Skip to comments.Sight-Words: the Kudzu smothering K-12
Posted on 12/07/2016 1:18:21 PM PST by BruceDeitrickPrice
[A few words about Americas two biggest parasites--]
if youve driven on southern interstates, you know kudzu. Its that leafy vine that can cover the tallest trees. Finally, motorists see nothing but kudzu, which has earned the nickname, The vine that ate the South.
Kudzu envelops everything and eventually destroys everything.
In short, kudzu is exactly like Sight-Words.
Kudzu, indigenous to Japan, was touted as an ornamental shade plant at US expositions in 1876 and 1883. During the 20th century, government agencies promoted kudzu as cattle feed.
The Department of Agriculture also recommended kudzu to help control erosion of slopes which led to the .government-funded plantings of kudzu By 1946, it was estimated that 3,000,000 acres of kudzu had been planted.
During this same period our government was also forcing Sight-Words into the public schools, an interesting parallel.
Kudzu was the classic invasive species, initially welcomed as an exotic import, and finally hated as a weed. Its difficult and expensive to eliminate.
Similarly, Sight-Words were welcomed by the self-appointed experts in our Education Establishment, effectively a branch of our government. So now we have a kudzu epidemic and a Sight-Word epidemic. Which is more destructive? Sight-Words, because millions of children are damaged at the beginning of their lives.
Under the right conditions, kudzu is not a problem. In Japan, for example, winters kill off the above-ground growth so the parasitic aspects remain marginal.
Sight-Words, however, are the parasite that goes on a rampage and hangs around until you surrender.
Sight-Words, like kudzu, could only be promoted by a government bureaucracy with limited vision. However, experts in the Department of Agriculture were presumably sincere in singing the praises of kudzu. On the other hand, experts in the Education Establishment knew from the beginning that Sight-Words would not be an effective way to teach reading. Furthermore, according to famous research by Dr. Samuel Orton circa 1927, Sight-Words would cripple a child cognitively. Its a shocking perversity that phony experts pushed Sight-Words and still do. Why? Typically, these experts are left-wing ideologues who want leveling in order to bring about socialist goals.
Not familiar with Sight-Words? Let me mention that the phrase refers to any words you memorize as a graphic design. You cant spell it or sound it out. You learn it as a shape, just as the Chinese memorize their ideograms or you might memorize §. Its a slow and difficult way to learn English words. Our experts clearly prefer SLOW.
For a background article, please see Sight-WordsThe Big Stupid.
CODA: Here is a simple way to appreciate the folly of Sight-Words. Consider the tiny goals for a childs first year. A typical kindergarten list aims for only three words per week. At the end of 16 weeks, childreneven if successful will know only 48 words. They are still illiterate and will be for years to come. Had they learned phonics, they would be able to read age-appropriate books by the end of 16 weeks .Also note that the three words for Week 16 are he, she, we. Note that these words look alike and sound alike. They are perfectly phonetic. But the official excuse for using Sight-Words is that some English words dont obey any rules! Obviously, our experts think American parents can be lied to with reckless abandon.
Bruce Deitrick Price explains theories and methods on his education site Improve-Education.org.
I couldn’t believe this when I first heard about it. Crippling children for life is right. If you learn via sight reading versus phonetics, you will only be able to read words that you’ve memorized, very limiting.
I agree with the sight word BS, but fail to see the kudzu connection.
I learned phonics when I was in school, but I’m almost 60 years old. Things were different back then.
Take that for sight words!
Since it grows like weeds with no care required it would appear to be a good candidate for raw material for bio-fuels.
I grew up with the “Look, See, Say” reading program that made words composed from an alphabet into pictograms no different than Egyptian heiroglyphics or Japanese katakana.
At eighteeen I started learning to read again but this time utilizing the philosophy of phonics and of breaking words down into their parts in order to better understand them.
Almost eight years later I’d say I’m a lot further along with my reading and writing than my contemporaries who get stuck if they have to write more than 140 characters at one time.
Grandson is five and in all day kindergarten. He has sight words to learn every night. All day kindergarten, sight words, homework for a kindergartener, all idiocy.
Another import that seemed like a good idea at the time. Like house sparrows. :(
I assume that the oriental languages are all sight-word taught? Any one familiar enough with them to tell me?
Sight words are the reason I pulled my oldest out of school and homeschooled him. Dreadful method for him.
Never mind. I read farther down and found the answer.
You probably had a teacher that taught phonics on the side.
“Anyone who learned to read in the last century got at least a taste of phonics, but the Dick and Jane stories actually were a calculated attack on phonics: The authors believed children learned to read best by memorizing a small handful of “sight words” and repeating them over and over the “look/say” method. “
Georgians can blame Jimmah Kahtah for the expansion of the other parasite Kudzu. It was, after all, one of his acts of governor to order the planting of this noxious weed to prevent soil erosion.
Wait, kudzu’s plant, and not a comic strip?
Homeschool and ARTH ping.
Yes. The kids can recognize McDonalds versus Jack-In-The-Box. They're keying in on shapes and logos, without understanding the spelling differences. That's how it was for our granddaughter when she was three. Now she is four, and reading words besides being able to write them. She began to stumble at lower-case versus all upper-case, but has a handle on it now. When she goes to Kindergarten in next September, I cringe to think they would bore her with sight-word crap. She'll climb the walls in boredom. Teach at home, because the schools aren't cutting it.
Do you get to visit with you Grandson very much? If you possibly can, start teaching him phonics! It will probably be the best gift you co9uld give!
It is not for all little children, but has given her a freedom and much-reduced frustration, to be able to sound out words.
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