Book: Why Our Children Can’t Read

August 8, 2011 by Geoff Nixon

Why Our Children Can’t Read and What We Can Do About It

Diane McGuinness, Ph.D., has provided a fascinating insight into the minds, lives, and frustrations of struggling readers in this book on reading skills. Called “a scientific revolution in reading,” McGuinness weaves the woes and difficulties of struggling readers and non-readers.

Though reading comes easily for some, many children have problems reading that are not detected until third grade or later. These readers are able to use memorization and other strategies to please their parents and persuade their teachers they are decoding correctly, when in fact they are faking it, using a memorized sight word list with no phonological awareness foundation –a sight word list that inevitably cannot keep up with the enormous expansion of words required to read in 4th and 5th grade, not to mention the step up in comprehension requirements.

Through stories of real people, this book is an interesting true-to-life account of why children cannot read, why reading is difficult, and what cognitive brain training and teaching the code of reading can do.

It dispels myths of reading for parents, teachers, and struggling readers. The state of reading is worse than you would ever think. But it is not hopeless—struggling readers are not doomed to a fate of choppy, frustrating, difficult reading.

Knowing how to teach reading will be sure to revolutionize your thinking about your own children. Why Our Children Can’t Read and What We Can Do About It is a book we highly recommend and know you will gain more insight and “aha” moments than you ever thought possible.

Information you can glean from this book: • Why it’s hard to learn to read • The English alphabet code • The child’s mind and reading • Beginning reading right • Mastering the advanced code in reading, writing, and spelling.

Here are some extracts: “Children are wired for sound, but print is an optional accessory that must be painstakingly bolted on. This basic fact about human nature should be the starting point for any discussion of how to teach our children to read and write.”

“It is impossible that 30 percent to 60 percent of all school children have an inherent or ‘brain-based’ deficit leading to reading failure….Few of us are expert swimmers, but most of us could be with appropriate training. We certainly should be if we had spent over 3600 hours in swimming classes, which is the number of hours our third graders had spent in the classroom trying to learn to read.”

Diane McGuinness is a cognitive-developmental psychologist and Professor at the University of South Florida. She is the author of “When Children Don’t Learn” and lives in Sanibel, Florida.  Her book is available here in Amazon.

Gemm Learning provides a reading program that builds essential phonological awareness skills.