Cognitive load theory explains why having kids read and write about unfamiliar topics makes those tasks harder than they need to be.
I homeschooled a highly gifted student. In my substack, I write to a millennial and genZ audience, so my writing is simple and quick to read. We pretty much wrote the same piece, yours is a beautiful scientific explanation of what I did as a homeschooling mom to teach my kiddo phonics. I used the McGuffey readers. He loved them. I’m glad I stumbled onto your Substack.
Please permit me to comment as a non-professional but concerned grandparent. It seems obvious that reading aloud to kids in school is never going to be enough. The only way we can hope to move the needle is ensuring that kids from lower income levels are exposed to reading knowledge in their lives outside the classroom. Family members must be enlisted as literacy agents for our little ones. But how to do this effectively, inexpensively, sustainably, and delightfully? Maybe my free new read aloud app can help? Check out Read Me A Story on the App Store and let's start a conversation?
Interesting article, thank you for sharing. I really liked your point about phonics as it relates to working memory. So important to build fluency skills for students to even be able to comprehend information in the first place. ￼Without that foundation it becomes so much more challenging for students, partially explaining the most recent nationwide test results. However, the knowledge based curriculum approach will certainly help overcome some of these more recent inadequacies 🙌
I just discovered this newsletter, and I just had to say hi! I founded Mind the Test Tutoring, based on the same London Underground pun, and also dedicated to teaching cognitive science-based study skills. I am just tickled pink to have found another research-practice gap Mind the Gap pun person! I just created a free course for teachers that explains active recall and spaced repetition and demonstrates my favorite ways to use them in the classroom; let me know if you're interested. I don't want to spam your website with links. Anyway, very excited to meet you!
- Anna @ Mind the Test
Terrific piece. Ollie Lovell is an Australian educator who also runs the "Education Research Reading Room" podcast; he is just genius. As Nat says, he wrote "Cognitive Load Theory in Action" which is available worldwide. https://www.amazon.com/Swellers-Cognitive-Load-Theory-Action/dp/1913622231