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 Post subject: The Learn to Read Bible
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:34 pm 
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<a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0781439752/?tag=homeschoolchr-20"><i>Learn-to-Read Bible</i> Amazon link</a>

We just finished this one - Little one read over 400 pages of it, all by herself! We really liked it : )

I have to admit, when I first got it in the mail, I didn't like it. I had been looking for a Bible story book to learn to read from, and had looked at several online that just seemed to be poorly written. I found this one, and the price was right, but I could find no reviews of it - so I took a gamble. And, when I first got it, I thought I had lost.

It turns out, it was written to be a sight reader - not a phonics teaching text. It had lots of repetetive text, and encouraged the parent to read the text to the child until he had memorized every word. Not my cup of tea. Besides that, the pictures sometimes looked a little strange to me (more like illustrations in a "Graphic Novel" than reverent or sweet - kinda "Dick Tracey" style art) -and some of the worship scenes from the Old Testament looked more like those common in modern American Protestant culture.

But, Little One saw it and regularly asked to read it. SHE liked it!

So, after we finished learning our phonics rules (so sight reading methods couldn't harm her reading ability), I let her read it, a little reluctantly at first. (After all, the Phonics expert, Rudlolph Flesch even said sight readers could be great for teaching English when used this way). I did not use the recommended sight reading methods, but had her sound out every word, just as for any other book.

The beginner reading level (almost never a word of more than 6 letters) and the repetition helped her master the most frequently-used words in English. And, she really gravitated to the Bible stories in it. She would even cite the Bible stories as reasons for deciding to do the right thing the rest of the day or even days later.

My Mom always said that the best way to teach reading was from the Bible, because then God helps us learn - and I agree.

A few caveats if you decide to use this text:
1) It is a sight reader, so if you are a fan of Phonics as I am, don't use it before or while doing beginner intensive phonics, but afterwards, to reinforce those lessons and develop fluidity.

2) Since the book uses only very short words, it often omits common religious words that you will want to teach seperately. (For instance, Disciples or Apostles becomes "Jesus Men" or Prophet becomes "God's Man") But, it does a good job of teaching who those people were, and why they were doing what they were doing.

3) If you are practicing your sounding out skills, you may choose to use this in conjunction with another book or books that have a more irregular vocabulary. That's what we did, and it worked great.

4) This text includes a few stories that my Little One wasn't ready for yet (about 10 to 15 pages out of a 400+ page text) Stories of killing, or drawings of battle scenes that were a little too graphic. You may need to censor a few pages.

5) The Bible includes and "Invitation to Receive Christ" at the end, with a Sinner's Prayer - you may want to be aware of that to plan how to use it in harmony with the way you already present Christ to your Children. Those pages are at the end, and are not illustrated.

So, to sum it up, we loved this book because it helped with learning fluid, basic reading of common English words, and at the same time taught many Bible stories. Importantly, Little One gravitated to it, and enjoyed reading it. I would highly recommend it, but with a few reservations that can be easily worked with.

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