn't make it a good way to learn to read. I can't actually imagine how you would use them to teach!

I do own a number of them - many originals, but some of the reprints to fill in the gaps. But I own them for the art work and nostalgia. I've only begun allowing my son to look at them now he is becoming a confident reader.

If you want to help a child to read at home, invest in a good set of phonics books -Songbirds are always a good bet, and usually available cheaply on the Book People too.

toldmywraath Mon 14-Nov-16 22:02:38

I agree that the art work is fab. Thanks for your ideas. Just wondering how phonics helps with sight words.

AnneEyhtMeyer Mon 14-Nov-16 22:10:42

Everyone my age learned to read with them just fine, so it must be completely possible to teach with them. The pictures were great.

Lindy2 Mon 14-Nov-16 23:35:31

They actually really helped one of my children with their reading when she was struggling in year 1 and 2. The books repeat the same words over and over concentrating on the most commonly used words. That repetition really helped my child gain confidence with her reading. She still used her phonics but by learning a good number of common words by sight she finally got to grips with reading. Phonics alone didn't really work for her. Lots of word repetition did.

mrz Tue 15-Nov-16 06:19:04

That's how they "work" children memorise a few words unfortunately they leave most children without a strategy to accurately and effectively tackle unfamiliar words. The fortunate ones are able to work out how our written language works the others left to struggle.

Caroian Tue 15-Nov-16 09:12:32

It is possible for lots of children to learn to read using them, but for some children they just won't work and so may confuse the issue - particularly if you are trying to start a preschool child off on them. I'm not sure how you "teach" with them as they rely so much on kids just recognising the shapes of specific words. As above they don't allow for learning (or teaching) a strategy to tackle unfamiliar words and words that aren't in the books. Lots of children would be able to simply memorise a Peter and Jane book (think how many know The Gruffalo off by heart!) but given a - for example - Songbirds phonics book, would then struggle. Ergo, they won't actually be readers yet.

I was taught using Look and Say (although I was a child who began reading before starting school) and we were still encouraged to "sound out" unfamiliar words. However as we hadn't actually been taught the sounds and "rules" to do this, it was very hit and miss - saying see-ay-tee doesn't give you cat! But the inclusion of sounding out even during the Look and Say era says a lot about the phonic basis of learning to read.

A lot (probably a majority) of children will learn to read with mixed methods, but for those who can't, the use of mixed methods can be really damaging to progress. We can't know which children will struggle until they start. It makes sense, therefore, to begin with the method for which there is excellent evidence and the highest success rate and move on only if children struggle with that. And like it or not, children will be taught using phonics when they start school, so any approach other than this before they start school has the potential to confuse.

Btw, there are very few true "sight" words in the English language when you are able to apply the full alphabetic code. It is true that contextual cues will, for example, help differentiate between homonyms. The idea of "sight words" for early readers is more that these words contain phonic sounds that are not part of the early phases of phonics. Many children will have learned to recognise these words by sight by the time they would learn the corresponding phonic sounds and therefore never need to sound them out. But it doesn't mean they can't be sounded out. High frequency "tricky" words like 'the' and 'was' are almost impossible to exclude from early reading books and usually parents or teachers will have to help a child read these words initially. But they don't need books to specifically address this as it happens as part of book which are otherwise purely phonically decodable.

Imaginosity Wed 16-Nov-16 20:56:56

I used these books along with jolly phonics to teach my child to read and found them really good. He's 7 now and reads very well. I don't see a problem teaching some sight words as long as children are also taught to decode phonic words.

Toffeelatteplease Wed 16-Nov-16 21:14:02

Peter and jane books are awesome. I was recommended look and see books where DS utterly failed to make progress with phonics for several years.

He was reading basically with in a week and more complex within a month.

The thing is phonics really is a nonsense. There are so many options, your actual sight/rote learning which you use for which word anyway. That quite aside from the fact that phonics quite literally teaches you to read nonsense. There no need to stop and work out what a word means if you can "read" it anyway. caught DD (phonics taught) at 10 doing this. look and see works from understanding up not word recognition down. It needs very little "teaching" cos it's really quite instinctive

Of course in reality there is a value to both. Some children will find phonics easier, some look and say. But it's about time we recognised the problems with phonics and the benefits of look and say.

Caroian Wed 16-Nov-16 22:32:28

It's great they your child is reading well. You can't really call phonics "nonsense" though. Phonics is how written words are translated to spoken word and vice versa. Without a "code" of symbols corresponding to sounds we'd have nothing. Looking at a word and saying it may seem instinctive and "not need teaching" to you - but that is largely because you know how to read and therefore it is instinctive. But how does it become so if you don't know what sounds the letters on the page represent? (I also don't understand the bit about not needing to stop and work out what a word means if you can read it - I can read lots of academic words I have no idea of the meaning of - I still need to find out the meaning! If anything, the opposite is true - if you know the meaning of a word you may have a shot at working out what it is - but this is exactly the kind of unreliable strategy that is best avoided because of the potential for problems. Better to decode the word and then look up the meaning if you don't know it.)

I think adults often dismiss phonics simply because once you can read, you no longer see the innate connection (--especially for the vast swathes of us that weren't taught this way and perhaps never saw it anyway--). Fluent readers don't sound out every word because they have gradually been embedded - its why so many people can read those memes where the middle letters in the words are all out of order. Of course we read partly by memory, by instinct, by context - but that is only because we can already read - the skill of decoding words or recognising words has become instinctive. But learning to read by memory alone is, for most people, an unnecessary chore. And even as adults we still come up against unfamiliar words. It's these words we need a strategy for. I suppose you need to think of phonics as less about "learning to read" and more about "learning how to turn the symbols on the page in to the right spoken sounds". The two go closely together, but then reading evolves.

I've gone slightly off topic, but I stand by the fact that the Peter and Jane books are lovely nostalgic books with beautiful artwork, that can be shared with children and read by those with a good grounding in reading. But I don't believe they are good for "teaching" children to read because they don't support progressive acquisition of the skills required to convert written letters in to accurate sounds, and thus "read".

The Bookpeople do often have the Songbirds Phonics books on offer though...

mrz Thu 17-Nov-16 06:15:57

"Of course in reality there is a value to both" unfortunately untrue

Feenie Thu 17-Nov-16 06:57:57

Peter and jane books are awesome. ...*The thing is phonics really is a nonsense.*

That's what all the evidence shows and it's why we stil use them today...oh, hang on...

Look and Say books were brought in without any evidence base whatsoever. Many children using them learned to read anyway and worked the alphabetic code out for themselves. Many children didn't. Thankfully, we tend not to teach using pie in the sky plus osmosis any more.

AnneEyhtMeyer Sat 19-Nov-16 00:14:58

mrz "unfortunately they leave most children without a strategy to accurately and effectively tackle unfamiliar words"

This is blatantly untrue though, isn't it? Or are you saying that most people who went to school in the Peter & Jane era can't read outside of the P&J vocabulary?

Feenie Sat 19-Nov-16 00:23:19

Yes, she's saying exactly that - they many, many children confused, who were either able to work out the alphabetic code by themselves (not a recommended strategy for obvious reasons) or unable to work it out at all. Look and Say was introduced on a whim - no evidence base whatsoever - and has failed generations of children since. That's why it is no longer a recognised successful method of teaching reading. Nowadays, we teach the alphabetic code explicitly, and evidence shows it benefits most children - instead of the lucky some.

AnneEyhtMeyer Sat 19-Nov-16 00:31:44

Oddly in all my life I have not come across anyone who had this problem amongst my age group.

So there are millions of people unable to read beyond "Look at the ball?" level? Where is the proof of this?

80sMum Sat 19-Nov-16 00:32:01

Both of my children learned to read with Peter and Jane books in the 1980s. I recall that (like I was, in the 1960s) they also learned basic phonics at the same time,which does help with working out what an unfamiliar word might be.

The problem with phonics though, as a learning tool, is that English is very irregular and doesn't obey its own rules. I actually think that too much emphasis on phonics can hinder the learning process.

Feenie Sat 19-Nov-16 00:55:49

So there are millions of people unable to read beyond "Look at the ball?" level? Where is the proof of this?

No - but there are millions of people who were left to work it out for themselves - nowadays, we don't think that's such a good teaching strategy

.*The problem with phonics though, as a learning tool, is that English is very irregular and doesn't obey its own rules. I actually think that too much emphasis on phonics can hinder the learning process.*

You're probably thinking of the simple code - 44ish sounds. We spend Y1 beyond teaching the complex code which covers most words - only about 6% of words are genuinely undecodeable. Most (96%) of children who are well taught have no problem with that and will happily substitute alternative sounds in unknown words.

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