Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Find out about the American heritage, about history that you don't learn in history classes.  My book, America's great mission is now published on Amazon, and is free for a limited time.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How We Learn to Read

For years what academics and leading researchers around the world know about reading problems have not been known by teachers, and other school officials. As a result, schools have adopted ineffective reading instruction methods.

What is not well known is that most intervention programs do not produce lasting results. When students are retested months after intervention, the reported gains disappear. For example, Reading Recovery, is a popular intervention program used by many educators, which does not produce lasting results. Students lose the reported gains soon after instruction. The reason is that students are not adequately taught the reading code, that is, how it works in the context of how the mind learns.

For example, most programs incorporate whole word instruction in their programs. They teach incorrectly what they call sight words, which are not really sight words at all. These words should not be taught as sight words, that is, words from memory, they should be taught according to the logic of the reading code consistently. Whole word reading from memory is extremely inefficient, and teaches students bad habits.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

If you have a child who is struggling with learning to read you're not alone.  Sadly, this is a big problem in the schools today.  Children who have a hard time learning to read are usually bright.  You wouldn't think that they should be having such a hard time learning to read because they are doing well in other areas in school.  

It seemed just yesterday that Johnny was doing really well. Then there was that first teacher conference, and you learned that Johnny was falling behind in his reading.

Most parents don't realize that their child is really struggling until they are far enough behind that it becomes a serious problem.  If they're like most parents they try to solve it on their own, but end up being just as frustrated as their child is.  

Most reading problems are not the result of a low IQ, but unless resolved quickly, the problem a child is having with reading difficulty will lead to poor cognition, and as a result, IQ begins to drop.

The child who struggles to read will avoid it, and therefore practices less. With less practice, their skills don't develop like a normal reader. Because of less practice, they have less exposure to vocabulary words. Skilled readers often read more in one day than struggling readers do in a year. Skilled readers are exposed to many vocabulary words in varied contexts.

Vocabulary is not just about about definitions. It helps the mind to think.  Words are place holders for ideas, and ideas shape thinking. Vocabulary is the tool that the mind uses to grab hold of the world and examine it.  This is why having a good vocabulary is necessary for cognitive development.

Writing is also a way to place hold ideas, to place hold them.  This enables the mind to examine the ideas, and it uses these ideas to stimulates new ideas.  Then the mind can examine the relationships of these ideas, and investigate further possibilities.

Reading and writing are actually the mirror image of the same task, Reading is the inverse of writing and visa versa.   This is why the two should be taught together.  Yet, schools commonly separate the two.  

The problem of reading difficulties usually is not the child, but it is the way that reading is taught, ineffective instruction leads to struggling readers. 

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I have found that in my posts I often need to use "he/she" in my sentence structure, but this seems really awkward and distant to keep writing.  Since there is not a suitable pronoun that is neuter I am going to use the word "their" instead of "he/she," for lack of a better word, even though the grammar isn't correct.