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How were children taught to read before everyone started going on about phonics?

45 replies

puffling · 02/02/2008 23:11

I learnt to read at some point, but don't remember being taught at all. Was there a preferred method in the 70's? If so, what was it?

OP posts:
Sixer · 02/02/2008 23:13

Peter. ohhhhh Peter and ......

Twinklemegan · 02/02/2008 23:13

I seem to remember being taught using a spelling out method, as in "c" "a" "t" = "cat", etc. Is that the same as phonics?

WendyWeber · 02/02/2008 23:13


Twinklemegan · 02/02/2008 23:14

Ooh yes, I remember Peter & Jane alright!

OverMyDeadBody · 02/02/2008 23:14

flash cards, whole word recognition, and phonics! Long before the phonics schemes we have in schools now where around they where still teaching kids the sounds the different letters made! It's not such a new concept.

WendyWeber · 02/02/2008 23:14

I learnt before I started school apparently (or my mum said I did) but I don't remember it, or how I learnt. My school reading books were Janet and John (I started in 1956 )

OverMyDeadBody · 02/02/2008 23:15

Yes sounding out is phonics!

Sixer · 02/02/2008 23:15

thanks wendyweber, you just go ahead and burst my bubble.

Twinklemegan · 02/02/2008 23:16

I think we used Janet and John as well - mine was quite an old-fashioned sort of school.

WendyWeber · 02/02/2008 23:16


colditz · 02/02/2008 23:18

My mother taught me to read, she says practically phonetically, and explaining tricky bits, and correcting me along the way - apparently the most effective way to learn to read is "A bit of everything"

wildwoman · 02/02/2008 23:20

phonics have been around a lot longer than when they were given a name and called "new"

Hulababy · 02/02/2008 23:20

DD's school still uses Peter and Jane They use it for the key words and have to say it worked really well for DD. They also use ORT ad a whole range of other schemes.

I learnt to read using a rane of way from sounding out (c-a-t) to sight reading.

Twinklemegan · 02/02/2008 23:21

Oh sorry WW . Well I meant that I started around 1979 so if you were using Janet and John in the 50s then mine must've been old-fashioned mustn't it? Which it was - it was straight out of the Chalet School I swear.

Sixer · 02/02/2008 23:23

mmm agree with most, mum taught c-a-t as well. I really can't remember the ch, sh, ou, qu and others though. Where did that kick in?

WendyWeber · 02/02/2008 23:23

Oh dear, sorry back, Tm - I was actually talking to Sixer, but your post got in before mine so it looked as if I was talking to you!

Twinklemegan · 02/02/2008 23:25

It's OK WW. I upset someone big time last night with my utter tactlessness so now I'm utterly paranoid.

Twinklemegan · 02/02/2008 23:25

Bit too much of the utterly in that sentence I think!

WendyWeber · 02/02/2008 23:27

Oh god Tm, been there, done that and got several t-shirts

Sixer · 02/02/2008 23:28

that's ok. I really did think Peter was hansom though and as for that Red setter, was it Pat..... always wanted one of those dogs, I still look at them now and think of those books. I also remember wishing I looked like Jane, very pretty girl. Was she Peters friend or sister?

Hulababy · 03/02/2008 10:11

Jane is Peter's sister.
Pat was their dog.

Feenie · 03/02/2008 10:25

Good teachers have always used phonics!

maverick · 03/02/2008 15:12

Yes, Feenie, but there's phonics and Phonics!

Analytic phonics - as used by most teachers in the past:

Synthetic phonics - should be in use now, but, unfortunately, due to poor training etc. still isn't happening in many schools:

Heated · 03/02/2008 15:53

Was taught in the 70s and it was synthetic phonics; there's nothing new in education! Imo think it's an excellent method for teaching reading and spelling.

JaneHH · 03/02/2008 16:12

Wow, blast from the past! Peter and Jane and Pat the dog... [wistful] All terribly non-PC (Jane helps Mummy with the washing-up, Peter helps Daddy with mowing the lawn / mending the car / sitting around on his bum waiting for supper etc etc)

Were they Ladybird books? (another classic of the 70s, I think)

Mum taught me, then I taught my younger sister (apparently) before we went to school. c-a-t is the way forward...

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