Reading Wars via Psychology Today
Does the educational system really fail when it comes to teaching our children how to read? This article in Psychology Today seems to think so. They call it unnatural. In some ways I agree, but only because The school system didn't teach my kids how to read. I did. In some ways I disagree because they say progressive readers just "pick it up" naturally and parents might support them but they don't create them. The answer, in my opinion, is homeschooling if you can handle it. It's freaky hard. I say everything a child learns should first be learned in the home.
I'm not saying that teachers aren't doing their job, and I don't think there is anything wrong with their techniques. I use them at home. There is nothing wrong with phonics. That is how I taught all my kids to read. Yes, many gifted kids have the talent to pick up reading before they enter the system or even without their parents teaching them, BUT in contrast the ones who have difficulty CAN be helped instead of falling through the cracks.
This year I'm homeschooling my daughter. I discovered that she didn't know long division. This wasn't the teacher's fault. She was away the day it was explained. The unfortunate thing is, she never picked it up all year. How long would she have gone through the system like that? Now I have the chance to rectify the situation before it was too late.
Am I an exception to the rule? Or do other parents feel this way? Do we rely so heavily on teachers to fill our kids minds with knowledge, correct principles, sound moral judgment the we don't reinstate or consolidate the information they are processing? Do we set the right example in order for them to solidify the principles they've been introduced to? In short, do we help them with their school work? Do we role play moments of social interaction in order for them to prepare themselves for confrontation? Do they know who to trust, how to escape a sticky situation or how to define democracy? The school system introduces new information but not always instruction on how to apply it. Students are bullied, but not always taught how to stand up for themselves. They are taught study techniques, but they don't always take those techniques home to learn about other subjects or interests.
In a way, teachers rely heavily on us to reinforce their lessons. Studies have shown that kids lose a high percentage of their schooling over the summer months. Who is in charge of a keeping a higher retention percentage? It's not the teachers.