Archives for posts with tag: Reading

David Bentley Hart, writing for First Things [in 2012], praises good bad books.

If you take the time to read this, I’m sure you will be glad you did.

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/05/in-praise-of-good-bad-books

For me, the most important book of my childhood was Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. Of course, I read all of CS Lewis’ fiction multiple times over. I didn’t read enough to have much of a list of good bad books. Still, Hart’s point is valid.

Don’t let the big words fool you; he is just being precise. (And showing off what he’s learned in his copious reading.)

Keep in mind that philistine, as an adjective, indicates disdain, or at least indifference, for culture and norms. He uses it fittingly, at least for nearly all children.

The the article explains Tharks, they are from the mind of Edgar Rice Burroughs, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tharks.

Isn’t it nice to be able to right-click something and have a page open with Google results? (At least in Chrome.)

It is an encouraging article, and it encourages us to encourage our children and youths to be avid readers. {I trust you noticed I only used “encourage” once, there. 😉 }

I have committed to reading through Augustine’s City of God this year with the Facebook group doing so. Not much reading per day, but weighty. It is fascinating to read and think how little changed his writing might be if he were writing specifically for us today.

I try to keep up with WattsUpWithThat, and with FirstThings blogs. Lots of material all of it worth reading much of it worth thorough contemplation. I read AmericanThinker a lot as well.

Of course, I spend too much time reading Facebook, but that is more of a fun thing to do.

Plenty of other information to read as well, news, politics, science, various distractions. I seem to read a lot. I have a hard time keeping up with some of it. Oh well. Perhaps I will gain efficiency soon.

Can it be? School contrary to a reader?

Sadly, yes. In fact, it seems to me school is no place for any child obviously off the norm, above or below, in one or more areas. Thus, home school.

My wife came across a Canadian blog, showing that such things are not peculiar to the US, here http://notesandqueries.ca/school-is-no-place-for-a-reader/. A mother, Jennifer A. Franssen, writes poignantly.

I know where she comes from. We did it too. An unfortunate result was a teacher in tears and a principal shouting at us parents, all because we wanted our daughter to be allowed to read! This daughter managed to do well in school, and she is now teaching 3rd grade at a local public school. However, her next sister did not fare so well. The next is finishing, with honors, but the two younger boys were a different matter. We wised up. They are at home. Mamma knows best. I assure you.

Our readers read unimpeded.

I’d quote the whole article, but you can more easily click the link above. I do find this quote quite significant.

“The literacy agenda has resulted in the near elimination of actual books from schools. Peter Hunt describes the situation in Children’s Literature: “[A] utilitarian culture sees the ability to read and write as paramount and looks for simple methods of achieving it. . . . The teaching methods . . . eliminate fiction on the overt grounds that it is too complex, and on the covert grounds that the unrestrained imagination is not politically malleable.”

 

Bruce Deitrick Price, writing at American Thinker, http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/09/close_reading_is_close_to_a_con.html provides more insight into the lie that is Common Core. Common Core is NOT OK. It really is bad. It really is putting stage makeup on an open wound to make it look better rather than help it heal.

Some excerpts:

Males especially will suspect that “close reading” is merely another chapter in the war against boys.” […]

One recalls that in New Math, children were supposed to learn matrices, Boolean algebra, and base-eight. What could be the purpose of this absurd leap into adult academic activities? For one thing, it probably intimidates parents. Are they going to admit they don’t know what Boolean algebra is?

Close Reading seems to me like teaching Boolean algebra to fourth-graders — pretentious and inane. New Math did not teach math. It’s a safe prediction that Close Reading will not teach reading.

In sports, if you take children up an expert slope and turn them loose, you may end up in jail. But in education, you can put children in an uncomfortable, hopeless situation, where they can never really succeed, and you get a grant or a promotion.

It is important to note that parents are key. I repeat, parents are key. Teaches don’t really do the teaching, the parents do. (Failure here is a big factor in the performance of our schools.) If the parents don’t understand, it simply follows that most of the students will not figure it out.

It is also important to note that it is considered child-abuse to put children into sports or other physical circumstances that are obviously beyond their ability. By whatever contorted logic, putting children in mental circumstances beyond their ability is somehow supposed to be good. It is not. Mental scars run deep.

 

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