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Readers respond: Why aren't our children reading well?
These readers share their thoughts around our kids' reading abilities, the education kids receive and the society we live in.

Our readers respond to an article published on Parent24 called "Why aren't our children reading well?"


This article has really struck home for me. 

My only child started grade 1 at a reputable, former model c school in Durban in 2015. 

I noticed from the beginning that she battled with reading, as the basic fundamental reading skills she had not grasped or lacked. 

I was not sure if it was missed in grade R or in school. 

The teacher assured me for the first two terms she will catch up.

I battled at home because how I was taught and how she was being taught was different. 

All these sight words and repetitive books hardly helped her improve. How they are taught phonics and sentences is different too.

I was advised by the school, to take her for full IQ and remedial assessments which costed a small fortune.

By the third term, I started her with a private tutor four times a week to help her catch up. This helped her greatly.

The assessment said she had a very good IQ, but reading was still at grade R level. It also advised that she must go for a speech and language assessment with a speech therapist. 

By the end of the stressful year she passed, but I had spent a lot of time and resources just to get my child to be taught to read. 

The school was not too concerned and hardly helped. They seemed to be more concerned about over-achievers than the ones who battled.

I feel like they should have offered an after school program for poor readers at the school.

I have removed her from the school and got her a placed in short term remedial school for grade 2. 

She has made huge progress this year thus far just by receiving more attention and the teacher can focus on her. There are only 13 in a class.

She reads more fluently and uses the skills I was taught. Her teacher is close to 60 and is of the older generation of teachers.

She is much happier, as she suffered from anxiety and stress last year.

It also put a lot of strain on our relationship. 

It saddened me that if I did not have the time and finance to help her. What would have happened to her?

And I think of all the kids who do not have the same access as she has and how are they coping.

The school system has also put a lot responsibility on parents to sort their children out if they can't read. 

Thanks for the article, as I thought I was the only one who noticed and felt this way about the current way our kids are being taught to read. 



The article why kids can't read is actually so apt.

Kids are progressing less in memory retention, lack of interactivity and long hours of homework make it very difficult for kids.

They are also taught for fewer minutes and expected to remember for life-time, which is not on.

There are fewer dedicated teachers and their lack of lesson literature, the toolbox of vocabulary in all subjects is of utmost importance.

If a child understands, they will enjoy. Schools are also lacking in motivation, enjoyment and age appropriate learning.

for heavens sake, our kids are no longer kids, but are adults at a tender age.

Not on. 

Two breaks should be a must, hydration is important and kids must play.

Some schools don't allow kids to play at breaks and this brings pent-up anger.

A bored mind will be attracted to bad behaviour. They fight and lose focus.

All education must be age appropriate and source books and worksheets must be made available.

Faye Ian Norcass

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