The Three R’s

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9 mins read

Editor’s Note: Last Redoubt gives his reasons why you should Homeschool or Die.

Reading, Ritin’, ‘Rithmetic.

It’s long been noted that homeschooling is not just a good idea because it’s a better option than current public schools are supposed to be – instead it could now be a matter of life, death, or sanity.

In case you needed a reminder:

First of all, even when indoctrination is back burnered, it is likely that teaching to read using proven effective methods is not a priority – following the latest teaching fads is.

For decades, reading instruction in American schools has been rooted in a flawed theory about how reading works, a theory that was debunked decades ago by cognitive scientists, yet remains deeply embedded in teaching practices and curriculum materials. As a result, the strategies that struggling readers use to get by — memorizing words, using context to guess words, skipping words they don’t know — are the strategies that many beginning readers are taught in school. This makes it harder for many kids to learn how to read, and children who don’t get off to a good start in reading find it difficult to ever master the process.2

First – an issue that would be far less of a problem in a decentralized, or better, home schooling system:

The fact that a disproven theory about how reading works is still driving the way many children are taught to read is part of the problem. School districts spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on curriculum materials that include this theory. Teachers are taught the theory in their teacher preparation programs and on the job. As long as this disproven theory remains part of American education, many kids will likely struggle to learn how to read.

The article is worth reading. the short version – whole word, and now “three cueing” as a shortcut to learn reading fails for exactly the reasons any phonics proponent knows they will. Especially when learning unfamiliar words, or spelling out words only heard. The issues get worse when visual cues, such as illustrations, are lacking.

Phonics have been predominant among homeschoolers, because it works.

Having covered reading and writing, let’s take a closer look at just reading. In the last months, recommendation after recommendation has been put in people’s amazon kindle home pages, youtube pages, etc. to read/listen to more “melanated” voices and what they have to say. It’s not enough, of course, to add a broader viewpoint – one must eliminate the “problematic” ones entirely. To make it sound academic and above board, call it “decolonizing your bookshelf“.

If you are white, take a moment to examine your bookshelf. What do you see? What books and authors have you allowed to influence your worldview, and how you process the issues of racism and prejudice toward the disenfranchised? Have you considered that, if you identify as white and read only the work of white authors, you are in some ways listening to an extension of your own voice on repeat? While the details and depth of experience may differ, white voices have dominated what has been considered canon for eons. That means non-white readers have had to process stories and historical events through a white author’s lens. The problem goes deeper than that, anyway, considering that even now 76% of publishing professionals — the people you might call the gatekeepers — are white.

As usual, everything is seen through a lens of black and white. This is less to point out “Dems R the real racists” or how bigoted on racial lines blacks and liberals can be against whites, but instead to point out they have designated us the enemy by our skin color and culture. It’s time we accepted that, and consider how and when to best return the favor, and at which targets.

Also – the article, sans headline, can almost be read as simply a call to expand horizons. Consider that this is NPR – a group of people hardly ignorant of the english language, who chose to use “decolonize”, to remove and replace. Also – consider this:

Anti-racist books will only do a person good if they silence themselves first and enter into the reading — provided they care enough to do so.

In short, get rid of and replace your awful thoughts.

It’s also scary what teachers are saying about parents, treating them as dangerous, as if what they teach kids needs to be kept from parents and “outsiders”.

A ninth grade teacher shared in the commiseration, saying that her class required students to “read and respond to a news article,” but that participation in this exercise is stunted now because “outsiders” are “listening.” The “outsiders,” to be clear, are the children’s parents. A teacher with pronouns listed in her Twitter handle said that she plans to use the chat function more than voice lectures because she wants children to share “information” with her in a “parentless way.” A science teacher agreed with all of the sentiments expressed here and summarized it bluntly: “Parents are dangerous.”

We used to have after school specials about what kind of people asked kids to keep secrets from their parents….

Also, until youtube takes it or his channel down:

Lastly, ‘rithmetic.

Remember that BLM cartoon? This is the same sort of motte and bailey bullshit harsplitting. I love the “10 types of people” joke as much as the next computer geek, but the arguments for why 2+2 is anything but four, especially in that little cartoon, are bullshit.

Take the “two factories” example. Two and half machines is not the same as two machines. FWIW, 2.5 + 2.5 does indeed equal five.

Two apples and two oranges? Sure, you don’t suddenly commute apples into oranges – but, you do have four fruits or objects.

In almost every other case, well, yes. “What are your definitions and axioms” – but then we are leaving the every day realm of what the concepts mean. Most people are not dealing in base-4, or other even more obscure areas of mathematics every day, just as carpenters may use trig, but rarely have to leave euclidean geometry. Also, once you redefine the symbol shaped as “2”, and that as “4”, and “5” and so on, you can get any results you want. The point is that what doesn’t change are the underlying concepts that the symbols as commonly used throughout the world point to, no matter how you remap the symbols. This holds true enough that there are literally, despite it’s apparent obviousness, a number of proofs that 1+1=2.

In fact, whenever you needlessly start remapping and redefining symbols that are commonly understood, or even just using different units, you introduce the significant possibilty of translation errors and conversion errors.

More to the point – if I was to ask one of these jackasses decrying “2+2=4” as “white imperialism” for $2, and then for another $2, we all know they wouldn’t accept the argument that they actually should hand over $5.

All of this is to undercut culture, ancestry, and any kind of objective truth.

Homeschool.

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