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Monday, February 6, 2023


 I was taught to read with this in first grade, in 1966 or thereabouts. Then, in second grade, we made the transition to standard English orthography. All I remember was a book by Milne, like Now we are six, or maybe, When We Were Very Young. It wasn't hard to switch to normal spelling, since I already knew the principle of correspondence between sounds and letters. I wasn't a great student, and was "slow" at doing the stupid worksheets we had to do.  It wasn't until 3rd grade that something clicked in my brain and I became relatively smart. 

This fell out of favor with phonics falling out of favor. I think the best reading is with books that give children something of the materiality of language. That is why nursery rhymes, or Dr. Seuss, are very good. I remember too A Child's Garden of Verses.  

Aside from an ignorance of neuroscience, there is also an indifference to linguistics in the devaluing of phonics.  

We did new math, too, when we were learning. It was very abstract, and did not help me learn math.  It was trying to make simple arithmetic principles into graduate level number theory.  


Leslie B. said...

I liked the new math, it was more interesting than almost anything else presented, but then I like abstraction. Hated all the conformist emotion of English and the faux patriotism of History.

Phaedrus said...

Hop on spot!