As parents of children with dyslexia, we understand firsthand the struggle that millions of Americans with the condition face as they try to reach their full potential.

Dyslexia can be remediated with good education, but it is a persistent, lifelong challenge. This is not, and should not be, a Democratic or Republican issue.

Prompted by concerns about our own children and our constituents’ children, we set out to learn as much as we could about dyslexia and were amazed at how much is known and yet, far too often, not incorporated into policy. As a result, we’ve formed the bipartisan Congressional Dyslexia Caucus to educate other Members of Congress and advance policies to break down barriers faced by dyslexics.

For more, click here.


Phonics Talk: Volume 40 — Sight Words

by Dolores G. Hiskes
March 2010

It seems to be a given in educational circles that sight words are a basic component when teaching beginning reading. Word walls adorn most classrooms, and Dolch sight words faithfully appear in most beginning readers, including common phonics reading programs.

Over a thousand years ago the old Greek Herotimus wrote: “We are dragged on by consistency. A thing may be consistent and yet false!” Truer words were never spoken!

Sooner or later sight words must be taught, but NOT in the very beginning! That is when brain pathways are set up for learning how to read, and sight words are like pictures that activate a different hemisphere of the brain. This then suppresses the activity of the mirror-image region on the other side which acquires knowledge in logical bits, as in phonics or math.

Robert Calfee actually states, “One of the best ways to decrease performance is to present competing information such as the use of pictures to accompany text.”

Here is an analysis of the sight words taught in first grade from several commonly-used phonics programs:

Saxon Phonics: 88 sight words in first grade
Open Court: 130 sight words in first grade
Phonics Pathways: 21 sight words in the WHOLE BOOK
I rest my case!

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Only US school can help our son

On June 29, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Dare

A MELBOURNE family is moving to the US for “emergency education” because it believes the Victorian school system has failed their 11-year-old son.

The autistic boy is from one of at least nine families suing the Education Department through the Federal Court for discrimination and what they claim is inadequate education.

For more, click here.