So one great thing about being a homeschooling parent a second time around is that I can do things with my kids that I was wrong about the first time around. Repeated readings is one of those things.
When my daughter was young, she read and read and read. From before she was three, she was reading. A couple months after turning three, she was reading chapter books. She was expressive and enjoyed reading from sun up to sun down. If she wasn’t reading, she was creating her own little stories. My son, however, could do reading activity after activity if I gave them to him without being able to read real books at all, much less fluently, with expression, etc. I would not even consider repeated readings “like schools do” though. I didn’t want him sight word reading. I didn’t want him memorizing books. I wanted him to learn phonics and only phonics!
Well, I was wrong!
We had been outside our religion for a few years then went back. I wanted my children to “catch up” with basic Bible knowledge. Each day, we read from The Bible, the Bible Stories book, the Great Teacher book, the monthly publications, and studied for meetings. We memorized scripture. I taught the children to look up scripture. We practiced and practiced. And my son’s reading ability multiplied significantly each week. It was amazing. See, when we studied for the meetings, for example, we read the materials together. Then it was read at the meetings. Then it was discussed. Many of the study materials had questions for each paragraph. The kids would each write a couple answers for each study so they may be able to participate by answering at the meeting. And of course, many ideas, phrases, words, etc were used in each of the materials we were using. Like I said, his reading ability exploded. His decoding was better. His fluency was better. His comprehension was better. He read, he understood, he could use it in other ways.
And I became a believer in repeated reading!
So my younger set of children have a full phonics program and several supplements also. They also do repeated readings. They do it on individual words. They do it on whole sentences. They do it with whole books. They do it similar to how my son did it. They do it with computer programs. The do it with various readers we have. Their reading is coming along nicely and I’m glad that repeated reading *is* part of their early reading instruction. I really believe they benefit from it in all ways (decoding, fluency, expression, comprehension) as well as that it gives them more confidence.