And therein is the crux of my rant for today: lessons for the very young. Sorry, kiddos, childhood is over. Hit the books, sound out the letters, learn your phonemes. No more lollygagging in K or even Pre-K. There is a wonderful scene in UNCLE BUCK where John Candy tells an incredibly stiff teacher that he does not want to know a kid who is not a daydreamer. I feel the same way. Can't we just let them come to us, read a book, answer their questions? Allow them to twaddle, lollygag, daydream, wonder, and just BE? I taught 4 year olds the last year of my undergrad work to meet tuition payments. Oh, how I loved them. Open, eager, asking all manner of questions. They were like sponges drinking in words and so much more,
A final note about this wonderful "new" program that will revolutionize the way we teach kids to read before they even get to school. It raised $2.2 million in venture capital seed money. It is headed by someone who worked with David Coleman on CCSS. The Board of Directors/Advisors has only one person with teaching credentials (and she has been out of the classroom for 40 years) that I can see. There are CEOs and budget directors, accountants, and reps from the usual suspects (Gates is represented, of course). The founder claims that there was no quality in contemporary "packages" and so she went back to the old school books which were just right. Sigh. Remember when Madonna said she had to write books for kids because there were not any good ones out there? Holy Hypocrisy, Batman!
And so, all the iPad parents out there who are deathly afraid their kids will be left behind, will begin to download what is, in essence, worksheets on the tablet. Poor kids. For the same cost (free), they could go to the library and not only check out real books but even perhaps hear a storytime or two. To paraphrase, Pink Floyd, "Hey, parents, leave the kids alone." If not, they will become just another brick in the wall.
Parents looking for ways to help kids learn to love books: all you need is love and books. Love and books is all you need. I love books. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.