Saturday, February 1, 2014

You Can Teach Your Child Successfully - Reading....

I've been re-evaluating RileyAnn's Language Arts.  She is an avid reader and is always begging for a literature based program, which was my intention, but somehow it fell by the wayside. This past week, I started researching Sonlight Language Arts.  Sonlight's LA Instructor Guides heavily reference the works of Dr. Ruth Beechick.  I have older guides and I know there have been revisions, but I'm assuming they still utilize Dr. Beechick's philosophy. 

My Sonlight 4 guide from 2001, which is now Core E, recommended reading sections of You Can Teach Your Child Successfully by Dr. Ruth Beechick.  The first suggested section was Part 1, pages 1-57 regarding "Reading".  Since this book is intended for parents teaching grades 4-8, the first few pages were titled, "What Do You Do After Your Child Can Read?"  Dr. Beechick talks about the information stage of reading, comprehension, fluency and taking a wholistic view of reading.  She also discusses what you can get out of standardized test scores.  I especially liked this, "Tests should not be used as clubs....Get from tests what information you can, use the information for planning and goal setting, but don't let anyone in your family get ulcers over them."   I think there is great wisdom here and I appreciate Dr. Beechick's no nonsense approach.

Beechick next breaks reading into three types, Textual, Imaginational, and Functional reading.   Textual reading is the reading of non-fiction, including textbooks.  "Imaginational reading is a highly intellectual activity involving the image-making powers of the mind.  Included in this reading are both poetry and fictional prose."  Beechick further describes Functional reading as including everyday items like signs, labels, rules, directions, ads, telephone books, newspapers, forums, etc.  Though, I had never thought about it this exact way, I definitely see the significance of teaching each of these types of reading. I think this is one of the reasons I was pulled to Heart of Dakota's Drawn Into the Heart of Reading.  I really liked the idea of exposure to a variety of genres.  However, the busy work in that program overwhelmed us. 

I must confess, a month ago, the thought of teaching a child to read/use a telephone book seemed utterly ridiculous to me.  However, while I was waiting for Ruben to finish his tutor session, I was talking with the part time administrative assistance, who was a fresh university graduate looking for permanent full time employment.  She was telling me about the interviews she'd had, the number of candidates she was up against and how difficult her job search has been.  Being a former county employee, I suggested a few government type positions.  She stated she applied at the county, but couldn't find their phone number to follow up.  She looked online and in the yellow pages with no luck.  I then showed her the government section in the front of the telephone book and how to use it.  She was elated when we found the number.  I was astounded that this university graduate had no idea how to use the phone book!  I now understand what Dr. Beechick is referring to.

In You Can Teach Your Child Successfully, Beechick gives you low and no cost examples of how to achieve teaching each of these reading types.  I have used this book as reference in the past, but don't recall reading this first section.  I do plan to continue reading the suggested pages to see what else I can glean. 

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