Phyllis Schlafly was one of the most accomplished women in American history. She became an expert in everything political from nuclear weapons policy to the follies of feminism. She beat overwhelming odds by defeating a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution. She launched the pro-family movement that is still a powerful political force today. Yet, asked what was the “most fulfilling thing” she had ever done, none of those answers even came close. In her March 1994 Phyllis Schlafly Report, Phyllis made the case for why teaching one’s children how to read can be more fulfilling than anything else. As today’s parents make important educational choices for their children, it would be a good idea to take Phyllis’s advice. Your children will thank you for it.
Of course, if you are going to teach your children to read, you need to start by picking a winning strategy that will give them the tools to read independently. Phyllis knew the winning strategy is to teach children to read using the traditional phonics method. According to her, “Reading is the adventure of teaching the child to sound out letters and syllables and then say the word.”
This is starkly contrasted with the whole word method. There are lots of other names for this method too. The education elites repackage it as the “whole language” method, the “look-and-say” method, and the “sight word” method because they think rebranding will cover up for their miserable failures. With this whole word method, children memorize a list of a few dozen high frequency words, then rely on pictures and context to guess the rest. Whole word may trick parents and children into thinking they can read, but memorizing a few words won’t give someone the tools to grasp the entirety of the English language. Phyllis was right: “If you teach [the child] to sound out the letters and syllables, he will soon be able to read his entire oral vocabulary.”
If you would like an educational resource to help you navigate the best way to teach your children how to read, order a copy of Phyllis’s First Reader. It has everything your child and you need to discover the joys of reading.
First Reader and Turbo Reader include all the teacher’s instructions in the book, so are all you need to succeed in teaching excellent reading skills. They are non-consumable, so can be used over and over for multiple students.