What Options Are For Online Learning Like Kumon For Reading

The parent-to-student learning giant allows students of all ages to learn from it. It can also be adapted to different grades.

It’s that time of year again — the day when students like myself ponder how we will spend a day without, you know, things that could be done online. Who will take care of the homework assignments, clean up my room and generally avoid the adventures of dystopia?

I’m thinking: watching Keanu Reeves try and fail to repair a badly damaged car on a reality TV show or searching for the Krampus in the woods, summoning the spirit of old Saint Nicholas. But what if I actually wanted to actually learn something in order to excel in life?

I have an idea, but it’s my own! All it requires is a simple web-based system that would enable me to tap into my inner Eric Monkman every day. It’d be more like Kumon Math, but instead of calculating sums and using extra-large marble-shaped gadgets to advance from calculus to chemistry, it would turn my accumulated knowledge into something very useful: READING.

Now, let’s be clear: this system is not just about reading, but about reading the slightest bits of online content that are high quality and generate positive, non-destructive feedback. So, let’s look at a possible reading system that would fit the requirements of students who read every single word they receive online.

Let’s say that reading is high-impact and beneficial. This would mean that the program would be compared to reading with the average print reader — which, according to a recent survey by the publishing company Indigo, means that 75 percent of British adults read, at least, two books a year. This would make the required reading for this system worthy of a grade A in English. Let’s see who gets that honor:

Aunt Maude

“George Bernard Shaw was first published in 1880 and today he is famous for his pungent prose and sharp satire, especially in plays like Pygmalion, Major Barbara and Candide. George Bernard Shaw’s timeless writings have earned him a place in literature.”

Excuse my…sarcasm. English? I thought the fundamentals of reading were supposed to get you ready for a higher level of comprehension? Gotta smile.

Paul Mazursky

A frequent movie director and writer of romantic comedies, Mazursky’s work included An Unmarried Woman, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice and Backgammon Summer. He was awarded a Golden Globe in the Best Screenplay category and an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his work on Come Blow Your Horn.

A.A. Milne

“Marian Hossain is a busy mother of three, an art historian and a child development expert. She makes it a point to maintain her good health, especially her stamina, an attribute shared by other famous mortals like Moses, Moses of Egypt, Jesus Christ, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Sherlock Holmes.”

Yeah. That’s cool. Can someone speak about Hilary Duff in Catwoman? She is supposedly the “most industrious child in her family, often working twelve-hour days as she strives to perfect her modeling craft.” Huh. That’s not what I was expecting to read.

Stephen King

“Julian Sharpe is a recent college graduate and quite possibly the most talented man on earth. Unlike ordinary writers, he gets to loose in your head before he’s even finished a chapter. It’s really quite the privilege.”

Yeah. See? No: Stephen King is a really good writer and I have a lot of respect for his accomplishments and work ethic. But this being a Level 2 would be unacceptable.

If you don’t have a strong grasp of high school curriculum, you can still study to some degree in this system. However, I think this system would allow your students the ability to make informed decisions about reading each day.

A device would then be required so that students could electronically read each night by the name of “Beakly’s Stone” by D. B. Stone. Each night, students would be expected to read the following passages to create their next paper — and the aspen tree is a perfect metaphor. Then, with some guidance from an assistant, they would be allowed to revise the essays, which would be delivered to the teachers and course monitors. What a lot of pressure!

As it turns out, some organizations are working towards developing a system that would allow students to interact in a “learning” environment, to learn by reading and creating images. However, from reading on this subject, I’m not sold on the idea and I think this system would be ideal for young readers only. Students should be able to read — about what, you might ask? Oh, right.

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