A Linkedin posting by a teacher, Laura, bears passing along today. “I run reading groups in my center. Before President’s Day, I asked a group of 3rd to 5th graders who George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were. While they knew GW was the 1st president, they had no idea who Abe Lincoln was. One guessed that he was the president after Washington. I asked if they’d heard of slavery, the Civil War, I got some “Oh yeah” responses. When I told their mothers, they all agreed, the teachers spend all, ALL their time teaching to the standardized testing. From day 1 to day “whenever the test is given”, according to these moms, very little learning goes on.”
Her point, of course, is that we need to do better. True.
Unfortunately, the slow evolution of what happens in the school hardly changes before the child is gone. Much of what happens in schools is out of the parents’ hands anyway.
Whether or not we homeschool, we would do well to consider the need for supplementation at the very least. At my job I spend my days talking to parents that have children that are struggling with reading. I love seeing parents take this matter into their own hands by searching for the reading help their child needs. There are so many ways you can supplement your child’s education at home. You can read different types of literature to your children, with your children, and around your children. You can choose historical fiction pieces that give exposure to a variety of major events. Choose biographies about people that deserve to be known about by the next generations. Choose commentaries about events in history that help us think through what our values are. We can help our families learn about what matters most to us, even when schools fail.
This, of course, means limited TV. It means limited video games, constant texting, and other such distractions. It means spending more of our personal resources, especially those of time, thought and effort, on ensuring solid education for our families within our own homes. It means more routine visits to the libraries, more books on the shelves in every room, more sharing of recommendations from friends and respected sources.
When your child’s school isn’t making your grade, take matters into the walls of your home!
To help your child grow up to be a successful reader, download Reading Horizons free E-Book: Everything You Need to Know to Help Your Child Become a Successful Reader
- Creating the right environment for reading success
- Assessing your child’s current reading ability
- Developing a reading plan for your child
- Enriching your instruction with reading activities