Here’s how this works. I have this blog. I also have a Facebook page. It is pretty much public. Pretty much anyone can comment there.
At their own risk.
I usually post a link on there to this blog when I post a new article. Wendy thought it would be a great idea to come over to my Facebook page and confront me. Not here. There. And then she got her feelings hurt and deleted it all.
She can do that on Facebook, which of course, deleted not just her comment but all the stuff written in reply to her. Poof. Gone.
Well, not exactly. . .
Nobody has to agree with me. People here disagree with me quite often. Kaylee and I go at it pretty fiercely from time to time. (Don’t we, Kaylee? )
But I get sort of irritated with people who dive in, make nasty little comments about “God” and inaccurate statements about what I said here on this blog and then try to disappear.
First, nobody “attacked” the child. Nobody “mocked” the child. Nobody “mocked” the content of the books. They are perfectly fine books—for a three-year-old.
We attacked you, Nicole. We mock you. You and Joe are abysmally awful parents.
But I want to play your other game. Reading and children. That’s the subject, is it?
You quote some stats. You don’t link to any of them, so they are relatively difficult to ferret out.
However, you make some really contradictory statements in there. First, you insist that reading scores are dropping. Then, at the end of the next paragraph, you say that “stats haven’t changed much in the past decade.”
Which is it? Are they dropping? Or are they staying the same?
Now maybe you have data I don’t, Nicole, but you didn’t cite it. You just asserted shit without bothering to tell us where you got it beyond saying “according to the NEAP.” I don’t care to spend my entire afternoon searching through that website to find that wee bit of info, so I will sort of ignore it. I suspect you didn’t either.
I suspect you visited some pro-homeschooling (or more likely, pro-unschooling) site and just did a bit of copy and paste.
However, if you look at the stats, they are instructive.
For instance, you blithely quote:
Only 25% of college graduates are deemed proficient.
And then you start the hand-wringing.
But what does that mean, actually? What is “proficient” when it comes to this data?
It means really, really good at it. So that 25% figure is not what Nicole thinks it is. She’s implying that 75% of college graduates are functionally illiterate and that is simply not the case at all.
I knew when I read what she wrote that she was totally misinterpreting the data terribly. It’s impossible for 75% of college graduates to be unable to read adequately, especially in light of this.
If 75% of college graduates couldn’t even read, why would they consistently make more money and be more employable than those who hadn’t attained those levels of education? Why would an employer pay somebody that much more money if they couldn’t function on the job?
If 75% of college graduates couldn’t read, they also wouldn’t have been able to learn any history or much math or much of anything else. They wouldn’t be any more educated than a high school dropout. Yet they consistently earn more than twice as much.
Either employers across America are colossal dumbasses or something is wrong with Nicole’s assumption.
That’s why I knew that “proficient” didn’t mean what she thought it meant.
That does not mean that “proficient” means the exact same thing regardless of the testing or data you are looking at. But it does mean that college graduates pretty much know how to read.
. . . reading levels aren’t improving and children and even adults aren’t reading for pleasure.
I dunno about that. I mean, I am not disputing the whole “people don’t read for pleasure” thing, except I would suggest that you need to define “read for pleasure” more specifically.
I am a reader. A really big reader. I have been ever since the day I was taught how to sound out vowels. I am a college graduate. I read for pleasure. I enjoy fiction, non-fiction, the phone book, recipe books, I don’t care. I read.
My husband is also a college graduate. He does not read books. We’ve been married for 46 years. I do not remember him ever reading an entire book for pleasure in that whole time. He reads parts of books. He looks up stuff. He’s completely literate. He graduated with honors. He reads to keep up with the news. He just can’t bear reading fiction.
“Reading for pleasure” is a great thing. I don’t know how people like Dave survive without doing so. I just know that they can and do and they are often completely and totally literate.
One thing (reading for pleasure) does not equal the other thing (literacy).
Here’s some newer figures from the ebil gubmint. In this case, what is “proficient”? Does this mean that only about a third of grade-school students can read or do math?
There’s the definition. You decide what that means.
And remember, factored into all this are all the students, not just a select group. So special-needs students count, those who are struggling, and they skew the percentages down. You’re never going to see percentages in the 90’s or even in the eighties no matter what.
But here are countries that rely heavily on “unschooling.”
Going to school in one of those countries is tough. Most people can’t. In many of them, women don’t go ever, period.
But Nicole has told us, time and again, that kids will just learn to read all by themselves. They don’t need any damn teachers. They just learn.
Why don’t they learn in Afghanistan? Why don’t they learn in Chad?
And if they just learn all by themselves, why is she even having the conversation at all? What’s the point? Just leave the kids alone, like she does, and they too will be reading books intended for three-year-olds when they are nearly ten.
The child who bought these books is almost ten years old. In the real world, she’d be in the 3rd grade.
These books are suitable for pre-schoolers. They aren’t “books” in the sense that the child is expected to read them. They are “picture books.” They are intended for non-readers, for parents to read to their kids before bedtime.
When I first saw this, I wanted to give Nicole the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the kid bought the books for her younger siblings.
But then, Nicole says, that we should notice the theme. In other words, the child bought the books because this is what interests her. Being a mommy interests her. We’re supposed to think that is adorable. It makes me want to cry. But she’s telling me that the child bought the books, using her own money that she earns making bows and washing dogs for almost nothing, because that is what she can read.
I get the idea that often, for entertainment, children will read below their grade level. I raised a son. He did that sometimes. And sometimes he read books that were actually far above his grade level, especially if they contained information he wanted to know about.
No pictures. Lots of words on the page. Bigger words, like “telephone” and “forsythia.” Numerous metaphors. The number “fourteen.” Greatly descriptive, almost poetic sentences.
Nicole and Joe Naugler are not educating their children. I know it. They know it. The whole world knows it. CPS knows it. They are simply not educating those kids.
In my view, this is the most egregious thing they have done. Isolating them is bad. Neglecting them is bad. Living in a damned garden shed is horrible. Blaming them for not being able to run a fucking “homestead” is terrible.
But not educating them should be a criminal offense. The fact that the state of Kentucky allows them to get away with this infuriates me.
I have been corrected by several folks, some of whom also have the child’s date of birth, and it seems she would be in 4th grade. (It’s been a long time since I dealt with school children.)