I've often heard moms say that reading the Book of Mormon helped their kids become better readers, but I have yet to put their advice to work. Family scripture study is an inexact science at our house and although we have read the Book of Mormon Reader, we had yet to attempt to read the real thing with our 6-year old daughter. At tithing settlement, our bishop gave each family a Book of Mormon and asked them to read it together and then give it away before the end of 2010. My daughter caught hold of that challenge and is now in charge of family scripture study. She decides when, where and how much we read. Some nights we read an entire chapter; some nights we read an entire verse! But she is enthused and we rarely miss a night now.
My daughter is a struggling reader. She is determined and diligent and is improving...slowly. One of the things we are working on is fluency. In a quest to help her reading improve, I visited the Scholastic website. I read "5 Surefire Strategies for Developing Reading Fluency" by Lisa Blau. She suggested:
1. Model Fluent Reading
2. Do Repeated Readings in Class
3. Promote Phrased Reading in Class
4. Enlist Tutors to Help Out
5. Try a Reader's Theatre in Class
Part Three--The Rest of the Story:
The family is gathered around for Family Scripture Study. My daughter decides that we are going to each take a turn reading one scripture at a time. We begin and it dawns on me that we, Mom and Dad, are modeling fluent reading, especially as we read and then she read.
Then in the course of one chapter we read "gathered together" five times. And how many times do we read "and it came to pass", "inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land", "instrument in the hands of God"? Hmmm...phrased reading?
As I continued to ponder, Primary teachers, Grandma and Grandpa, adult sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins are tutors?
A Reader's Theatre--we act out scripture stories all of the time so that my daughter will understand the story. I even act it out occasionally with my teenage nieces and nephews or young women to make the scriptures come alive and fun.
Last but not least, we have been commanded to read the Book of Mormon daily which leads to repeated reading.
If I have faith to trust the Lord and his command to study the scriptures, He will bless me and my daughter.