I am not surprised at the “news” that children are bad at reading, writing and arithmetic at the age of seven if the teaching methods are as poor as they were when my daughter started school 23 years ago.
I was told not to teach her myself, leave it to the school as their methods could be different from mine, so I did, but went through her “homework” picture reading books with her every evening.
One evening when helping her work out what a word was, she said the teacher had said she mustn’t do it that way, ie breaking down a word into syllables, so I went and spoke to the teacher, asking her why.
Her reply was we don’t do it that way, so I asked how they were supposed to work out what the word was and her answer was “Guess.”
We ended up having a toe-to-toe argument about this. My view was that unless they were taught properly, how can you tell, for instance, whether the word says “horse” or “pony” or even “animal” – we ended up with a stalemate as she couldn’t answer me.
I continued to show her the correct way to read and am proud to say her vocabulary is vast and she has devoured books eagerly.
I went in to see the same teacher about an essay and asked why she hadn’t corrected words spelled wrongly.
Her answer was that she wasn’t going to spoil a beautiful piece of work with red scrawls all over it, we have spelling lessons for that. When I suggested all she had to do was underline each word that was wrong and write them at the bottom for her to practise the correct way of spelling these words, I got nowhere.
I dread to think what her spelling would be like now if there wasn’t “spell check” on all computers as she still spells one particular word that was wrong five times in that essay in the same way.
At the primary school she went to, they didn’t even teach them their times tables which I still use most days