Can Children Learn to Read in Class and at Home Similarly?


The way children learn to read from teachers can be a very different from the methods used by a parent who wants to help children learn to read.

A parent asks:

Can kids learn to read in the classroom the way they do at home?

Dr. Marion Blank, Founder of the Reading Kingdom answers:

This is a fascinating question. First we have to consider who we are talking about. Although we do not know the exact numbers, there is a group of children – estimated to be somewhere between 30 and 50% –who learn to read on their own. For this self-motivated group, it is likely that their reading processes at home and at school are similar (although at home they have the advantage of reading an array of material that is broader than that generally assigned in school.

For the remaining children, things are quite different. It is not a homogenous group—there are those who are not self- starters, those who cannot concentrate in the large group setting of the classroom, those who are easily demoralized when they see others mastering what they experience as so difficult, etc. Regardless of the varying characteristics, the effects all lead to the classroom not being an ideal place for learning.

But past need not be present. For example, we now have computers! No longer need there be groups of children “working together” while endlessly evaluating how well one compares to the others. Computers offer the possibility of allowing totally individualized learning where every child can feel – and be — successful. Unfortunately much of the effort in computer-based reading education has not taken advantage of this enormous potential. It generally uses the same content and techniques as existed in the pre-computer material. That material did not work then and despite being on the computer, they won’t work now. The way this “problem” has been met is to do whatever it takes to make the computer material fun for the user. The idea is that if a child has pleasure, he or she will learn. It is indeed nice to have pleasure. But there are genuine skills that need to be learned via instruction and if they are not in the curriculum (as they frequently are not), pleasurable computer experiences will not be the solution to creating effective learning.

Reading Kingdom effectively teaches children how to read, regardless of location. Sign up for a free 30 day trial for your home or classroom and see why we’re being called the new and better way to learn to read.  Lingo and company will see you soon!