Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Have you checked out Joanne Jacobs' blog lately?

Joanne Jacobs does a great job of staying on top of issues in education. If you are interested in public education, and education in general, check out her blog.

Over the last week she's posted several topics I found interesting. I'll mention one here - How to create kids who hate to read:

We’re Teaching Books That Don’t Stack Up, writes Nancy Schnog, a private school English teacher, in the Washington Post. High school reading lists ignore teens’ tastes and maturity levels, she writes. Students decide that literature is a bore.

Here are a couple of my favorite lines from Nancy Schnog's column:

I'll never forget what one parent, bemoaning his daughter's aversion to great books after she took AP English Literature, wrote to me: "What I've seen teachers do is take living, breathing works of art and transform them into dessicated lab specimens fit for dissection."


It's hard to forget my son's summer-reading assignment the year before he entered ninth grade: Julia Alvarez's "How the GarcĂ­a Girls Lost Their Accents." Try as he did, he never got beyond the first of 15 vignettes about four culturally displaced sisters who search for identity through therapists and mental illness, men and sex, drugs and alcohol. I could hardly blame him. We ask 14-year-old boys to read novels about the travails of anguished women and want them to develop a love of reading?

One of the things I love about homeschooling is all three of my daughters love to read. Our trips to the library are one of the highlights of the week. They come back loaded with books and scatter around the house to burry their noses in books. They love to read.

I have been saddened to learn that none of their friends who attend public schools love to read.

Technorati tags: homeschooling, homeschool, home school, home education, parenting, children, public school, public education, education


Luke Holzmann said...

I have heard this over and over, and, felt it when I attended high school myself. Thanks to my homeschooling up until then, I knew there were great books out there. So went we read books that were completely inappropriate for me, I was able to properly label them as poor choices, rather than decide that literature was lame.

Dr. Sax talks about this in "Why Gender Matters," which, if you haven't read it, you should. Great book.


Janine Cate said...

>Dr. Sax talks about this in "Why Gender Matters," which, if you haven't read it, you should. Great book.

Yes! That is a fabulous book.

I've quoted from this book here and here.

Malcolm Kirkpatrick said...

Karl Bunday quotes Albert Einstein on the adverse effects of force-feeding students.

I read poetry on my own in intermediate school, then they made me read it in HS and I quit reading it for three years. One of the kids I tutor (Math) said that he never reads for pleasure.

Henry Cate said...

It is a sad state of affairs.

In the wealthy nation in the world, in total GN?P, with the most advance technology the world has every seen, we are raising a generation who doesn't like to read.

I left high school, and college, thinking education was something you had to do. It took years before I was able to realize education could be fun and worth while.

Crimson Wife said...

One of my brothers absolutely *HATED* reading and writing growing up and it was like pulling teeth to get him to do so. He got several D's and even a few F's in his high school English classes, which is the primary reason why he just barely graduated.

Fast forward several years and he discovered much to everyone's surprise that he actually *LIKES* reading- so long as he has control over the content and the pace and when no one is trying to quiz him on the book afterward.

He's now in the midst of writing a science fiction novel that he hopes to get published.

Henry Cate said...

crimson wife - I think one of the big problems with government schools is the students have so little control over what they get to learn.

Best of luck to your brother in writing his novel.