My eight year old just started school in a new community. We moved from the city to a rural school system, and their teaching methods are something to be desired. My son, who excelled at spelling in his old school, is now being told that spelling is not important, and that he simply has to spell words the way they sound. A few years back, my spouse was part of an experimental method of teaching that was called “Inventive Spelling”. This new method of spelling consisted of students spelling words to the best of their abilities. It was supposed to enhance the way in which a student writes, and to ensure that their creativity was not hampered by incorrect spelling. This method worked fine in grade school, but when she attended university, she did poorly on reports that required accurate spelling. While the inventive spelling method allowed teachers to guess what the student was writing, professors had little time for poor spelling, and she almost failed her studies.
We were horrified when our child came home with his first in school assignment and seen that he wrote words he had known in some language that was foreign to us. In a conversation with his teacher, she argued that this ‘new’ teaching method is very successful. My response was that since schools no longer fail students, how can they be sure that the program is working? I believe that we, as parents must fight the school system to ensure that our children receive the same education as other students in other school systems, and that they are prepared for universities when they grow up.