Girl in library practicing her reading.

Schools Aren’t Teaching Kids How To Read

Want to know why so many kids are struggling to learn to read? It's because your child's teacher has not taught them how to do so. I'm not blaming your child's teacher by any means.  I love teachers. I'm a teacher. Frankly, I'm not sure who to blame. Over the past two decades, teachers across the United States were instructed to use the Guided Reading approach to teach children how to read. However, recent research suggests this method may have been incorrect.

You may be asking yourself, "What is Guided Reading? Guided reading utilizes a cueing system that teaches children to read words based on their meaning rather than relying solely on phonetics. Instead, children are taught how to read by having them look at the picture, getting the word started with their mouth, and asking themselves, "Does that sound right? If your child was given a reading level like A, B, C, D, etc., then they were taught to read using this approach.

The problem with this model is that it does not teach children HOW to read. It does not teach a child how to decode or sound out words. It does not give children explicit lessons in phonics or blending words, which most kids need.

Fortunately, there's a shift in education, and schools are beginning to recognize that Guided Reading doesn't work. In fact, studies show that more than fifty percent of fourth-grade students are a minimum of one year behind in reading. Many schools are now adopting the Science of Reading approach for teaching reading. This is a research-based based model that establishes solid foundations in reading beginning at the primary grade level.

I have never been a strong supporter of the Guided Reading approach. I recall when my school district introduced it, I was apprehensive about the idea of not teaching children phonics or letter sounds. It never seemed logical to me. Despite my administrator's advice to no longer teach children to sound out words, I persisted in teaching it anyway, shutting my classroom door to do so.

If your child struggles with reading fluency, don't worry - help is available.

Get in touch with Dolphin Reading to find out if one of their reading specialists could make a difference and help your child improve their reading skills for good.


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About Diane

I’m Diane, the founder of Dolphin Reading. As a New York State certified teacher, I have twenty plus years experience teaching English literacy to speakers of other languages.

My philosophy is that every child can learn to read, it just takes some kids longer to do so...

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