Our objective with reading should not be only for them to learn how to read but to LOVE reading. So they become life long learners.
Before we go into reading, it is important to know how human beings started to write. Hans Tholken, who taught in Trinus, makes us go back in time and says that before we had the letters of the alphabet (Alpha, Betha, Gamma, etc.), there were PICTURES. The Aztecs in Mexico and the Egyptians used PICTOGRAPHS to write. Carving pictures in stone with hammer and chisel engaged the entire human being, HEAD – HEART- and HAND. Today´s writing is merely a function of the HEAD. You need three fingertips to hold a pencil and just one finger to punch the keys on your computer. So we at TRINUS provide images to introduce the letters, and we engage the entire human being.
A Waldorf teacher from Mountain Phoenix explains that 6 things need to happen before reading: listening, speaking, artistic expression, pictogram, alphabet, and writing.
She mentions that the International Reading Associations has noticed that children are not comprehending what they are reading. In her conference “Teaching Literacy in Waldorf Schools,” she explains in-depth the literacy process. I will like to focus on a specific part where she provides an example of different steps that can be taken to develop the reading skills in our children. Please watch this 7- minute video so that you can fully understand the reason behind the activity suggested below.
If you would like to see the full conference you are more than welcome to, I highly recommend it.
As she explains, storytelling is vital for reading. It provides children with visual imaginary, rich vocabulary, auditory discrimination, sentence order, etc. If you can include movement, that is even better!
I will like to suggest to you a 5-day activity you can do with your child to improve his/her reading:
Day 1: Tell them a story and make a drawing about the story. The drawing can be completed before or after telling the story. You can tell them one that you already know, or you can read to them one of the Grimm Brothers.
Day 2: Write what they recall.
Day 3: They draw the picture of the story.
Day 4: They will write what was written on day 2
Day 5: They read what they wrote
These steps make reading come to life for the children, therefore, it is easier for them to connect, and it is more enjoyable. I recommend doing a different story every week, and after a few weeks, you will start seeing improvement in your child’s reading. We want children to be life long learners, and to reach this; they have to enjoy it!