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Why Our Children Can't Read and What We Can Do About It: A Scientific Revolution in Reading Paperback – March 24, 1999
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From the Foreword, by Steven Pinker author of The Language Instinct and How the Mind Works Why Our Children Can't Read is one of the most important books of the decade. Read it for your own pleasure and enlightenment, and buy copies for the people in control of your children's education.
Rita Kramer The Wall Street Journal The real news this book brings us is that no child has to fail at learning to read, that there are ways to help those who have trouble without consigning them to the dustheap of special ed classes. For parents of children with reading problems, this book is a clear guide to effective remedial programs.
From the Publisher
Chances are, if you can read this book, you're lucky. Even so, you may be reading it less well than you could. The fact is, you probably learned to read the wrong way, but somehow you've managed to get by, even do well. Many children and adults are not so lucky.
In America today, 43 percent of our children test below grade level in reading. Among adults, 42 million are functionally illiterate. The numbers are staggering, but in our schools, the problem is only getting worse. Most schools teach reading with phonics, the whole language method, or some eclectic combination of the two. Unfortunately, these methods are failing our children; phonics by 30 percent, whole language by 50 percent.
We are in crisis. Now, what are we going to do about it? If we're wise, we'll read and use what's in this book at home -- and in every school in America -- because it is the first thorough diagnosis of the problem and the first viable solution. The old methods don't work, and this book will tell you why. Psychologist Diane McGuinness draws on twenty-five years of solid reading research that shows exactly how the current system fails and how to fix it.
She explains that the ability to read depends on the ability to hear the sounds of our language correctly, and on a working knowledge of something called the spelling code, which is the key to how English spelling works: what letters and letter combinations go with which sounds. This connection of sounds and the symbols that represent them is crucial to learning how to read, and McGuinness explains it with rigor, clarity, and expertise. Moreover, she shows how this method is scientifically proven and has transformed so-called dyslexics and troubled readers into expert readers and spellers, often in astoundingly short periods of time.
Diane McGuinness has given us the blueprint for a reading revolution -- one that offers real hope to the millions of children and adults who are failing needlessly in school and in life. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
But something bothered me. He was going through the story almost too fast, as if he was reciting a familiar tale, and he wasn't giving himself time to look closely at at the words printed on the page. It was obvious that he knew the story, but it wasn't clear if he knew what he was looking at.
Stepping to the large white board next to the table, I wrote the letters t-o-b, and asked him how he would read what I had written. Instantly, he announced `dot'. Okay, I responded, trying not to convey any disapproval or praise in my voice, and wrote d-o-s. `That's dog' he almost shouted, perhaps a little impatient with such simple words. After I wrote s-o-d, he suddenly hesitated, gazed curiously at those three letters, and then said simply; `I don't know'. I was stunned.
In ten more minutes, I was certain of five things: Kousuke was a motivated student with a strong interest in English. He could memorize whole words, sentences, and even stories. He could not read. Neither could he write.Read more ›
Even though I have a couple of problems with it such as the lesson numbering system and completeness, I am thrilled with the result. My 7th grader finished it around Christmas. She spent 1 1/2 years on it. She can spell VERY well now--not before. My son began in 3rd grade and now is finishing 4th. His spelling has done a complete turn around.
Just to let you know, both of my children read well beyond their years, even before this program. I used "Teach Me To Read in 100 Easy Lessons" and then "Alphaphonics." They still couldn't spell.
We went through many, many programs which I gave up on because they didn't work. This one teaches rules which apply to ALL words not just memorizing a few disjointed lists. Her theories are right on target. I wish that I had been taught this way. I was a terrible speller most of my life. Now I am not too bad at all. My children won't ever be horrible spellers, thanks to her methods.
I believe that everyone should use this method. Once it is taught, I can assure you that the other programs will be unnecessary. I got out my McGuffey's Speller. My daughter had very little problems with any of the words.
I would like to say thanks to Diane. And, I have already sold 2 others on this program. I wish she would speak at some Home Educator conferences, though. I am only one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is excellent. Every teacher and parent should read it. You can save your child a lifetime of heartache by putting Mcguinness' tips into action with your child, especially... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Cha
This is important for every parent of struggling readers. I have used these principles to help my students. It is well written and extremely helpful.Published 18 months ago by C. Colby
This book was a gift....It was requested by the person/teacher and fully met their expectations....Published 21 months ago by LEILANI ROBINSON
I am still only halfway through the book but have really enjoyed the concepts discussed by the author. I reference the book often when discussing teaching methodology.Published on December 14, 2013 by alionbk
Why Our Children Can’t Read and What We Can Do About It: A Scientific Revolution In Reading by Diane McGuinness is definitely a book worth reading. Read morePublished on December 11, 2013 by Miguel Rico
This book really challenged my current reading instruction based upon sound, decades long research.
The first three or four chapters are tough to get through but push through... Read more
Understanding language and how it works is crucial to helping children to read. I sure didn't know that to begin with. I found this book fascinating and enlightening. Read morePublished on May 4, 2013 by julie elliott
This has been one of the most powerful books I've read on reading, and that is after completing 5 years of elementary education! Read morePublished on December 18, 2012 by Katie
This is an enlightening book. It really sheds light on what we need to do as parents and educators. Some of the book is dense and needs to be read over several times, though. Read morePublished on July 11, 2012 by teacher