Saturday, May 06, 2006

Read It 3 Times - Impossible?

As discussed in my previous post, Susan Wise Bauer encouraged mothers (and particularly home-schooling mothers) to become readers. She particularly encouraged the reading of literature that stretches the mind and develops our brains. Anticipating the struggles that average readers, such as myself, face when tackling weightier books, she suggested reading these books thrice. Yes, three times, is what she said. I must have had a horrified look on my face. But so must all the other listeners in the lecture hall, because she continued to explain.

She told us that the first time she reads things, she reads to abosrb, but does not read to understand all that the author suggests. If there are any difficult passages that she struggles to grasp, she simply marks them and then moves on. She explained that this will help her the second time through.

Once she has finished the book, and has thus developed a broad focus and preliminary understanding of the author's perspective, she returns to the book for a second reading. This read is more like a perusal, simply returning to marked places to see if there is some clarification offered from having finished the book. (She admitted that often many of her initial struggles at understanding are clarified at this point.)

Her final walk through the book is a compiling of thoughts and a place to determine response to the book.

She likened the 3 reads to the 3 phases of learning: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The opinions and dialogue (rhetoric stage) about any topic can only come once information is collected (grammar stage) and understood (logic stage).

I have never worked through books this way. However, as I've been contemplating a book review of Created To Be His Help Meet, I have been thinking of re-reading the book. This may give me the parameters to analyze this book with greater clarity and discernment.

My mom's been visiting this week from Ontario, so I haven't begun any "heavy" reading yet, but this has definitely inspired me to pick up some volumes that I ordinarily may leave to my student-type husband to wade through. Topping the list are some theologians, as well as some classics. I came across an interesting book the other day called Honey For A Woman's Heart, by Gladys Hunt. Since I have the child's version, it caught my interest. It just may be a good place to start for some suggestions of brain-stretching exercises.

P.S. I've heard before the phenomenal brain benefits of memorizing scripture. I cannot remember where I heard this. If you know, please drop me a line. Of course, the benefits of hiding scripture for our spirit are obvious, but as with many things that God has designed, there are often a plethora of additional benefits to God-honoring behavior. I'm sure scripture memory makes the brain stronger, but I'm looking for the studies which affirm that.


opora said...

How interesting I find your post today Mrs. Homemaker! Just this morning after coming home from church, I asked my daughter what she learned at sunday school today and she said "I forget."

I responded with "Then you didn't really learned anything, did you?"

Somewhere in my brain I have linked that to learn something, means to understand it fully. I fumbled around trying to explain why I didn't think she "learned" anything and that she just "participated," and tonight I see how blind I was! Oops!

How many times have we experienced or participated in something that at the time, had no particular meaning. Our brains didn't connect it with anything else.

I think of children and the rapid rate at which they learn and realize that to understand something, one must experience it first. In "Teaching the Trivium" they explain perfectly through biblical references, how we begin with knowledge as hooks. Later on our experience connects (and the brain synapses or bridges literally does this) with our knowledge to give us understanding. It is from that understanding that we can attain and practice wisdom.

I can't wait to tell her tomorrow morning that I also forgot something and now from our little debate yesterdaay, I understand that you can learn something, and save it until later! I can see the smile on her face now as she loves to here my confessions of why she is so much more brilliant than I!! ha ha ha.

Thanks for the prompt to look at these muscles we call brains!

PS - As far as reading, studying books three times, you know my stance on that! I think that kind of time should be spent in memorizing scripture rather than rereading books that are secondary sources...last time I checked i only had 24 hours in the day and I already get up at 5:00 and go to bed at 11! Hmm...maybe I ought to think about books on tape while I sleep! ha ha ha....

Kim from Hiraeth said...


sharon said...

Yep - I've heard that too. I remember talking to someone about that at Capernwray, because I think for a lot of us it was the first time we had actually sat down and read the bible cover to ceover and I think most of us were frustrated that we couldn't make sense of it all. But the second time gets easier. Wierd.

Homemanager said...

Dear Friend,
A Blessed and Happy Birthday to you! I'm sure that you will have a joyous day. :o)
"Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her..but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates."
Proverbs 31:28, 30b-31
We only get a small glimpse here on your blog, but it is quite evident that you are a proverbs 31 woman and we are so glad that we can glean from your wise insights and humble heart.
God's Richest and Abundant Blessings!
Happy Birthday, Marlene!

Marlene S. said...

Thanks for all the birthday greetings. In Sunday School this morning, we were pondering the Body of Christ and came upon this verse: 1 Corinthians 12:26b, "or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it."

I have been honored in many ways today, and it has been nice. But my greatest joy has been seeing the smiles of my loved ones (family and friends) that are walking on this journey, called life, with me. Somehow, there is deeper joy when we walk together with others. Plus, it brings shared joy to celebrate God's faithfulness and blessings along the way - highlighted at times like birthdays and anniversaries.