When Phonics Made Me a Problem Child

When Phonics Made Me a Problem Child

By Holly A. Shapiro, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

But not me, never one to be too sure. When Kim, David, Brad, and Kevin turned into Caty, Blake, Jessie, and many more, I turned my focus away from Whole Language and taught them using phonics. It wasn’t like today. Phonics, in fact, was highly out of favor. I attended a meeting at the same junior high school that I had once attended in support of Billy, a sixth-grade struggling reader who I thought deserved a chance.


My one-time homeroom teacher, the principal, and the school psychologist (who knew me well, by the way) laughed at and belittled me for using phonics. I felt like I was twelve again, failing to win my mother’s approval.


By the end of the day, this twenty-four-year-old, not-so-newly-minted Ph.D. was sobbing on the steering wheel.

When Phonics Made Me a Problem Child blog


About 10 years after my initial foray into phonics, it earned an endorsement from the National Reading Panel. Children taught with phonics generally experience better outcomes than children taught with whole language.


In other words, I was right all along. Or was I?


Read Part 6 Here