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Reading Reform Foundation (RRF) - Promoting Synthetic Phonics : Page Title

RRF Newsletter 55 back to contents
Teach Your Grandchildren to Read

We have been sent a booklet with the above title by the author, Thomas Wood. The booklet is dated 1996 and contains some useful ideas for phonics teaching, including the suggestion that it is helpful if the first consonants to be introduced are continuants (those such as /m/ and /s/, where the sounds can be held on to for as long as one has breath). The booklet is sensible in recognising that in the situation where grandparents are working with grandchildren, the children are likely to be very young and therefore to be ready to learn to read before they have enough physical co-ordination to learn to write.

Some of us would have reservations, however, about making words such as ‘me’, ‘be’, ‘we’, ‘no’, ‘go’ and ‘so’ the basis for the very first lesson. For one thing, there are relatively few words where the long vowel sound is represented in such a simple way, and for another thing, those of us who have worked a lot with children know the hoary old problem of getting them out of the habit of treating every vowel letter as ‘saying its name’.

Nevertheless, this is a short and simple booklet which grandparents and parents may find useful. No price is given, but enquiries can be made to Thomas Wood at




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