JUST A BIT OF HISTORY ...
Written by Tyson Schoeber • Clipart by Philip Martin • Last Updated: 08-26-2014
Until recently, very few people ever had the chance to learn to read. Nearly everyone worked with their hands and learned the skills they needed to survive from their families and communities. Life was hard and changes came slowly. Thousands of years passed in this way.
That pattern began to change a few centuries ago. The invention of the printing press made low-cost books available for the very first time — a fact that enabled the first major boost in literacy rates. The pace of change increased. Rapid technological growth and the Industrial Revolution brought more people together in cities and created a need for workers who could read. Then, beginning about 150 years ago, the development of public education enabled many more people in society to learn to read (and write).
So, in the space of just a few hundred years, an ability that had always been possessed by only a very few evolved into a skill that was needed by everyone.
THINK ABOUT IT …
For most people, speaking comes naturally. Unless something prevents it, nearly all children learn to speak and understand language without formal instruction.
Yet READING is very different than speaking! While it may seem that some kids learn to read on their own, MOST children require years of instruction and support in order to become good readers.
With all of these things in mind, it's also worth noting that lots of bright and capable people struggle with reading. Nearly every class in every school includes at least a few kids whose reading skills are much weaker than the rest of their peers.
WHAT YOU'LL FIND HERE …
This part of our website outlines a whole bunch of information, skills, strategies and ideas that can really help someone who struggles with reading. There are separate sections that cover each of the five kinds of skills that scientists tell us children must develop in order to become good readers. If you (or someone you care about) is struggling with reading, it's almost certainly a breakdown in one (or more) of these areas that's lurking in the shadows.