Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Parents Duty to Teach Phonics

I believe it is the parents' responsibility to ensure their child is getting a good education. That means the parents need to know if the schools are falling short and to make up for the failure. Phonics is a perfect example. Many schools are stuck with the "look-say" approach, which is now called "whole language". It is the parents' responsibility to teach their child phonics. I've mentioned elsewhere how I taught my son phonics. Now I want to give an example of parents who did not teach their child phonics.

A bunch of families were together for a Bible study. A 12 year old boy (a sixth grader) is reading a section but stops when he gets to the word "gentiles". He comes to a dead stop, sits in silence for a long time, then says he does not know the word. He did not try to sound out the word, which means his school, like so many, did not teach him phonics. After he says he does not know the word, his mother tells him to skip it and move on. She did not tell him to sound it out, which means neither she nor her husband taught their child phonics.

My children can sound out words they do not know because I taught them. They have an advantage over kids whose parents blindly trusted the schools.

If you want your child to have a good education, you must be involved and fill in the gaps the schools leave.