Thursday, August 20, 2015

This is not a laughing matter

Three major problems as I see it:

1) Phonics is no longer taught.

First step to reading is to learn the alphabet. Second step is learning the different sounds the letters make and how those sounds change when letters are combined. Nearly forty years old, I still "sound out" a new word and I can because I was taught phonics. I use context clues to discern the meaning of a new word. God, I hope they're still teaching kids how to use context clues. And dictionaries. Of course in order for a dictionary to be helpful you have to be able to get at least close to the spelling of the word and guess how you learn that skill? Phonics.

2) Cursive is no longer taught.

My daughter is in the sixth grade - middle school - and she's been in the MG program for a couple years now. The 400 page book she was supposed to spend the summer reading took her four days. And honestly she took her time with it. But if I don't print notes in block letters, she can't read it! WTF? They don't teach cursive/handwriting anymore.

3) New math is taught.

Remember arithmetic? Yeah, me too. It was fucking awesome when 2 plus 2 equaled 4. I tried to help my daughter do her homework. I was like "Sweet baby Jesus, what is that? Are you doing calculus?" She laughed and laughed and said, "No, Mom. I have to subtract 73 from 123." Disgusted I just muttered, "50" and ran away. 

Literally. Ran. Away.

The answer is 8. What's this mess?
It's not the teachers faults. I know a lot of teachers, family and friends, and their hands are tied. This is what they're told to teach and how to teach. It's all about the standardized tests now. They're teaching kids how to excel on those tests instead of how to read, write and count. 

And now Sesame Street is moving to HBO?????

Sesame Street was designed to provide educational enrichment to impoverished children. That's why it airs on public television without consumer ads. So kids who may not ever get the opportunity otherwise can learn how to read, write and count. 


3 comments:

  1. If I had young children now I'd homeschool. No lie. And I am not a person who ever aspired to teach. But like you said, school teachers have their hands tied these days. They're not allowed to teach things that will help the kids learn. They have to teach them how to take standardized tests so the the school can receive enough money to continue to operate ... so they can take more tests. Sad that this is what our "education" has come to.

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  2. My husband just caught this post the other day and it launched a conversation. That's good I think, content that inspires conversations. But it also helped me make a decision - I'll be buying a phonics starter for the 6 year old and a cursive workbook for the 11 year old. They'll not be pleased when I add on to their homework load but it is necessary.

    I'll also be needing a math tutor, for myself, for the new math.

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