Friday, May 16, 2008

Did it cost you $500 to teach your child to read?

That's what an acquaintance told me a cyber-charter school will charge for a phonics program if his child is not enrolled in full-time kindergarten. The full-time kindergarten is free, I mean taxpayer-funded, this being a charter school. But if he does not want to enroll his child in kindergarten but just get the phonics program, it's 500 big ones.

We probably spent less than $100 on materials to teach our kids to read. Would have been less if I'd not been so enthralled by curriculum and made a few buying mistakes.

One child taught herself, mostly. She heard the blow-back from me teaching her brother, caught on and never looked back. I could have spent $20 on Explode the Code workbooks and called it good.

The other learned to read once we gave up on phonics, which he still doesn't get. Now he's a good reader, but he can't spell. We're remediating phonics now, with some new materials, but still nowhere near $500 or even $200. If we have to seek professional help the bill will likely go higher. But he is not in kindy and at that point he'd be diagnosed with a learning disability.

Most kids are probably somewhere in between my 2 kids, I'd guess.

I don't know what that $500 buys, exactly.


Mrs. Darling said...

Thats ridiculous!

I had ot give up phonics too with Tink then go back and grab some this year. She couldnt learn to read with phonics. I had no choice but to ditch it. But in all the stuff Ive spent I still havent spent 500 dollars!

DADvocate said...

I went to a parochial school my first seven years. About two weeks before I entered the first grade we went to school to pay tuition and buy my books.

During the two weeks between then and when school started my older sister, entering the 4th grade, taught me to read using phonics which she had learned. By first day of school I could read all the reading books for the entire year. Of course, I'm a genius but still... :-)

kerri @ gladoil said...

We were so poor when I started homeschooling. I taught my first 4 or 5 on grocery store workbooks and they all read great. A lot. I have trouble keeping up with them.

I am always amazed at the price of phonics programs-and how complicated they are. They make reading look so intimidating!

Marbel said...

I remember that when I went to kindy I already knew how to read. All I know is that my mom read to me a lot; I don't know if she did phonics or not. Most likely not; she was not clued-in to that sort of thing, though she was an avid reader.

Education is a big business now; lots of money in it. Too bad so many parents think they are unqualified.

Big sisters... mine didn't teach me to read, but she taught me to sew!