I would like to draw your attention to a few articles that I’ve been reading recently.
1. How To Draw Comments by Home School Dad
Trolls should stay under the bridge where they belong. Photo credit: photogirl7.1
The first post caught my attention with its unique title: Six Simple rules on How to get 50 or more comments on your post about home education. The more I thought about this post the more it reminded me of the phenemenon of the troll. My first experiences with trolls came back in the days of usenet.
As the old saying goes the more things change the more they stay the same. Trolls are sure to adapt to new platforms. Home School Dad provided and interesting post mortem on some misguided critics. Unfortunately, by giving them more attention, it broke the first rule of dealing with trolls:
Don’t Feed The Troll
2. Bent Leather From Sage Parnassus
This post from Sage Parnassus about being well read has an intriguing title as well: Bent Leather, Part 1. You’ll have to read the post to find out what bent leather refers to. Be sure to check out the follow up post as well: Bent Leather, Part 2.
3. John Taylor Gatto On Socialization From Parent At The Helm
Finally, Parent At The Helm posts an answer from John Taylor Gatto about socialization. John Taylor Gatto has been an inspiration. He demonstrates his skill as a writer in his response. Of course, socialization is a topic that comes up frequently in discussions about home education.
In 1994 the U.S. Department of Education acknowledged that two-thirds of all incarcerated criminals have poor literacy. source
Reading is a fundamental life skill. Photo credit: healingdream
Imagine applying for your first job as teenager at a locally owned restaurant. You live rent free but would like to earn some extra spending money. When you tell the manager you would like to apply, he hands you a form and asks you to fill it out. You nervously glance down as you take the form in your hands. How would you feel if you could not read the form? To you the form may as well be written in Kanji characters. Your chances of getting this job are sunk because you can’t even read the application.
Unfortunately for too many government school students this scenario is all too real.
The System is Rigged
It turns out that the best way to teach people to read is phonics. However, as John Taylor Gatto demonstrates in this chapter of the Underground History of American education, there was a shift away from phonics based teaching in the public schools of America. Gatto uses data from the US military draft board to trace a significant decline in the literacy rate of the school population.
It is a despicable crime to deprive human beings of a basic skill through the use of inferior methodology such as whole word reading. The leaders of the public school system know that non phonics based programs will increase illiteracy. Yet the practice continues to this day.
Think about how you read a new word. If you have acquired basic phonics skills, you can sound out a word you have never seen before by decoding the symbols that are used to represent sounds. If you have been taught to guess at words, your reading experience will be frustrating.
It is hard to imagine why some school districts refuse to use phonics based reading programs when a growing body of evidence links illiteracy to crime. You can prevent your loved ones from being damaged. Take the time to teach your kids to read using a phonics based approach. If all the schools in America did so, the crime rate might even be reduced.
Is whole word reading a crime against humanity? Let me know what you think in the comments section.