Reading Curriculum FAILS our children.

Does your child hate to read? Looking for a tutor? Homework a constant battle?

Schools are using programs that don’t work- who is holding them accountable?! Answer: nobody.


Across Facebook groups you can see parents looking for tutoring recommendations. They vary in specifics, but it is clear that reading and writing tutoring is on the rise. Why? When our kids spend most of their day in the classrooms, most with a significant portion of those hours in ELA, why do we still see such a weakness in that area?

The answer is clear- in fact, reading and writing researchers have been sharing best practices since as early as the 1930’s (Dr. S. Orton and A. Gillingham). Currently, most schools in NJ are using:

Units of Study

Fountas and Pinnell Classroom

Other names for these are: The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP), Leveled Literacy Intervention or Guided Reading, Readers/Writers Workshop, etc.

If your child’s reading level has ever been reported to you as a letter or number, there is a good chance that they are participating in these programs. You can see examples of the books used to determine these reading levels here. As you can see, beginning “readers” are given “predictable texts, supportive pictures, repeated text…” If these things cause you to ask yourself- hmmmmm… what does this have to do with reading? The answer is: NOTHING. From the very beginning, these curriculums are teaching children to do everything, but read. Even children that do not have any disabilities are struggling with this instruction because IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. We are producing disengaged readers, poor spellers, or simply, illiterate students.

A quick review of NJ school board minutes show that they are sending teachers even this year to be trained in these curriculums. The curriculum frameworks for most schools include at least one of these programs. (for most, it is their entire curriculum for K-8).

My suggestion? Before you go pay for a tutor, make sure that all those hours in the classroom actually matter. All research and data from the reading/writing experts tell us that the problem lies in the curriculum, not your child.

“The best ‘cue’ to a word is the word itself.” – Mark Seidenberg

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