Even before the pandemic, US public schools were in crisis. Large percentages of children were passing through eight to twelve years of school without achieving adult literacy.
The goal of the American English Doctor is to offer teaching and learning aids to help parents provide the foundation of adult literacy to their children, regardless of the availability of educational opportunities outside the home.
Reading fluency is the key to all academic learning. The child who masters the basics by the age of eight will have the power to learn, no matter the obstacles.
The four essentials of adult literacy are reading, writing, spelling, and grammar. Systematically taught, they can be mastered by most children by the age of thirteen. Unfortunately, in many classrooms, these essentials are taught haphazardly and without sufficient practice. The key is to present the concepts as simply as possible and to practice them until they have become habit.
In addition to reading and writing practice, the American English Doctor also offers mini-lessons in general knowledge, commentary on public education, popular culture, parental responsibility, and reflections on US attitudes about the life of the mind.
Reading is a by-product of speech. Beginning at birth, speak to your child. Articles in this category offer tips for vocabulary building from birth to five years.
Writing includes handwriting as well as keyboarding. Articles in this category offer instruction in different kinds of writing, beginning with the ability to print.
English spelling is challenging, but it is not the mess some people claim it is. The articles in this category offer a simple, systematic approach to teaching spelling.
Too often, English grammar is badly taught or not taught at all. The most important rules are few and easily learned with sufficient practice. The articles in this category present easy-to-understand explanations.
Children are constantly bombarded by messages from the culture around them. Articles in this category offer reviews and critiques of children’s television and other influential media.
One of the most precious institutions we have is the public education system. Articles in this category offer suggestions for making the most of public education at the local level.
A child’s first five years are the most important for emotional and intellectual development. Articles in this category survey the possibilities open to parents of newborns.
Reading comprehension requires a fund of knowledge in the reader. Articles in this category provide the sort of information necessary for basic cultural literacy.