Leaving Behind Science and Math Minded Students
Young students who are pattern thinkers, science buffs, and have mathematic minds often struggle to learn to read. They are frustrated when they are taught that the letter S says /s/ and then immediately discover that "is," "his," "was" and "chairs" are all exceptions. These children diligently apply the rules they are told only to find that English is illogical and inconsistent.
As a reading educator, I believe that a high percentage of our struggling readers are our future mathematicians and scientists. These students need to know the answer to "why". They need to be shown explicit patterns underlying English words.
English speakers as a whole do not understand their own language. We are quick to dismiss it as a language of exceptions and a conglomeration of many languages. The widespread myths have resulted in low reading levels nationwide (and in the U.K., Canada, and Australia). Parents, even well-educated parents, do not know answers to the most basic questions about English. For example why is there a silent final E in "have"? and why does the C in trace say /s/?
One of the tragedies is that we then label some of our brightest minds "LD". We break their hearts and discourage them, when simply teaching them the logic of English would set them free.
I did not learn the logic underlying English spelling in grammar school, in high school, in college, or my graduate school reading methods classes. Rather, I learned the logic of English when my sons began to struggle with reading. Watching them, I could see their brilliance. They are logical, clear thinkers and have strong scientific minds. Yet they could not read at all after first grade. In my search to help them I discovered that reading centers around our country are keepers of the knowledge that is the key to revolutionizing education in English speaking countries - how to teach reading and spelling in a logical way using all learning modes.
Many of these reading centers have 98-99% success rates and dream of their knowledge being put to use in classrooms beginning in K, 1, and 2 grades. They want to be put out of business.
It is time to change how we teach reading so that all students learn!