Monday, December 08, 2008

Why I Would Never Be a Good Consultant on Anything

I was listening to a radio show about getting kids to read at an early age, and the guest kept going on about how reading to your kids was the best way to help them learn how to read.

Some guy called in. "Yeah, we have a two-year-old, and we want to get him started reading and stuff at an early age, and my wife saw this system - it's called Baby Can Read - and it has a DVD and flash cards. We saw this, and it shows kids as young as two or three spelling out words and identifying words, like they can pick out the card with the word "feet" and the picture of feet. But, um, it is quite expensive, and I was wondering if something like this was a good way to get our child reading, if this was a good investement."

The lady politely said that while she's not denigrating reading systems like that, their kid would probably get just as much or more out of he and his wife reading to and teaching the kid than, say, watching a DVD, and that if you want your kid to read, books are the best way to do that rather than television and other media. She's much nicer than me. I would've said:

"No. That is not a good way to get your kid to read. You are a moron. Have you even been listening to this show for the past forty minutes? If you don't know that reading to your child is the best way to develop their language skills and get them into reading at an early age, if you'd rather plop them down in front of a DVD and wave some flash cards around...well, then there's not much you can actually do for your kid. Stupidity is hereditary. Instead of dropping cash on some idiotic "learning system," try putting it in a savings account for college and instead pick up a book and read to your kid."

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