by Mary Smart
John Rosemond, is a family psychologist and prolific writer often sought after for his advice on parenting. As Director of The Center for Affirmative Parenting and a Star Advertiser contributor, he gives advice on how to raise "The Well Behaved Child" as one of his books is titled.
John and his wife Willie have been to Hawai'i on several occasions and has developed many personal relationships, and have become particularly close with Senator Mike and Carol Gabbard according to a January 12, 2013 Star Advertiser article which includes the details of his lecture series. If you missed Tuesday evening's session titled "Parenting with Love and Leadership, " there are still two more events open to the public on Oahu. Topics yet to be presented are "Parenting the Strong Willed Child" at New Hope Leeward on January 17 and "Keys to Effective Discipline" at University Avenue Baptist Church, January 19. John will speak at Kauai Christian Fellowship in Poipu on January 20 and 24.
John Rosemond is very clear that academic kindergarten and pre-kindergarten programs are detrimental to children. In his is book, The Diseasing of America's Children, he discusses how illiteracy problems have increased in America. He states, "Not coincidentally, as illiteracy rates have risen, so too have the incidence of inattention, distractibility, and hyperactivity in children."
To address illiteracy problems, there has been a move to teach reading before first grade or "pushing academic instruction down." As a result of the emphasis on academics John reports, "Obviously, the push down education is not working, and as is the case with whole language, may well be adding to the problem. Even a program highly touted as Head Start has consistently failed to demonstrate any long-term academic benefits. Whereas Head Start graduates do indeed enter kindergarten slightly ahead of kids of equivalent background who haven't attended Head Start, within a few years both groups are performing at the same level".
In the same book, the author quotes many studies, "Research done by psychologist Grechen LeFever further reinforces that introducing academic instruction premature to the establishment of certain essential developmental foundations can contribute to attention problems. In a population of students in Tidewater, Virginia, Le Fever found the the youngest students in any elementary grade were the kids most likely to be identified as having ADHD."
In a study by L. Sax that is referenced, John compares what is happening in the United States with our global partners who do not push academics at an early age and he reports, "A major part of the rationale behind the push-down curriculum is the growing gap between U.S. student achievement and student achievement in other industrialized countries. Ironically, however, in countries like France, Germany, and Japan, where traditional , nonacademic kindergarten curriculum has been retained, students consistently outpace American students in all academic areas. In Finland, where student achievement outstrips that of American children at all grade levels, reading instruction does not begin until age seven. Those same countries, furthermore, are not dealing with epidemics of reading disabilities and ADHD."
According to John " A significant portion of today's education dollar goes to support remedial reading instruction, provided in various forms and through various programs. Those funds not only provide jobs for teachers but administrators as well. Solving America's reading problems would mean public schools would need fewer administrators, fewer special education teachers, fewer regular classroom teachers (fewer problem readers would mean the teacher-pupil ratio could increase significantly), fewer classrooms, smaller buildings, and therefore a whole lot less taxpayer money than is currently being allocated for public education in federal and state budgets"
The wisdom of John Rosemond is something to ponder before initiating costly pre-kindergarten programs that may not only have no academic value, may make the keiki more susceptible to attention deficiencies.
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Head Start: When the Government Fails Completely