Jeremy Vine Show

February 21, 2009 · Filed Under Literacy · Comment 

(Written for John by Jill)

Did you hear the Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2 yesterday. There has been a study done which shows that primary schools are concentrating so much on the basic literacy and numeracy skills that subjects such as music, geography, science and history are being neglected. The government are suggesting that the levels of basic skills are on a par with those in other parts of Europe and seem to be working.

For once I agree with the government. What is the point of being taught other subjects at ages 5 to 7 if you cannot cope with the basics. Not being able to read and write has a serious effect on self esteem and self worth. A lack of music knowledge does not. I am not saying that other subjects should be neglected, but the priority has to be with learning how to read. Age 7 is a crucial age for children. If problems are diagnosed at this age then coping strategies can be put in place and many children have the chance to grow up being able to keep up and then have so many more choices at school leaving age.

I hated primary school – actually, I hated school generally. I had to sit through French lessons, history and geography lessons. It just highlighted my inadequacies as I was unable to take notes, keep up, answer written questions (read written questions in fact), so it just frustrated me more and more. At age 11 I sat for 2 hours in front of my 11 plus paper unable to read any questions and only able to write my name. Would geography have helped? Unlikely!

In this age and in this country being able to have a good standard of literacy has to take priority over everything else for small children to allow them to go on and develop all of the other social and acedemic skills they need to be part of the community and not feel like a uneducated outcast. Our prisons are full of people who are unable to read and write to a decent standard. Would science and language lessons have helped?

Get back to basics and the rest will follow, especailly for children this young. That’s what I think anyway!

I went to a Korean tea ceremony.

February 1, 2009 · Filed Under Dyslexia · Comment 

On Saturday I went to a Korean tea ceremony. I was talking to a Korean lady about dyslexia. They don’t have dyslexia in Korea because they do not have sounds – they have symbols. Very interesting. I will talk to her further. We have two Korean boys staying with us. They are no trouble and eat everything we give them.