Thursday, May 23, 2024

The Joy Of Jolly Phonics

All parents of small school-age people will know about ‘jolly phonics‘. It’s a super-awesome way for children to learn how to read and write and we are lucky enough to be taking our first steps into this jolly world with Joshua.

So far I’m finding them about as jolly as a bout of gastric flu, combined with a particularly irritating cough and two broken legs.

It’s tricky when you’re not expecting them.

We’ve been tarting around with letters at home for a couple of years now. Foolishly though, we’ve been calling them by their 1980s teaching-methods proper alphabet names. The kind that Big Bird used on Sesame Street (apart from the unhelpful American ‘zee’ of course).

Reading the school induction pack it’s now clear that we should have been teaching him sounds and ‘fun’ actions instead. Like making an aeroplane nosedive sound and accompanying actions for an ‘n’ rather than ‘n’ is for ‘nanny’. Bugger.

We have seemingly already pretty much limited Joshua’s future career potential to toilet cleaner or reality TV star by teaching him letters in a less than jolly fashion.

Having learnt to read and write the old-fashioned way I don’t really like jolly phonics quite yet. I’m sure it’ll grow on me, but for now the list of ‘cursive letter formation rhymes‘ is making me weep just looking at it.

‘d – little smile, curly caterpillar over, back round the roundabout, tall dinosaur neck, down and exit’

What the hell does that mean?! And how is that even a rhyme?!

It’s like Joshua is learning a different language. The ‘jolly phonics actions’ are stressing me out too.

‘e – pretend to hold an egg in one hand and crack it against the side of a pan. Use both hands to open shell saying eh, eh, eh’

Come again?! ‘e = eh = egg’ I can get my head around. Pretending to one-handedly crack and then two-handedly open an egg in order to ‘sound out’ elephant I can’t yet get to grips with!

And yes I appreciate that they wouldn’t be teaching it in this nails-scraping-down-a-chalkboard-ingly irritating way unless it worked but my word I’m hating it so far!

I guess I assumed at some stage in the next 14 years that Joshua’s homework would become too hard for me to help him with. I just didn’t expect it to come in week 2…

Next up – Joshua learns to play football through acting out scenes from Macbeth whilst blindfolded and suspended from a bungee cord.

Jolly my arse…

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2 thoughts on “The Joy Of Jolly Phonics

  • Jenny

    Go on You Tube and search Jolly Phonics. Watch the videos of the initial sounds…. they’re addictive e.g a a ants on my arm, they’re causing me alarm. Loads of actions, songs etc … it starts to make sense. To be honest as a teacher jolly phonics is quite easy for phonics, it’s when the vowel sounds, split diagraphs and trigraphs set in in yr 1 that will scare you!! Good luck !!!

    • Thanks Jenny. I can’t wait for year 1 😂😂 We were doing the YouTube rhymes earlier today. I’m sure I’ll start enjoying it really soon…

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