Friday, March 26, 2010

More about Dick and Jane


Using the Dick and Jane books (along with some phonics) is working out well for both Delta and Echo. I found a great site that helps you determine what order to do the books in - the names of the books vary a little from decade to decade. I personally prefer the ones from the 40's and 50's - but any would likely work well.
For the starting reader, there are 5 to 6 books of interest.
The Early Primers go in order of
  1. We look and See
  2. We Work and Play
  3. We Come and Go

Echo is currently working on the "We Come and Go" book.

There is a Junior Primer (from a later decade) called "Guess Who". One website mentioned that it is for slower readers - so I suspect that if the child is still having problems after the Early Primers, they would move to "Guess Who" instead of starting the Grade 1 Reader. However, it looks like it would also be a good Primer for a child that picks up reading quickly, but hasn't done the Early Primers.

There is a "Storybook Treasury of Dick and Jane and Friends" which has the Early Primers in it (but not in order!) - and uses "The New We Work and Play" (from the 60's.) It is the Yellow book. There is a Blue Storybook Treasury (not sure of the name) that has a couple of the Newer primers, and "Guess Who". Either of these books might be available in your library.

The Grade 1 Readers are called

  1. Fun with Dick and Jane
  2. Our New Friends

There are Readers for higher grades (only available used) - and I did find the books for Grade 2 and 3 at the same used store - but I feel by that point, using true literature is a better choice, even if you are buddy reading with your child.

It looks like there is a reprint of "Fun with Dick and Jane" - but I haven't had a chance to look at it yet, so I'm not sure if it is like the original or not. (Oh, and be aware.... there is a "More Fun with Dick and Jane" book that is an adult book satire of the Dick and Jane series. Don't mistake it for a Dick and Jane book!) [SEE UPDATE BELOW]

It doesn't look like "Our New Friends" has been reprinted. I was fortunate to find a used copy from the 40's in pretty good condition. I am having Delta read it for practice. I think his reading ability is a little above it, as he rarely makes mistakes, but he does occasionally need to work out a word, so I think it will be great practice. And he is enjoying being able to read a book with a story without it being difficult.

For a review of my understanding of Charlotte Mason's methods of teaching reading... She does advocate a little bit of work with phonics, mainly looking at word families.... but she mostly recommended a method of learning whole words. She recommended taking a nursery rhyme or poem, slowly teaching the words (by making copies of each word individually and having a child pick them out from other words) and working on all the words of a stanza of the poem out of order until they knew them - then reading the poem. As the very first Dick and Jane primer has a total of 17 words - it seems to me to be a good choice, although it was recommended by CM to include interesting words that are large and different. The repetition of the words in Dick and Jane serve to really get the child to know those words - and the child has a joy of reading a whole book right off!

Basically, I've found that a mixture of phonics and whole words seems to work well. The child has a way to figure out words that they don't know, and know how the system works through phonics - but phonics alone seems for many children to make reading hard work trying to figure out each word. Using whole words repeatedly lets them experience the joy of reading more easily and quickly. Together seems to work well. And although Dick and Jane is now looked down on for teaching reading - I think they can work well with that combined approach.

UPDATE

With some research, I have been able to find the Stories in the 40's Fun with Dick and Jane.

(Site with information)

They are....

  • Family Fun (section)
  • See it Go
  • Guess
  • Something for Sally
  • Do What I Do
  • Father Helps the Family
  • Sally Makes Something
  • Sally Wants to Play
  • Jane Helps
  • A Funny Ride
  • Fun at the Farm (section)
  • At the Farm
  • The Pony
  • Dick and the Hen
  • A Family in the Barn
  • A Big Big Dog
  • Puff Wants to Play
  • Funny Cookies
  • Two Pets
  • Pets and Toys (section)
  • Fun for Little Quack
  • Little Rabbit
  • The Big Blue Ball
  • In and Out
  • The New Toy
  • The Toy Farm
  • Jane Wants a Doll
  • Who can Talk?
  • Fun with Our Friends (section)
  • Sally Finds Friends
  • Who Can Find It?
  • The Funny House
  • A Ride with Mother
  • What Sally Saw
  • Fun at School
  • Pets at School

The Recent Reprint has 6 stories

  • Look Up
  • Who Is It?
  • Something Pretty
  • Where is Sally?
  • Jane Helps Mother
  • A Funny Ride

I assume that "A Funny Ride" is the same, and that "Jane Helps Mother" is "Jane Helps". Perhaps the others are the same with a different name.

In any case - there is obviously a LOT of stories missing - so I will have to hope I luck out and find the old one at a descent price.

2 comments:

  1. Great post. I was leery of using the Dick and Jane books, after some stated that they considered them twaddle on a cm yahoo group. However, my six year old loves them and I believe they have greatly helped to give her confidence as she is learning to read. Thanks for the links!
    Kelly

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  2. Yes, I had originally been leary of using them - more because people say "phonics, phonics, phonics" today.... but then I realized that I had learned to read with them.

    And yes, they aren't great literature - but how many beginner primers are? The pictures are delightful. Probably not what Charlotte Mason would recommend, but I find they work nicely for Charlotte Mason style reading lessons because there are a few new words per story....

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