Have you ever compared a newly-printed classic book with one printed, say, 50 years ago?  You haven’t?  Well, I suggest you do because you’ll be shocked!

Our classics are being rewritten.  Really.  Rarely will one find a classic that really is reprinted word-for-word.  The publishers say it’s to bring the language of the books up to current-day language.  But what’s really ending up happening is that the rich vocabulary is being lost and the complex sentence structure of beautiful writing is being lost.  They’ve become very easy to read, in other words.

And the government and schools say that our reading level has improved... sorry, I just don’t buy it!  I have my son reading vintage and antique classic books.  By the end of our first year of homeschooling he was EASILY reading at high school level!  He’s in seventh grade this year, and except for his maturity about what he understands, he can easily read college texts.  He complained this year about what really bad readers some of his friends are and he also said that the kids in his Sunday School class could barely read.  Well, those kids and friends read great – are in top classes or on honor roll, most of them – according to the public schools they are in.


The kids coming out of school now just plain old don’t know math.  If they get through fractions well, I’d be surprised.  Math is given in little snippets of information that is supposed to get the kids to grasp the concept.  Well, actually what I’ve seen is that the books go overboard in trying to get the kids to grasp the concept so then lose the kids about what they’re supposed to be learning.  It’s like they’re being so careful to make sure the kids “get it”, that they just lose them.

This is what is called the New New Math that’s being taught.  I have NO idea how to explain it to you because I just don’t get it.  But it has to do with things like breaking down the numbers to zero numbers, i.e. 2,652 = 2000 + 600 + 50 + 2.  How they do long division with that is absolutely beyond me.  You can find it on the net if you really want to know.  But the bottom line is that it’s just not working.

Have you had anyone count back your change at the cash register lately?  Or how about a kid who makes a mistake on the register and then has to figure out manually what he owes you in change?  Frustrating, isn’t it?  This is only one by-product of our math in school nowadays.

Another thing that I have found through my teacher classes is that the focus is also on trying not to make things hard for the kids.  The subject matter can't be hard because then the child will feel bad, so the curriculum and teaching has to be made "easy" and "fun" so the child will feel good about learning it.  Having a child struggle to learn is a big no-no.

Grammar, Spelling and Writing

There is a sign outside of a house that says “The Smith’s”.  Yes, that’s right, the singular possessive.  I would assume that the sign is advertising a family with the surname of Smith, and there is more than one family member, right?  So that would make “Smith” plural.  Signs, newspapers, magazines and many publications that are for the PUBLIC to read (therefore, in my opinion, should be examples of good grammar and spelling), are becoming notoriously rife with misspellings, like the above example.  I remember when it used to be very rare for something like that to happen; now it’s becoming common.  I’ve even seen misspellings on billboards!  I couldn’t tell you how grammar is being taught in the schools today other than I notice that workbooks are a very common way of teaching now.  In my opinion, those workbooks are NOT teaching the kids coming out of school.

Writing is also learned through filling in the blanks in workbooks with an occasional report thrown in.  I can’t see how this is teaching kids to get their thoughts down on paper.