Teacher, why do I have to learn how to read?

Posted: August 30, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Teacher, I have a question.

“That’s wonderful, Billy. What would you like to know?”

Why do I have to learn reading?”

“I am so glad you asked, Billy. Reading is one of the most important things you will ever learn. By knowing how to read, you will be able to learn other subjects like math, science and history. Reading will help you take tests and get good grades. It is also important if you want to go to college. Even if you don’t want to go to college, reading is important for getting a good job. Life is very hard for people who do not read well. Does that answer your question?”

“Well, sort of. I was also wondering how many years it takes to learn how to read at a sixth grade level?”

“That is a good question. You are starting first grade now, so count up from one to six and you have six years. Do you have any other questions?”

“How come Johnny can already read the sixth grade books and he is in first grade, too? Is he smarter than me?”

“Billy, you are a smart boy, too. It’s just that some children come to school already knowing how to read. Maybe Johnny had a parent who read to him a lot when he was little, or maybe he got special training when he was younger.”

“Well, I wish I could read all the cool books Johnny can read. Can I have special training, too?”

“I am glad you want to learn how to read, Billy. Unfortunately, with twenty-five students in the class, I won’t have the time to give you the personal attention necessary for one child to be able to learn to read that quickly. But, if you will be patient, just like all the other children, I am sure you will learn to read soon enough.”

“Teacher, I have one more question. If reading is so important, why can’t I get special training to learn how to read sooner? If reading is needed to learn everything else; if I need it to take tests; if I need it to go to college; if I need it to get a good job; if life is going to be hard if I don’t learn to read well; is there anything more important for me to learn than reading?”

“Well, children, that is all the time we have for questions. Now, everyone get out your workbooks and turn to page one. We have a lot of work to get done today.”

astronaut with PTR

Henry Skinner-Larsen is the author of Point to Reading and the PTR Jumpstart Manual. The principles of Point to Reading™ are based on the belief that are children are smarter than we imagine and can learn way faster than we allow. In addition, we can best prepare our children for success by sending them to school already knowing how to read. That way, children can learn and teachers can teach.

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