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True Confessions of a Stay at Home Dad
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In May of 2011, I dismissed class for the last time and began a new chapter in my life, full-time dad. I taught middle school for seven years, but with two kids and a third on the way, I wasn't able to give as much time to teaching as it required, plus I wanted to spend more time with my own kids, instead of someone else's.

My wife and I have been married for nine years. She spends her days (and some nights and weekends) as an OB/GYN, or as my kids like to call it, “catching babies.”

We have three kids. First Born is eight years old, but likes to pretend she’s in college. Our son, Middle Man is five, but we’re convinced by the way he talks about things like “beautiful sunsets” that he’s an old soul, and our youngest, the Blonde Bomber is only three, but already has the attitude of a teenager.

Our kids provide us with an endless amount of stories. Writing and retelling these stories for Indy’s Child has been my part-time job for the past three years.

You can contact me on Facebook at True Confessions of a Stay at Home Dad or via email at indyschildpete@gmail.com.

Third Grade Reading Guarantee

July 13, 2013 | 07:54 AM

Recently I read an article about a Cincinnati school district's policy of holding third graders back if they can't read by the end of the school year. Current topics about education have dual interest for me, my kids are in public school and I used to teach seventh graders. When I taught, one frustration I shared with many teachers was how kids make it all the way to seventh grade without mastering certain basic skills they should have learned in primary grades, examples including basic math skills, and reading.

There are a few reasons why I think the Third Grade Reading Guarantee is a good idea:

1. Kids MUST learn to read. The further they are sent along to the next grade without being able to do so isn't fair to them or the teachers trying to teach them. Every subject in school involves reading. If a student can't read, they will not do well in ANY subject in school, not language arts, not math, not music.

2. Teachers would focus more on reading. I think it's great if students are learning about their community and being a good citizen, but let's also make sure the basics aren't being overlooked.

3. This (hopefully) would put a little bit of pressure on parents to work with their kids at home.

Many people disagree with this policy for a few reasons as well:

1. It puts too much pressure on just a few teachers.

2. It puts too much pressure on kids. Does a third grader need the stress of mastering a certain skill in order to advance to the next grade?

3. The social damage of holding a child back may cause as much damage as just sending them along.

What if your child made it to the seventh grade and didn't know how to read. Would you feel let down by your kids school system?

I know how I would feel.

-Pete


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