Friday, January 25, 2013

Learning to read and memory

The most effective way I have found to teach the kids how to read, at least for me, is to use the McGuffey Readers.  I try other things here and there:  The Bob Books, One Hundred Easy Lessons and such but I always end up back with McGuffey.  However, there comes a point even with McGuffey where we just seem to get "stuck", for lack of a better way of explaining myself.  They are moving along alright but the fluency just is not there.  

At this point I thought to myself, as I usually do when I get stuck on something, what did they do in the proverbial "old days"?  I really do not need another curriculum because that surely wasn't the answer when our country was the most literate country in the world, yet "curriculum" looked nothing like it does today.   So I pull out the bible, pick a fairly long passage and have them plow through it, laboriously at first, until it slowly becomes easier, over and over and over again until they are reading it fluently and on their own.

It really seems to be the breakthrough in their reading every time for our first three and from there they are ready for some easier chapter books.  

Recently we told the kids that if they read their bible, on their own daily for 3 months they would each receive a special prize.  Grace and Aiden picked a different passage every day but Naomi, since she was just starting to read the bible, read the same passage every day.  After three months she came to Christian and asked him to "test" her.  Test her?  She handed him her bible and recited the whole thing nearly word perfect.  

Bonus!  Not only did she gain reading fluency and learn a ton of new vocabulary, but she made gazillions of neural connections from the act of committing such a large chunk of scripture to memory.  And this all on her own with no help from us!

In the following video you may here me correcting her a couple of times where she may have jumped ahead or cut something out but she was not coached in any other way.


  1. Wow wow wow. That was super awesome!

  2. Awesome!!! Great job Naomi!!

  3. O my word. That was absolutely beautiful and amazing!!

  4. Excellent. Very proud of you, Naomi!


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