Phonics App vs. Phonics Book: Which Is Better?
Answer: a phonics book.
Please do not buy software programs to teach your child to read!
I’ve researched the effects of technology on the developing brain, and the impact on the young mind when reading from tablets.
I know that technology of any sort can instill the wrong habits in your child, reduce reading comprehension, and even delay your child’s development.
Here's what Naomi Baron, the executive director of the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning had to say about digital reading:
"While short-and-to-the-point may be a good fit for digital consumption, it’s not the sort of reading likely to nurture the critical thinking we still talk about as a hallmark of university education."
Reading is the key to knowledge.
Without the ability to read difficult literature, you will always be at the mercy of other people to tell you what's what.
It's somewhat akin to the difference between reading a book in its original language and reading a translation of the same book in a foreign language.
Let me give you a tiny example that has stayed with me for years. When I lived in Paris, a friend and I went to the theatre one evening to see the play Macbeth.
The famous line, "Out, out, brief candle," referring to our short period of life on Earth had been translated into French as, "Turn off the light."
The meaning had been completely lost in the poor translation.
This is what happens too when you rely on the easier-to-read third party sources for your information. Maybe the person informing you was misinformed themselves? Maybe they misinterpreted their source material?
Think a little deeper though. What about the ill-intentioned politicians, corporations, or even the media who misrepresent facts and information to purposely deceive you for their own benefit?
If you are not a competent reader, and you can’t tackle original source material, you will always be at the mercy of what others would like you to believe and not everyone has your best interest in mind. History is full of examples of this.
If you want your children to think independently, they will need to start by becoming a competent reader.
To accomplish this, you must create an environment for them to fall in love with books; not fall in love with computer games.
Another point worth mentioning is that one of the advantages these phonics software programs tout is a reward system, so every time your child gets a correct answer, he wins a virtual prize.
Play the game, win the prize.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that your children need prizes to learn to read; it's better that they don't have them.
You want them to experience the greatest reward that no computer can ever provide which is the excitement and joy in being able to read for its own sake.
No extrinsic reward needed.
Teach your children to love reading real books.
Let them touch the books, smell the books, and hold the books in their own hands.
Let them experience a three-dimensional world that engages all of their senses, not the two-dimensional world of technology.
How brain dimming!
Education psychologist and author, Dr. Jane Healy, wrote that,
“Time on the computer might interfere with development of everything from the young child’s motor skills to his or her ability to think logically and distinguish between reality and fantasy.”
It's known that children who read on e-readers have less comprehension than children who read books in print. The children on the e-readers get distracted by the gadget itself and don't focus as well on what they're reading which leads to poorer comprehension.
If you read to understand, what's the point in reading on a device that lowers your comprehension?
I saw this quote on a blog post that was recommending phonics software programs, and I thought it summed up the problem perfectly:
"In fact, students whose parents played an active role in their literacy education were more likely to read at least 10 books per year."
What got me is that a child taught to read using a phonics book, and a child with the time and freedom to read, and a child who has interesting books to read will read a lot more than ten books per year!
Ten books a year is nothing. Ten books a year is what a lousy reader will read.
Is that not telling in and of itself?
Your goal for raising a competent reader will be far greater than ten books a year.
Take the road of time-tested methods and teach your child to read like people used to do in the days when our literacy rates were soaring. Don't let an incompetent software program do it for you.
You don't need ABC Mouse or any other dubious software programs to teach your children to read.
If you have a child who has reached the reading-readiness age, you can experience the joy of teaching him or her to read in no time at all.
I've done it and I've spoken to hundreds of mothers who have done the same. These are mothers whose children read a lot more than 10 books per year! The moms I know would laugh at such a paltry number.
If your child is ready to read, teaching him or her is as easy as pie.
Here's a phonics book you can teach from. No computer needed.
It’s not difficult to teach your child to read. Anyone can do it.
P. S. Don’t miss my free download, Ten Books Every Well-Educated Child Should Read.
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