Beginning Readers Need Great Stories

What would you say if I told you that beginning readers don’t get to experience enough classic literature in our kindergarten, first-grade, and second-grade classrooms? Would you be concerned?

I first became concerned after reading “The Story-Killers: A Common-Sense Case Against the Common Core” by Terrence Moore. In it, Moore writes:

“What the new program boils down to, it would appear, is having students reading less literature and more ‘non-fiction’ or ‘informational texts,’ that is, readings that are not literature or cast in the form of stories.”

About the elementary classroom experience, Moore writes:

“…during what goes by the name of ‘whole-group instruction’ or ‘read-alouds.’ The books simply are not very challenging. Several times you found the teachers reading books to the students that you read to your children when they were three or four— and not Dr. Seuss or Cinderella or Jack and the Beanstalk. The classics or the recent classics (in the case of Dr. Seuss) are not on the menu. Rather, the books being read to students are those published only a few years ago, and they seem to lack ‘meat.’ They are wholly devoid of a gripping story. When you ask where these books came from, the teachers say that they are a part of the Common Core.”

If Moore is right, what’s a parent to do? What do you do when you want the beginning readers in your family to enjoy great stories that have stood the test of time?

It’s my hope that Story Hour Academy will provide that answer. I’m currently developing over 100 phonics lessons inspired by the Orton-Gillingham Approach to reading instruction. At the end of each lesson, I recommend a classic fairy tale, myth, story, or poem to read aloud from the large and growing field of children’s literature in the public domain.

To get started, choose a phonics video lesson from the lessons page.