The Reading War was a fight over how reading should be taught.
Unexpectedly, this conflict also became a religious war. Progressive secular humanists declared that their method (Whole Word) was scientifically best. They claimed the opposing method (phonics) was favored only by irrational religious extremists (read: Christians).
The logic for those claims is convoluted. Probably there is no logic, merely propaganda.
Bottom line: English words were never designed to be memorized visually. If you want to see how weird our words look to a first grader, just choose a random page of text, turn it upside down, and look at it in a mirror. You will see that the word-designs are annoyingly similar; and they change in unpredictable ways from typeface to typeface, from lower case to UPPER CASE. There’s a lot of visual complexity and chaos. Imagine trying to memorize many hundreds of these so-called sight-words on sight. This project is nearly impossible. The progressives’ Reading War was actually a reading scam.
Phonics, by proceeding one simple step at a time, enables all children to read, typically by the end of first grade.
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