My mother immigrated with her family to the United States when she was a young girl. She learned to write, read, and speak the English language from comic books, newspapers and television and would eventually become so proficient in it that she excelled at her career as a result.
I attribute my mother’s success to that of my own in many ways. A writer by nature and profession, I claimed a mastery and love for the English language because of my mother’s own hard work and passion for it. Frankly, I would have felt that I was a failure in my mother’s eyes if I couldn’t spell, read, and write just as good if not better than that woman. And I would have cheated myself out of irreplaceable benefits that I now have as a result of rising to the level she set for me, inadvertedly.
Plenty of people would argue with me given our submergence into the computer age. “Why learn to spell when we have spell-check?” is the common comment in relation to the notion I hold that “learning to spell is imperative to a successful education, even today.” The truth of the matter is, there is more to “spelling” than merely needing to construct a word correctly.
In my opinion, teaching children to spell is a critical step in educating them to respect the importance of a good education as a whole. Being a proficient speller is an irreplaceable step in teaching children how to become competent or even stellar communicators. And we all know how communication impacts us currently. You hold the keys to the kingdom if you can communicate effectly in our society. The alternative is true too.
I would even go so far as to say that the success of one’s entire education begins with whether or not we endeavor to teach kids how to spell because, beyond just simply schooling them in how to communicate, we are laying down irreplaceable fundamentals that will empower children lifelong.
As this recent video titled “New Rule: The United States of Dumb-merica” from “Real Time With Bill Maher” points out, people aren’t getting any brighter due to our current education system. Quite the opposite, in fact. And this enormous failure is leaving the United States in peril.
Kids don’t take education seriously anymore because our system of inputting knowledge doesn’t either. The current culture of “ease” is thrusting our nation into cataclysmic chaos. And the realities of where we presently sit is a result, in my opinion, of our failure to begin children on the best of all footing, which especially includes respecting the language in which we speak because of everything this lesson leads to.
Call me foolish or an alarmist, but I strongly feel that teaching children to spell is fundamental to changing the fate of this nation. Sure…the computer is fantastic. But it is merely a tool not a replacement. We need to get that straight in our society and lead from that end. Not doing so will simply result in our own collective demise — spelling disaster for the entire nation.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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