Learning to Read
Many Children Are Not Learning To Read
Your child learning to read well is one of the most important gifts you can give them. We live in a time when literacy is more important than ever and yet 1 in 7 adults in the USA are considered ‘functionally illiterate.’ According to information from NCES (The National Center for Education Statistics is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education) and published in USA Today, “A long-awaited federal study finds that an estimated 32 million adults in the USA — about one in seven — are saddled with such low literacy skills that it would be tough for them to read anything more challenging than a children’s picture book or to understand a medication’s side effects listed on a pill bottle. “
The ability to read effectively in the USA has actually fallen in recent decades. Why? There are multiple reasons. Among the primary reasons are several that fall into the realm of politics, such as the unwillingness of the USA to make English the “official” language of the nation, the large number of immigrants have not chosen to become Citizens and take the time to learn English. These things are recent developments going back no more than 5 or 6 decades but have had a great effect. This is not the venue to address these issues and I only mention them because they do impact the total numbers.
What I do want to speak to is the Education System’s movement away from teaching reading using the time tested and proven method of phonics. The “newer better” methods used in schools today have proven ineffective for a significant percentage of our youth.
Is There A Solution?
I am pleased to say yes, there is. All it involves is you stepping up, teaching your children and not waiting for the Department of Education to do it for you. I know you would not even be on this site if you weren’t interested in guaranteeing your children’s life success. So work is not the problem! But in these difficult financial times the cost frequently is.
Learning To Read On A Budget
When we were raising our children we were, like so many others, young and broke. I was a High School drop out, and neither of us was making much money. We relied heavily on any help that our family could offer, and we learned how to look for the ‘freebies.’
I personally believe that phonics teaches reading skills more successfully than any other program in wide use. You have probably heard of Hooked On Phonics. It is an extremely well known program, and it works – but you will have to spend hundreds of dollars before your child is a proficient reader.
One of the greatest things about the internet? There are a lots of free resources. Allow me to share a couple of the best ones with you. What you do from there is up to you.
http://www.mes-english.com/ Their statement of purpose: “MES is a network of educational websites with materials, information, and resources made for teachers, parents, and anyone who wants to help students learn. The materials are provided to website visitors to use under the free MES End User License Agreement.”
I will not reproduce any of the materials here, you must take the initiative and go to the site yourself. Once there you will find: over 1800 words on printable flashcards, a phonics only system moving children slowly through hard consonants/short vowels, blends, long vowels, and consonant digraphs, dozens of games, lessons and free downloads.
Their sister site http://www.funfonix.com/ is dedicated 100% to Phonics worksheets for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade teachers/parents, free printable worksheets, printable phonics workbooks, and online phonics games for kids. You can not go wrong with these free resources!
www.abcfastphonics.com/ This is an extremely useful website. Their description: “ABC Fast Phonics is a free tutorial that uses cartoons and sounds with audio narration and clickable words to teach phonics. “ The use of audio on ABCFastPhonics makes the site a joy, and their method teaches basic phonics concepts without struggle or frustration and includes rules for vowels, consonants, and blends along with practice pages.
Now is the time to get started.
Remember, there is no tomorrow, only today.
There is no soon, there is only right now.
There is no try, there is only do or do not.