The Herdman Problem

Right now, a Herdman problem is running amok in our education system and causing chaos.  The Herdman problem is not the only issue.  Our classrooms are changed because of this.  We don’t know why this is happening, just that it is.  Students don’t want to go to school.  It is very hard for them to learn in this environment.  How can we solve the Herdman problem?  Parents, teachers, and principals are upset.  The community is outraged.  How did we allow the Herdman problem to invade our schools?  Each year the problems only get worse.

If you think I’m talking about Dr .Paul Herdman with the Rodel Foundation, then you have been actively reading this blog but that is NOT what this article is about.  It’s about reading.  Right now my son is reading a book called The Best Worst School Year Ever by Barbara Robinson.  This is a sequel to a story many children have read called The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  It’s about six siblings, known as The Horrible Herdmans.  These kids are monsters!  They steal, they lie, they cheat, they burn, they kidnap, you name it, they have done it.  There doesn’t seem to be one honorable bone in their bodies.  Yet, at the end of the day, you find they capture your heart in a weird way.

As my son reads this, cracking up throughout, I am relieved.  Reading and my son don’t always get along.  But he is fully engaged in this book and he is loving it!  This is what reading is meant to do.  To suck you in and bring you new worlds of joy and creativity.  To expand your brain in ways you can’t imagine.  To see my son this into a book is awesome!

I read a lot.  All the time.  I refuse to let my mind go stagnant.  I am of the belief that children need to read everyday.  It doesn’t always work as planned, but that is my goal for my child.  But some kids don’t even know how to read.  They need to be taught.  Their future depends on it.  Our future depends on it.  They may not even know words, or they may have a learning disability.  I think we can all agree this is a huge issue, and we all need to work together to solve it.  For our toddlers and really young ones, parents need to read to them all the time.  Go out of the box and see if they can actually read.  Show them the words and ask if they can say them.  Point to the words as you are saying it.    It probably won’t happen, but one day you just might be surprised!