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Reading Road to Writing

Do you want to be a writer?

If so, you first need to be a reader.

Sound strange? It isn’t. You learn how to write from reading. When I was in first grade, we learned to read from “Dick and Jane”, “Spot and Puff” books. We also learned to write letters, sound them out phonetically, and finally form words that we wrote on our 1-inch lined paper, with a dotted line cutting the space in half. The reading and writing went hand in hand.

As first graders, we read. We wrote.

It is the natural order of things.

When I first began the process of teaching my daughter how to read and write, we used a program called “Writing Road to Reading” by Romalda Spaulding. It was almost like a college level course for a grade schooler in phonetics, reading, and writing. We had to use a program heavy in phonetics since my daughter was partially deaf at the time. She may not have been able to fully hear, but she could see the sounds I was forming on my lips, and the sounds became clear to her as she repeated them and wrote them in her notebook.

When teaching both of my children, we started using a program in grade school that incorporated all facets of language arts together. It just made sense for us. It got extremely tiring having separate reading, spelling, grammar and writing programs.

Life became a lot simpler when I started teaching a program that tied all of those entities together. The name of the program was “Total Language Plus”. It was wonderful. The kids each got to pick out a classic book of their choosing, and a yellow workbook accompanied the book. The lessons were pulled from the book they read. The lessons were reading comprehension, weekly spelling words, grammar, and writing exercises.

My children read, and they wrote.

As an adult, it can sometimes be hard to find time to read. But try to sneak in some time when you can. Read a variety of book genres to expand your mind. I love Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”, and I’m now reading “House of the 7 Gables”. The language is challenging, to be sure, but I enjoy analyzing the writing of a classic book as I read it. I’m amazed out how much description he goes into to describe even the teensiest little item.

Be a diligent reader to learn how to be a fantastic writer!

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