Educators Wonder Why Kids Can’t Read

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If we want our children to do better in school, then it’s important to understand the reasons why they are not. The last couple of decades brought conflicting views components of phonics on methods of reading instruction which was tried in schools across the country.

The question was, are phonics versus whole language methods better for beginning readers? As it turns out, educators are now struggling to blend these reading programs and tailor them for each child.

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It was known as “the reading wars,” which were initially waged during the 1980s and ’90s, and it was around 1987 when personal journals became one of the latest classroom tactics for teaching reading to kids. Known as whole language, it was an instructional philosophy emphasizing that children focus on meaning, which contrasts with phonics based methods of teaching reading and writing.

At that time many people believed that children were poor readers because the phonics approach. The fact that memorization ended up turning reading into a chore alienated many of the kids from reading, period. The National Reading Panel reported findings about Phonics for Reading as a research-based program that: delivers direct instruction in phonics increases fluency with Second and Third levels provides word-recognition and spelling instruction, plus story reading, and independent activities.

It is also important to realize that the parents are a child’s first teachers. Toddlers learn a lot at home so it is critical to talk a lot. Children will learn about spoken words just from listening to their parents. Parents take note: read to your child; share books you loved and try some new ones from the library and then reread favorites over and over again.

It is also important to realize that the parents are a child’s first teachers. Toddlers learn a lot at home so it is critical to talk a lot. Children will learn about spoken words just from listening to their parents. Parents take note: read to your child; share books you loved and try some new ones from the library and then reread favorites over and over again.

Ultimately whole language proved to be a disaster, and eight years after whole language first appeared in California grade schools, by the mid-90s, the state’s fourth-grade level reading scores had plummeted nationally to the bottom. Source: The National Assessment of Educational Progress(NAEP).

By 1997, Congress formed the National Reading Panel to evaluate the research on teaching practices with the intent on determining what worked. Then there was a federal program called the No Child Left Behind Act requiring school districts to use scientifically proven methods. The goal? To make all children proficient in math and reading by the year 2014. Six years after No Child Left Behind’s passage, a lot of data has been collected about the academic performance of both students and schools.

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