Published: January 9, 2020
If you live in Calgary and have children in the public school system, there is a good chance you have already heard about the recent government cuts that will be hitting the Calgary Board of Education starting in 2020.
Many teachers have already warned that these cuts could have a negative effect on the quality of education Calgary schools are able to offer, and while the education system as a whole will likely be able to absorb this unforeseen budgetary shortfall, individual students may be seriously impacted.
This is likely to be a special concern for people with children at critical stages of development, who are trying to master vital skills like literacy.
As recent reports out of Ontario have shown, provincial education systems across the country are struggling to impart basic life skills like literacy and numeracy, and employers are starting to worry that even students coming out of higher education institutions like universities and colleges often struggle to read and write at a sufficiently high level to achieve success in the workplace.
So what can parents do to make sure their kids don’t fall behind? English is a bedrock skill for Canadian students, one they will rely on every day of their personal and professional lives, and it is important to make sure literacy development is not impeded by budget cuts.
Here are just a few reasons Calgary parents should consider getting extra literacy help for their kids during this difficult time.
1. Literacy is a Gateway Skill
Imagine to yourself, if you will, what your daily routine would be like if you couldn’t read or write. Think about the thousands of small transactions and interactions that are only possible for you because you are able to read street signs, follow directions, and understand menus.
Now think about what your knowledge of the world would be like if you couldn’t read books or understand written text.
Without the ability to read and write at a reasonably high level, it is very difficult to attain a whole range of other skills and knowledge bases. Even in our media-saturate twenty-first century world, being able to understand the written word is fundamental.
Making sure your kids learn English at an early age can prime them for greater academic success later on, as it will empower them to follow their interests by reading books and web articles and exploring the world through the texts they encounter.
For this reason, you may want to engage an English tutor in Calgary if you want to ensure that your kids are getting the literacy help they need during critical stages of their development.
2. Learning to Read and Write can be Difficult
As anyone who has ever worked with a child learning to read or write knows, these tasks which come so naturally to us as adults actually take a good deal of time to learn as children. This is in part because the human brain is not hard-wired to read the way it is hard-wired to listen and speak.
Most children learn to read around the age of six, but there is a huge range of variance within what can be considered normal: some children are reading as young as four, but it isn’t unusual for seven- or eight-year-olds to struggle to understand basic texts.
Literacy is simply not something that comes naturally to every child, and one of the fundamental purposes of a primary education should be to help make sure that even kids who find reading extremely difficult have the opportunity to master reading and writing.
A great deal of research has gone into understanding how humans learn to read and write, and one of the reasons literacy rates are so high is because modern pedagogues have an unparalleled grasp on how to make literacy education effective and efficient.
Unfortunately, this requires that teachers have the time and resources to pay proper attention to each individual child, and this is something that becomes exponentially harder to do with each addition student who is added to the class.
Uniform education solutions simply don’t work when it comes to helping kids overcome personal barriers to learning, and as funding gets tight for Calgary schools, many of them will have fewer resources to offer the hands-on help children need.
One of the reasons why hiring a tutor to help your child improve their literacy skills is because tutors work with students on a one-on-one basis and provide the kind of personalized help that most children struggling to learn to read or write need.