Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Overcoming Functional Illiteracy

A friend of mine shared this excellent video regarding Functional Illiteracy.  I have known many who suffer with it, and many who have overcome it as she did.

I once tutored a little girl in a local elementary school, while I was in High School.  She was having difficulties in her reading and falling further and further behind her classmates.  They discussed holding her back.  She began coming to my home several days a week after school.  I didn't go over phonics with her.  We didn't do sight words, or sentence structure.  I didn't make her write grammatical sentences and work on spelling.  Those techniques all have their place.  But they do not INSTILL THE JOY of reading.  It is like a cooking class that only teaches how to make white rice, in MINUTE detail. :)  Everyone wants to MAKE A CAKE!

I read to her.  I read and read and read to her.  I went through my books and found the most fanciful and outrageous.  Books with beauty and imagination.  All I did was read.

And she learned to WANT to read.  After a couple of months she was EXCELLING in school and reading above her grade level.

I love to read. My earliest memories are built upon reading.  My mother teaching me my letters.  She taught me how to read before I entered kindergarten.  From the age of 7 I would have my face in a book for the majority of my freetime.  I remember those short beloved chapter books, The Trumpet of the Swan, Stuart Little, Sign of the BeaverLaura Ingalls Wilder, Anne of Green Gables.  Mr. Popper's Penguins was so much fun.  I read and read and read.  Fortunately my grandmother was a reader too and was MORE than happy to keep me in books.  I loved our trips to the bookstore, which is STILL one of my very most favorite places to go (haven't been in.... lol over 6 years) (hint for hubby.... 'my dream date night').  Then there was the Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings.  My heart really leaned towards the fantastic, and amazing and impossible.  Dragons, elves and fairies, space ships and other worlds.  The Death Gate Cycle, Thomas Covenant, Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, Sevenwaters, The Samaria Series.  Worlds of fancy and delight.  One of the best gifts I ever received was from my husband who had tracked down every single book written by David Eddings and gave me a PILE of wonderful to delve into.

I also enjoy reading for my edification.  I read the books and articles on self sufficiency, gardening, herbal remedy making, animal raising and homeschooling.  Michael Bunker, Carla Emery, John Seymour .  I also read the Word of YHWH throughout the day and follow that with various commentaries and historical researchers to help my understanding of its mysteries.  Matthew Henry, Lex Meyer, Dan Israel, 119 Ministries, Greek and Hebrew Interlinears.

I tell my children often... if you can read for yourself, you can learn ANYTHING. You can pick up any subject you want and learn it. If you learn to read you won't need other people to interpret things for you, and you won't have to depend (and hope and pray) that others are not misleading you. You will be able to learn it for yourself.

2 Timothy 2:15 says, "Give diligence to present yourself approved by God, a workman who doesn't need to be ashamed, properly handling the Word of Truth."

Being able to read it for yourself.....  is a blessing beyond measure.

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