Phonetical Fear

Phonetics. Is it odd that the mere mention of them fills me with fear, uncertainty and stubborn-jaw-setting attitudes?

I don’t know about you, but when I was a child ‘A’ was a letter that made the sound ‘ah’… but it was called ‘A’ . (which is like a cow making the sound ‘moo’ but being called cow in my mind). But for Eden ‘A’ will both be called ‘ah’ and say ‘ah’. And i immediately find myself finding reasons why this is dumb – which in itself is dumb, because in a rational discussion I see why it is easier to learn to read and write because phonetics. But in my stubbornness this is dumb, because what about all of the examples in the English language that break the rules? Like Aegean (ok that’s not specifically english…) & space & ache????

So as I find myself teaching eden about numbers & colours and letters I don’t know what to do. Obviously the alphabet song is out. I don’t know the ‘curly cuh’ rules (except that one apparently). Is there a place where those of us who were taught the old way can now learn the new way? Or do I have to wait till he is at school and brings worksheets home that explain it?

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2 thoughts on “Phonetical Fear

  1. I am teaching Ruby a mish mash. I don’t see that there’s any reason why she shouldn’t be able to learn the sounds and the names of the letters, if you see what I mean. We have a Jolly Phonics DVD, a Letterland book (which I understand is out of favour these days, but which she loves) and we sing the alphabet, so when she asks me what a letter is, I say “That is A, and it says ah or ay,” and so far so good. Like you said, she understands that a cow is a cow, but says moo, so why not the same with letters? I want her to be familiar with the system she will be taught at school, but hearing Cameron talk about synthetic phonics in one of the leaders debates, I don’t know what that will be by the time she gets there, and since she will have to learn the letter names at some point I don’t see anything wrong with her learning from both angles now, when she is surely at her most able and willing to learn. Just do what comes naturally x

  2. we’ve done a bit of both. teaching a hard and fast rule in english is impossible i think. there are always exceptions.
    good luck.
    (im always checking with andy for the phonetic sounds. i remember this struggle in england as well)

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