R.I.F

Remember the “Sit, Ubu, Sit” commercials?? Always after Reading Rainbow, Sesame Street, and Mr. Rogers? Maybe not….

Somedays I feel like I am beating a dead horse. No matter how many letters I write, meetings I have or posts, I can’t make ’em budge. Meh. So be it.

My math class is a 1 hour lecture, 4 days a week. We have homework daily, in an online format. Many of the questions are word, or story problems. And every day we have to sit through a lecture about how to read the problems. The math is generally easy enough, in terms of “as much as” and “what part of”. It’s dividing, multiplying, adding and subtracting. But if you can’t comprehend what you’re reading, of course you won’t see what to do.

This trend is very disturbing to me. And a huge explanation of why people don’t know wtf they’re doing anymore. I come across more and more people who cannot, though basic cooking is simply reading a recipe; following directions. When I am tutoring I get asked by EVERY person at least once for explanations that are right under their noses in their text books. Or I’ll hear “Well that wasn’t in the rules!!!” and I then must ask “Then how did I know?”.

You may be wondering where this idea, that we don’t need to read things, comes from. The phasing out of text books. Hear me out..

My children are taught and tested on ONLY what the teacher teaches. They don’t have to think as they’re reading the book, picking out the pertinent information, taking “good notes”. How come? There isn’t anything to read. The only text book in the house is my Boo’s history text (aside from my own). Do you remember when we were in school (if you’re an adult/30+) and you studied the chapter for a test, hoping you were remembering the important stuff; names, dates, wars? Now they do a handout in class and then take the test, worded differently, but mostly the same questions. So there was no misc information retained. Or knowledge of something the teacher didn’t teach from the textbook.

The point, though? This sets out kids up for failure. Our young people, in general,  are not learning the importance of reading to know stuff. They are not given the opportunity to pass or fail. Not really. If you cannot regurgitate what you have been told for the last week, you probably need a tutor. But when they get into college, there is ridiculous amounts of reading. 50 page chapters and ANYTHING in that chapter could be on the test. Now how are they supposed to do that?? To take an online class, you have no audio. You must read the assignment, understand the directions and do it fully. And many of them can’t.

What happens when they sign on with their first job and “didn’t see” it in the handbook that you must do XYZ every week, because they didn’t think they should have to read it. Someone should have told them….

Reading Is Fundamental. RIF. Science, technical studies, mathematics, business. No matter the field, you have to read and understand things.

What do you think? Is reading all that important now days?

xo

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