Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I told people in comments at Shlog to visit my blog if they wanted more information about the methodolgy I use at work in our reading improvement program.

I'm just going to give a basic overview and you are welcome to email me if you have any questions. And I mean that. Absolutely one hundred percent I welcome your email. I believe pretty passionately in this stuff, but it can be a tough pill to swallow so I only give it out in small doses in public places.

If you personally or if any of your loved ones or children struggle with reading than you might be interested in this.

Our understanding is that the brain is an organ like every other organ in your body and functions one way. Just as your heart was lovingly designed by God to work the same way at all times, so was your brain. There is one way your brain learns a process--through attempting it and failing and then eventually getting it. Think of a child learning to walk or ride a bike. It never goes smoothly the first time, but the brain figures out what it needs to do to make it work and eventually the process is learned. Reading should be the same way.

Unfortunately, it's the current trend to teach phonics to teach reading. However, when you teach that phonics are the key to reading, you are really only teaching a child to decode the words on a page. They may "get" every word on the page, but when you ask them what it's about, they just look at you blankly.

Our view is that there is a correct way to read and a not so correct way. If you don't read the correct way, you can still read, but the process of reading is much more difficult and not nearly as efficient for you as it should be. But the thing I love about our program is that it works for everyone. The only disclaimer I will put on that is that it works for everyone who wants it. Everyone can read excellently.

So...since my comments on shlog were in regards to children, here's what you can do for your child:
1) Build intent from a young age. Have lots of books and encourage them to look at the books. Encourage them to try to read them on their own. Don't "sound out" words with them. Try to have them guess the words from context and pictures. If they get it wrong, tell them! Be loving of course, but you are not doing them any favors if you don't tell them when they are wrong. Learning is about trying and failing. The brain needs to know when it has failed, so it can get it right the next time.
2) Model excellent reading for them. They need to know what the goal is. Excellent reading sounds as comfortable as you do when you are talking about something you love. If you are not an excellent reader than have tapes for them to listen to.

Please e-mail me if you have any questions or want a book recommendation on this topic, or whatever. mypalamyATgmailDOTcom

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