Reading and writing should be first and foremost a fun endeavor.
That’s right, fun.
But fun—the true kind—is not a byproduct of easy.
Fun is hard work.
Developing reading fluency takes years. Developing writing proficiency takes years. One can’t really be accomplished separate from the other. Still, more often than not, we isolate the task of teaching the child to read from the task of teaching the child to write. Worse yet, we subdivide these tasks into smaller tasks—phonics, comprehension, grammar, capitalization, punctuation, syntax—until the disconnection is a grim mountain to climb. The joy of learning to read a great story should not be overshadowed by the work of learning to glean its riches.
The joy of writing should not be overshadowed by the work of learning the mechanical process of setting words to the page. Words on the page have the power to inspire, to inform, to exhort, to clarify, to persuade, but ultimately words on the page are a gift. When words on the page offer an expression worth expressing, the voice is authentic and the reader is engaged. Robert Frost himself reminds us, “No tears in the writer no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” Words on the page are worthy on the giving and receiving end.
We utilize Blackbird & Company literature discovery guides as our Foundations literature curriculum first, because they offer a wonderful selection of authentic classic and contemporary literature that are near and dear to our hearts. But more importantly because they have developed the curriculum with an integrated approach to reading and writing in mind. Our goal is to help our apprentices engage in the work of loving to read and write.