My son has experienced many highs and lows since I wrote the blog post Childhood Depression and How You can Help , but at the end of his 3rd grade year he seemed to hit rock bottom. It could be because I had not been as vigorous and proactive with his depression as I had the previous year. I perhaps got a little relaxed with some of the ideas I felt so passionately about. -But he also started to really compare himself to his peers at this age, and the gaps in his learning were becoming more and more apparent to him. He’d stare dejectedly at all his school assignments…a big, red 1 at the top of each paper…and he’d anxiously tell me that everyone else in his class got 3’s. I will never forget the day he looked me in the eyes and said, “I wish I was one of those babies that got left in a hot car.” It took my breath away. My beautiful son was sinking. Suddenly we were bombarded with suicidal thoughts, desires, and comments. “I wish I was dead!” he would scream desperately over and over.
There’s a wrong way to teach reading and, unfortunately, it’s also the most popular way. So, if you’ve ever committed these teaching errors, don’t worry, you’re not alone. I’ve been there, too. I was shocked when I realized that many teacher prep courses and even professional development classes are teaching reading methods not supported by science. If you’re reading this blog and find yourself surprised or even defensive at these “errors,” please take a moment to step back, take a deep breath, and use it as a springboard to start your journey into learning more about the science of reading. Instead of feeling denial, guilt, or anger…I encourage you to simply learn more and do better. Deadly Error #1: 3-Cueing Strategies (aka the Beanie Baby Reading Strategies) I know they’re cute and cuddly. I know everyone uses them. I know you’ve scoured dozens of thrift stores to finally complete your set. But there is actually no research to support these “B