Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Family Scripture Study

Part One:
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.

Part Two:
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.


Charles Kuck said...

Great to See another LDS Kuck out there!

Lisa in Colorado said...

My kids (now ages 28-14) have all learned to read while reading the scriptures. Even smaller children can read (Mom or Dad whispering phrases into their ear, and the child repeating) along with the family. One son's first sight words was vineyard, as we were reading 2 Nephi at that time. Keep up the good work, it WILL make a huge difference in your family!

Kristy said...

Hey, Belinda...you inspire me. Have you seen the scripture readers. They are found at the Distribution Center....they have pictures!!! Kids love them, and it's an awesome way to introduce the stories.

Stop and smell the Daisies said...

I love this post. When my 7 yr old dd entered 1st grade, she was in the lower half of her class in reading ability. We have been pretty consistent with nightly, family scripture reading for her whole life. While she was in first grade we started having her read one verse to our 3 verses. Around the middle of the year we started having her read 3 verses. She started 1st grade with a 0.5 reading level. She started 2nd grade with about a 4 grade reading level. I honestly believe that her improvement is largely due to our consistant reading of the scriptures, and HER reading of the scriptures! Sometimes the pace is painstakingly slow, and now, she often stops to ask what certain words mean and we aren't always very patient as she then givs examples of how the word could be used in her every day life...lol...but she is learning and her reading ability is improving.
One of the best things we have done is given HER the copy of the Book of Mormon for LDS Families. It has words that might be difficult to understand highlighted in blue, so now when she wants to know what a word means, she will look to see if it's blue and then read the alternate words below. So, not only is her reading ability better, but her vocabulary is improving!
I firmly believe that reading the scriptures consistantly is what has taught our dd how to read.

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