Drug testing

Public Schools Can Cripple Your Childrens Ability To Read

For many adults, reading a book or newspaper seems effortless. Yet reading effortlessly comes from constant use of basic skills learned at an early age. Once children learn these basic skills, they can eventually read complex books like War and Peace.

What are these skills? To read, one must recognize thousands of words. Since all English words are built from only twenty-six letters, the huge task of recognizing letters and their sounds and putting them together to form words becomes greatly simplified. An English-speaking child only has to sound out the letters and then put the sounds together to read the word.

I do not wish to over-simplify the complexity of our rich English language, however. Like other western languages, English has its peculiarities. For example, many vowels have more than one sound, and many sounds can be spelled more than one way. However, even with these complexities, English is far easier to learn than Chinese, where children have to memorize thousands of word pictures, rather than twenty-six letters and their sounds.

Reading is difficult at first, but, once learned, the process becomes automatic and unconscious. When we can read quickly without sounding out every letter of every word, all the knowledge of the world opens to us. However, like learning to drive a car, if we don't learn the basic skills, we don't learn to read, or we read poorly.

Enter public-school education theorists who think otherwise. Don't adults read without sounding out every letter of every word, they ask? So why teach children phonics? Why put children through the alleged boredom, drudgery, and hard work of learning letter-sounds? How can reading be joyful if literature becomes drills? If children memorize whole words instead of putting together letter sounds, all this pain will be gone. Rather than teaching kids the alphabet and how to sound out M-O-T-H-E-R, teach them to recognize MOTHER and other whole words in a book, like Chinese word-pictures or ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Have the child read simple books that repeat each word over and over, so that they come to recognize the word. Do this for each word, they claim, and the child will learn to read. This is called "whole-language" reading instruction.

The only problem is that whole-language doesn't work. It is a disaster. Most young children are only able to "memorize" a few hundred relatively simple words. Even an adult's mind can only memorize at most, a few thousand words. That's the limit of the human mind's capacity to memorize abstract symbols. In contrast, children who learn to sound out the letters of words with phonics can read tens of thousands of words, and eventually read ANY word, because they can sound out each letter in the word and put the sounds together.

Author and education researcher Charles J. Sykes describes whole-language reading instruction in one first-grade classroom in his book "Dumbing Down Our Kids":

"Reading instruction begins with "pre-reading strategies" in which "children predict what the story is about by looking at the title and the pictures. Background knowledge is activated to get the children thinking about the reading topic." Then they read the story. If a child does not recognize a word, they are told to "look for clues."

"The whole-language curriculum gave specific suggestions that children: "Look at the pictures," ask "What would make sense?" "Look for patterns," "Look for clues," and "Skip the word and read ahead and then go back to the word." Finally, if all this fails, parents/teachers are told, "Tell the child the word. . . ."

"When kids couldn't figure out a word, educationists gave these further ions: "Ask a friend, skip the word, substitute another meaningful word." Sykes then asks, "Look at the pictures. Skip the word. Ask a friend. Is this reading?"

During the 1990s, when whole-language instruction was in full force, outraged parents bitterly complained about their children's deteriorating ability to read. In response, public schools across the country then reverted to their usual tactics --- they kept the failed policy but changed its name to fool parents.

Many public schools today say they now teach kids to read with "balanced reading instruction." What this means is they combine whole-language instruction with a smattering of phonics. "See," they can say to parents, "we are now teaching your kids phonics." The only problem is that too often the "balance" is still about 80 percent whole-language, and 20 percent phonics, if and when the teacher thinks phonics is "needed" in "special cases."

If you were a doctor and were treating a patient for a serious infection, would you give the patient a "balanced" cure of arsenic and antibiotics? That is the moral and practical status of "balanced" reading instruction where whole-language instruction still predominates, because whole-language is the arsenic of reading-instruction methods.

Parents, don't let public-school officials fool you with their glib talk of "balanced reading instruction." You need to personally investigate how your local school teaches your kids to read. The best thing to do is to test your children's true reading abilities with an outside, independent testing company. You may be shocked by the outcome of the test. The Resources section of "Public Schools, Public Menace," lists many such independent reading-testing companies.

Joel Turtel is an education policy analyst, and author of "Public Schools, Public Menace: How Public Schools Lie To Parents and Betray Our Children." Contact Information: Website: http://www.mykidsdeservebetter.com, Email: lbooksusa@aol.com, Phone: 718-447-7348, Article Copyrighted ? 2005 by Joel Turtel, NOTE: You may post this Article on an Ezine, newsletter, or other website only if you include Joel Turtel's complete contact information, and set up a hyperlink to Joel Turtel's email address and website URL, http://www.mykidsdeservebetter.com.

In The News:

An international team of scientists has unraveled the mystery behind the sudden deaths of 200,000 antelopes in Kazakhstan in May 2015.
A "potentially hazardous asteroid" known as 2002 AJ129 is set to fly by Earth at a whopping 67,000 miles per hour next month, there is no need to worry, scientists say.
NASA tested its powerful RS-25 engine for the first time in 2018 with a new part that was made in an unconventional way.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Earth last year wasn't quite as hot as 2016's record-shattering mark, but it ranked second or third, depending on who was counting.
Authorities in Tennessee got an unexpected surprise when they responded to a burglary alarm at a cell phone store.
Divers in the blue waters around the Yucatán Peninsula have discovered three historic treasures: a sunken lighthouse and the remains of an 18th-century Dutch warship and a 19th-century British steamer, according to Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).
An alligator and a Burmese python were locked in a cold-blooded battle to the death as a crowd watched in shock at a golf course in Naples, Fla.
A team of experts in Mexico has discovered two linked underwater caverns that are more than 4,000 years old and form the largest known such cave on earth.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — How does a bighorn sheep say "cheese?"
Our solar system may be an oddball in the universe.

How To Teach Your Children Social Skills

As our children grow, they will be going to schools... Read More

Of Kings and Youth Leadership

(Isaiah 11:6 KJV) The wolf also shall dwell with the... Read More

Parental Internet Control Tips

The Internet is one of the greatest inventions of all... Read More

Confident Kids : Why Some Parents Should Carry a Health Warning

As a hypnotherapist, I am acutely aware of the power... Read More

Homes for Troubled Teens: Therapeutic and Residential

For troubled teens who are struggling with drug abuse, depression... Read More

Saying No To Our Children

Saying no to our children is not always easy or... Read More

The Great Baby Name Debate

Winifred or Willow? Thomas or Troy? The name you choose... Read More

Tracking Your Child Progress

As a parent, you can learn a lot about your... Read More

Twelve Tips To Connect With Teachers At Conference Time

It's that time again! Parent-teacher conferences are coming. Are you... Read More

A Child Can Make a Difference

Sometimes dreams really can come true! May 8th - 11th,... Read More

Whos Your Daddy? How to be a Great Dad in 5 to 7 Minutes

I am a dad. I have been now for over... Read More

Top Three Ways To Communicate With Your Child

Although many parents become frustrated as they try to maintain... Read More

Paediatric Osteopathy

All babies cry, but if yours cries a lot, isn't... Read More

Does Sexual Abuse Usually Occur Just Once?

Your daughter tells you that Uncle Charley has touched her... Read More

Guide to Choosing a Computer System for Your Child

Before going further into choosing computers for children, I believe... Read More

Managing Your Stepfamily

If you are a member of a stepfamily, you know... Read More

Car Wash Fundraiser Preparation

Are you considering a car wash fundraiser for your group?... Read More

Inattentive ADHD: Just Like Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh is the classic picture of Inattentive ADHD.... Read More

Helping Your Child Cope With A Long-Term Illness

All children will likely have many different health problems during... Read More

Busy, Working Parents --- 22 Ways To Homeschool Your Kids

If you're a single parent or a married couple on... Read More

Mommy, I Can?t Sleep! Sleep Disturbance in Children

"Just turn the lights off and go to sleep"Do you... Read More

The Post-Holiday Blues In Stepfamilies

In stepfamilies, big holiday expectations can lead to big disappointment--and... Read More

Stress is No Kiddy Matter

Kids today no longer live the kind of privileged lives... Read More

Parents and Children Working Together

When parents help their children learn to read, they help... Read More

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Q. "What do you want to be when you grow... Read More

street light manufacturer led light facts Pete's produce ..