So the reading wars go on, judging by this week’s Mumsnet debate about phonics between children’s author Michael Rosen and Schools minister Nick Gibb.
Unusual for me to agree with a government minister, but I have to say, on this one Mr Gibb has all the aces.
If you want to teach a child to read, the phonics method (teach them the sounds associated with the letters of the alphabet, then ask them to sound out words) is the common sense method. And it works.
The idea a child will somehow learn to read by hearing enough books read aloud or guessing at words from the context and the pictures is just bizarre.
Sure it sounds smug, but I taught my kids to read – and while I didn’t know it was called the phonics method – it’s how we did it. It’s the way I was taught to read, too. Sometimes the old-fashioned ways are just the best.