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March 8, 2010

Look and Say vs Phonics

Imagine walking into a place with books and more books. Books on shelves, books on the floor, books stacked against the wall. There's just enough room to walk through. There are more books then any one person would know what to do with. Well that's where I was this pass weekend.
DH Saturday morning said I want to go to Toad Hall? "Toad What?" I replied, "What is that?" "Toad Hall" DH replied, "It's a store that sells old books and comics." I quickly learned that DH has known about the place for YEARS, just never told me! He said it doesn't open till noon. So we decided we would go then. My FIL (Father-In-Law) called to see what we were up to and decided that he would join us at Toad Hall.

We walked into Toad Hall and I wanted to run out. I was just in awe over the books and how everything was stacked up on each other. I thought to MYSELF "My gosh, I'm surprise they are allowed to be in business and that this isn't considered a fire hazard." The lady behind the counter welcomed us and asked if we were in search of something special. We told her no just looking. Eying Superstar and Web-princess she offered that the Children's books were up on the 3rd floor! 

We looked at her an amazement 3rd floor? Yes this is the second floor there's stuff downstairs, upstairs, and in the building across the street. I made my way then to the stairs and climbed them. As I got to the top I couldn't find a light, thankfully there was a HUGE window, and noted there was no heat up here. Again I wonder how can they be in business? Not only that I had to stretch my legs over things just to get to the children's section.

They had some children books and next to them were older books. I pulled an older book of the shelf and had to wipe the dust of just to read the cover. To my amazement there was MORE BOOKS behind the one I pulled off. It was a reader. I pulled another book and it was speller. I pulled another book and it was an old math book, An Ray's arithmetic book to be exact. I pulled another book and it was a McGuffey Reader. Ray's Arithmetic, McGuffey Reader these are titles I'm familiar with. I got excited. I wondered is there a set here?

I started to pull, wipe, and dust books. I started to make piles of Readers. I started to make sets. I shortly realized that I wasn't going to get a McGuffey set, but I most likely will get an Elson Set. So I focused more on the Elson books. 

Superstar found his way up to the third floor and started to help me make sets. Some more time past and DH called up the stairs were leaving. I yelled down okay. I looked at the sets I've started to make, grab the most complete set, and put the rest on the shelves again to the best of my ability.They clearly where in no special order before, so as long as it fit it was okay.

I came down the stairs with my 5 new found books (seen below) and told DH I want these for school. He asked if I got a whole set. I said no, but I got most of them. I have book 1, 2, 4, 5, 6. 

The lady said they could be mine for $25. I agreed the to price and left. My FIL wasn't too thrilled with our expenditures. He felt it was over priced and wasn't afraid to say so. I told him that I felt I got an okay price seeing I know what people pay just to have pdf files of some of these older books.
We then decided to go out to lunch with my FIL. On the way to the restaurant, DH offered that I might find the missing book (3) on ebay or something like that. Of course the primer book is missing as well, but I don't need a primer book for the kids. So what does this have "Look and Say" vs "Phonics"?

It is without a question that Jane, Dick, and Spot gets the blame for the "Look and Say" era. Phonics are the new thing again, and I think that's why the McGuffey Readers are popular with homeschoolers. They, without a question,  are among the first phonics books. With some digging in places like Project Gutenberg you can find pdf, txt, or HTML files of the McGuffey Readers for FREE vs buying a CD with the files. (There are other books as well)

So where did Dick, Jane, and Spot come from? Well it turns out they were introduce to the children in the early 1930s in the Elson-Gray Readers. Especially in the PRIMER and PRE-PRIMER reader!

Those Readers that I picked up for $5 a piece just HAPPEN to be the very SAME readers the introduced Dick, Jane, and Spot to the world! To bad I didn't find the Primer or Pre-Primer book of the series (or book 3 for that matter). he-he. However I'm sure that if I went back to Toad Hall, that I would find it there. I would just need several more hours to dig!

Besides having readers for the kids to read with, I actually have a piece of "history" now. It has been fantasizing to learn how these 1930 readers, the readers that I picked up, changed the way reading was taught in schools for several generations. That is until they decided to go back to phonics in the 1960s.

Although many schools even in the early 1980's still taught with the look and say method. I know because I was never taught phonics in school. I think now most schools teach phonics or a combo of phonics and look and say methods.

1 comment:

  1. I would have paid that price to get those books too! I have the McGuffy Readers here in our home.

    Finally getting around from the Homeschool Lounge to say hi!

    I look forward to following your blog!


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