Friday, September 08, 2006

Do You Want Fries With That?

It's about time. I know someone who's recieved his masters degree in chemistry but can't read to save his life. At first I thought he was functionally inept but then I axed him if he was ever taught phonics. He never heard of it. I asked if he was taught "Whole Word" and that stuck a bell.

Prestadigitation. If you've been taught phonics you may not know what that word means but you can "sound it out". If you can sound it out to yourself or at least say it out loud you might have a shot of recognizing it if you've ever heard it used before. Otherwise if you've never seen it before you don't or most likely can't recognize it for the trick it is.

When I was a child, back in the very early 70's. I went to the 'Red Oak School' in Merrimac, Massachusetts. It's since changed its name to something like "The Dr. Frederick N. Sweetsir Elementary School". They taught me phonics there. I remember the workbooks. In second grade it was blue and in 3rd Mr Jervey gave us the green ones. We thought we were all grown up.

Phonics is the #1 reason why a Ritalin fuelled, ADD addled kid like me has gotten nearly this far in life.


Blogger Lychee-chan said...

Let me get this straight, they stopped teaching phonics? And "teaching multiplication tables earlier", what grade are they starting at? I began learning that in first grade, earlier actually, if you count School House Rock.

Is this just in the UK, or here too? You know, I used to think home schooling was a bad idea, but if this is the state of public education it may be the way to go.

Sep 10, 2006, 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Dean ASC said...

I know a lot of folks that came through the system in the 90's and it seems that, especially in the minority populated school systems, 'Whole Word' was the only way they taught reading.

It is a crime.

How embarassing for the DOE would it be if the teachers all home schooled their kids? I'm thinking of doing it until 7th grade. Which now that I think of it they'll probably be ready for at 9 years old.

Sep 10, 2006, 4:25:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin Wolf said...

I had a question I wanted to ax you but now I can't remember it.

Sep 11, 2006, 3:08:00 PM  
Blogger RicketyFunk said...

1. I'm pro home education. Nothing is better than teaching your children that they can learn about what they want for as long as they want, rather than compartmentalize segments of the day into a drudgery routine.

2. Phonics save my life

Sep 11, 2006, 4:43:00 PM  
Blogger Bry said...

I was in school in the 90's and we learned phonics.

The thing with homeschooling (I did for junior and senior year of high school which meant I went to college and got double credit, long story), you HAVE to make sure the kid is involved with other kids. School is good for teaching kids to sit still and do things they don't like, which they need to know how to do in the real world. And deal with peers. But if the kid's playing soccer and maybe going to an after school play program or things like that they can get the idea. Also hooking up with other homeschoolers is good. I've just seen too many homeschooled kids who have never spoken to another child their own age. Sad, really.

Oh, and give 'em an extra cirricular with discipline, like karate. Did me wonders. Our master could get thirty five year olds to sit still in order of rank. The parents would stare in wonder.

Sep 12, 2006, 3:55:00 PM  

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