Month:

September 2019

Reading – The Gateway to All Learning

When parents think about raising a child who will be successful, their thoughts are often geared to a child’s academic accomplishments. While success is not always defined solely by academic standards, most parents will go the extra mile to ensure their child has a solid foundation for school. As reading is the gateway to all learning, one way they can do this is to encourage their kids to read. Reading helps develop comprehension and vocabulary skills, which are critical to academic success.

Reading is a vitally important acquisition in life and leads to learning in every area. Gaining reading skills early will be critical to understanding math, history, science and other subjects. A struggling reader will have difficulty engaging in and enjoying the learning process at school. Even though many parents hold out hope that a poor reader may be a strong math student, the truth is that reading skills are required for every subject. Take, for instance, a typical math problem like the one below.

Joey is looking for a way to earn money during his summer break and decides to offer a dog-walking service. He plans to walk one dog at $8.00 for 30 minutes. If he walks three dogs a day, how much money will he make? How long will it take him to walk four dogs?

For many students who suffer from poor reading and comprehension skills, that problem is going to require a lot of effort. During tests, when time is at a premium, the poor reader will spend more time on word problems than is needed. Without adequate comprehension skills, a student might get the answer wrong. This will result in a frustrated child who may disengage from the learning process and ultimately earn poor grades.

Reading is also vitally important to building vocabulary skills. When a child reads, he inevitably comes to words that are not familiar. Of course, encouraging him to use an online dictionary or other tools to define the word is one way to capture the word’s meaning. But reading the word in context, i.e. within a story or passage, gives a child a better idea of how the word is used. A strong vocabulary is important to subjects like science or history, which require constant reading. The more words a child learns, the better he will understand a variety of other material. One of the key benefits to developing a strong vocabulary is that soon your child will be comfortable adding new words to their everyday language.

Recognizing how critically important reading can be will inspire you to teach your child the literacy skills needed for a solid education. Developing comprehension and vocabulary skills, specifically, will equip your child to meet the academic challenges ahead of him. Reading will bring your child a love of learning and the ability to explore a variety of subjects. It is the doorway to a lifetime of achievement and the gateway to all learning.… Read More

Using Books in Cyber School

  • For today’s lesson you will be reading the first 10 books of Paradise Lost.
  • “Sweet! I’ve always been meaning to read this book!”
  • Book 1
  • Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit
  • Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
  • Brought death into the World, and all our woe,
  • With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
  • Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
  • Sing, Heavenly Muse, that, on the secret top
  • Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
  • That shepherd who first taught the chosen seed
  • In the beginning how the heavens and earth
  • Rose out of Chaos: or, if Sion hill
  • Delight thee more, and Siloa’s brook that flowed
  • Fast by the oracle of God, I thence
  • Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
  • That with no middle flight intends to soar
  • Above th’ Aonian mount, while it pursues
  • Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme…
  • “… Eh?  Helllloooo Spark Notes!”

Online English classes have a tendency of asking for quite a lot of time, effort and reading for lessons that you can easily finish using Spark Notes or Google. It’s really tough to keep honest when a couple hours of work can turn into ten minutes of work.

Using Books in Cyber School
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In cyber school it is much harder to read and acquire books like Wuthering Heights, Paradise Lost or Beowulf than it would be in public school. There are two main reasons for this.

The first reason is that all of the work is already laid out and planned for you. This means you can find out exactly what parts of the book you need to know about, and no pop quizzes. In public school the teacher usually would not let us know what we would be doing the next couple days. This meant we had to study up our books and study guides in case there was a surprise writing assignment or quiz. We didn’t even know what part of the book she would focus on.

Now that I’m in cyber school I know exactly what test I need to complete, and I can even go into the test beforehand, and see what the questions are. Pretty sweet, right? Well, yes and no. See, knowing everything about the course with no surprises allows me to easily get through a book without completely finishing it or understanding it. I’ve even learned how to do reports with limited information that still get me 100%. The bad thing is I that don’t learn quite as much.

The second reason why it is hard to read the entire books is the lack of face to face interaction with teachers. I don’t know my teachers very well. The only glimpse I have into their personality are the short bios they write about themselves and the messages we send back in forth. This lack of familiarity causes me to respect them less than my old public school teachers, and I don’t feel very guilty for taking shortcuts.

Learning how to be calloused is not … Read More