Skip to comments."My kid can't read. What should I do?"
Posted on 07/28/2018 5:06:38 PM PDT by BruceDeitrickPrice
Subtitle: Fix reading and half of our education problems disappear
--It's a common problem in the US. Children in the second and third grades, even the fourth and fifth grades, are struggling readers. They guess; they skip ahead; they search for clues from context; they look at pictures to read words. Did I mention they guess? Typically, these children are unsuccessful in most school subjects and very unhappy.
The school may think this slow progress is fine. But perhaps you as a parent know younger children who've already learned to read. You worry that your child Is falling behind. You are right to worry.
The first thing to confront is that teachers and school officials will mislead you. Truth is, they'll lie: "Your child is doing fine. He's getting plenty of phonics." But then your child comes home with a list of sight-words to be memorized. You know phonics is being slighted. But what can you do?
Here's a second problem: finding help is not easy. The media are basically a dead zone. You're not going to find advice on reading in your local newspaper or TV program.
Bottom line, sight-word instruction (that is, learning to name word-designs on sight) is the cause of most reading problems. Ideally, schools stop using them. The good news is that a list of sight-words can be a valuable wake-up call. They tell you that the school has embraced the destructive ideas which have been hurting children for the past 80 years.
Parents should trust systematic phonics where the focus is on learning letters, then the sounds represented by the letters, then the blends of those sounds. (Usually the whole process takes five months. All phonics experts say the same thing: reading is easy.)
So let's say your child is having reading problems; and simultaneously your child brings home lists of sight-words to memorize. Get involved immediately and teach your child the basics of phonics. Namely, letters represent sounds.
To start, parents can read "Preemptive Reading," a quick introduction to phonics. (It includes a list of complete phonics courses.)
YouTube has many helpful videos. A. J. Jenkins in Australia has made some wonderful phonics videos. One of these has attracted more than half-a-billion views! Encourage your child to sing along. Very quickly he'll have the phonics idea in his head.
The main thing is that children get the concept that letters and words are symbols for SOUNDS. When looking at b-words like beach, branch, ball, and block, the child knows that all of them start with the same sound. At that point, language becomes logical and predictable.
Sight-words, on the other hand, are always arbitrary, like a phone number you just committed to memory. (Wait a minute, was that 5271 or 5721?)
Despite all the propaganda we hear, the English language is 100% phonetic. There is no such thing as a non-phonetic word in an English dictionary. Indeed, all the words are arranged alphabetically, which is to say that all the words listed under B start with the same b-sound.
English is an old language that has borrowed many foreign words. So our vowels can be inconsistent. But old tennis shoes are still tennis shoes. Whole Word promoters try to pretend that a small difference means that something is "non-phonetic." No, merely non-consistent. For a word to be truly non-phonetic, it would have to be something like XXFG, which you're told to pronounce "shuffleboard." Fortunately, English has no such words, although the Education Establishment loves to pretend otherwise.
Some children learn to read almost without instruction. The brain figures out the easy way to read, which is to identify the phonics information. Less verbal children seem to need more rules and more practice. But keep in mind that phonics rules are stepping stones to reading, not goals in themselves. Don't hesitate to teach something over and over; on the other hand don't hesitate to move along. It's good to make the learning process as fun as possible. Mix in singing, poetry, knock-knock jokes, and football cheers.
The most important thing of all is helping children find things they want to read. Once reading is easy for children, they'll read everything in sight. The problem in our schools now is that many children never reach that point. Especially make sure that boys find material that is appealing to boys.
Sight-words (also known by many other names) are probably viewed by our far-left as one of the most successful subversive tricks in history. They imposed this incorrect theory on the public schools in 1931. They carefully destroyed phonics books, and since that time they have been conducting a rearguard operation insisting that sight-words are terrific, phonics doesn't work, and kids will read when they are ready. If they don't read, that's because they have a serious problem like dyslexia. Nature caused this problem, so our Education Establishment can claim to be blameless for what it has perpetrated! Phonics experts reject the sophistry, saying that "dyslexia" should be relabeled "dysteachia." That is, a disease caused by classroom instruction.
The simple way to save American K-12 is to eliminate sight-words and return to phonics. Children must learn to read before they can read to learn.
Start by teaching the child to read. Schools only do Social Justice horse crap anymore.
Buy a book and teach him.
Step 1 is ALWAYS get them out of publik skools.
Worked with my daughter. She's now a nurse. Graduated with a 3.8 GPA.
The answer is private school or a tutor. Public education in the USA is Liberal garbage and has been since the mid 1960’s.
I removed my daughter from the Plano, Texas ISD many years ago and put her in private school. She was throwing books at the wall in frustration when she couldn’t read. She was in the first or second grade at the time. Within three weeks the private school teacher had her reading two grade levels up.
Parentin iz soo hard
I started grade school in 1955 and we were taught reading using phonics, not sight words. Same with my son and daughter in the early ‘90s. When did sight words in school become common place?
Buy some phonics workbooks for your children. Teach them yourself.
Yeah. Break out the phonics books and teach ‘em. Run some simple tests and flash cards to get an idea of how far along they are and what gaps in fundamental knowledge they may have. Then go to work.
I can’t believe you posted this. I was JUST about to pull up youtube’s on teaching reading. I am teaching a 25 year old guy right now and the sight word problem is EXACTLY the problem. He comes to a word that starts with, say, P and just guesses at words he memorized that start with P and usually aren’t even close to the word at hand.
I’m starting to get the notion that I’m not going to be successful but I refuse to quit. I will review the resources in this article.
I was hated by many of my elementary and middle school teachers since I always read at least a couple levels higher than I was supposed to.
Beautiful opportunity for the church. Of course, we’ll screw it up and won’t do anything.
I learnt my English in my mid twentys. My experience of learning new language is to read intensively on many subjects, with my dictionary and grammar books on side. And also practice writing as well
I learned to read with sight words, but then I live in a very “progressive” state.
I am 7 years older than my sister and I taught her to read. The kindergarten teacher would have her read to her classmates. She also knew how to print her name and simple math.
I started about the same time. We had a good school system, no crap. Only thing weird we ever had was a trial run of new math in 6th grade. After a week or two of that our teacher said “enough” and that was the end of new math.
Whole language is at fault. I was very involved in this years ago. I did many radio shows, ran a tutoring business and schooled my kids and others. I have written my own reading/spelling program and have taught many kids of all ages to read. It’s life changing. The problem is whole language and the almost religious adherence to it.
[ Parentin iz soo hard ]
I know too many parents that both get jobs because they are too lazy to actually parent...
So the mother gets a job that after taxes pays for 75% of “daycare” and after they pick up their kids from “daycare” they blow more money on take out food. Which siphons away another 10% of her income, add in tax and money spent on the mother’s work clothing....
It seems to be that most women who work while having children do so to escape the “burden” (joy) of actually raising their children. Pretending they are some rich aristocrat type that has “people that do that for them.”
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.