Reading - College text's reading theory is similar to MFW philosophy!

My Father's World uses a Book Basket method to develop a love of learning and enrich all subjects; Independent Reading Time has different goals and methods but there is overlap in book lists and helpful hints
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Reading - College text's reading theory is similar to MFW ph

Unread post by Poohbee »

Hi! (I hope this is not too long and boring for you). ;-)

It seems like quite a few threads lately have been about reading instruction and that block of time in the MFW grid/schedule called "Reading." Perhaps you're like me, and you have been thinking that you need to have some structured reading instruction during that time like they do in the public schools... instruction in plot, character, setting, etc. That's what has been running through my mind lately. I just have such a hard time getting out of that public school mentality sometimes.

Well, I am working on a Masters degree in Reading right now, and I came across some interesting things in some research I've been doing. I thought I'd share it with you, for those of you who are interested.

I've been reading a book called The Child as Critic: Teaching Literature in Elementary and Middle Schools, by Glenna Davis Sloan. It is a fabulous book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in literary theory and literature instruction. It puts basic literary theory in a very readable and understandable format. It contains wonderful information about teaching literature in grades K-8.

Anyway, this is what Sloan says about reading instruction (now keep in mind, this is addressed to public school teachers, but it can easily be applied to us homeschoolers):
  • "We do know that reading is a skill that is developed by actually practicing it with genuine reading materials and not by filling workbooks with exercises that relate peripherally to it. That is why an independent reading component is absolutely essential in all literacy programs" (p. 112).
She goes on to say, "Every effective reading program has three components: directed reading lessons, skill-building exercises--as required by individuals--and a regular in-school program of independent reading" (p. 112)

She says that at least half of the time allotted for reading in schools should be independent reading time, during which students are reading for enjoyment, without a response required.

As far as I can gather from the more experienced MFW users (having only completed MFWK myself), that is how the "reading" time in MFW is designed... as independent reading for pleasure, especially during the elementary years. Perhaps that is one of the problems with so many kids not learning to read at grade-level in the public schools--not enough "independent reading for enjoyment" time in public school.

As far as the "directed reading lessons" that Sloan mentions are concerned, I really like Crystal's response in this thread:
Her questioning methods, used occasionally with literature your student is reading, would be a wonderful way to help your children study and more deeply appreciate certain pieces of literature.

Hope this helps some of you who are struggling with what to do for reading instruction.
In Christ,
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Unread post by Lucy »


Just to think Ms. Mason discovered some of these same things over 100 years ago working with her students. Education lives on such a pendulum.

This is one thing that I like about PLL and ILL. They give you poems and short excerpts to study and discuss with your kids. Anyway... just realizing how PLL and ILL cover some of that reading instruction you are speaking of.

Another thought, that narration also covers some of this upper level reading instruction along with reading aloud to your kids.

Anyway, some great thoughts. It is good to see that this is being taught in colleges. When I was taught about reading in college it was phonics and basal readers verses whole language. Boy did I have a lot to learn once I got out of college.:).

wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
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Unread post by tkbbrl6 »

"Perhaps that is one of the problems with so many kids not learning to read at grade-level in the public schools--not enough "independent reading for enjoyment" time in public school. "


I love this quote. I recently spoke with a mom at the pool who was telling me that they had lengthened the middle school and high school day by 6 minutes. I inquired as to the reason - thinking it was something like adding in more time between classes, etc. The reason - they are now required to spend a whole 6 minutes a day on independent free reading. I had to laugh. With my kids they have book basket time - which I schedule for 15-20 mins and they will gladly take more time if allowed. Plus they read a library book - of their choosing for the most part - for another 20 mins each day. I felt my kids weren't reading anywhere near what they needed to be doing - but the whole 6 mins thing really was laughable.
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