How to Read a Book: Teaching Reading Comprehension in the Grammar School Years

Alisha Barker and Allison Buras share a cohesive approach to helping children learn to drink deeply from the well of the literary arts.

Many would summarize a classical education by the pithy phrase “Read and Discuss.” Reading quality literature is at the heart of what we do as classical schools. Journey with us as we walk through the various sources that we have turned to for guidance on teaching students how to read well, and learn how we have married what we nd to be the best of these different approaches. Gleaning from Aristotle’s Four Causes, How to Read a Book, Spalding’s Attributes of Quality Literature, and more contemporary approaches such as Mosaic of Thought and Notice and Note, we’ll share a cohesive approach to helping children learn to drink deeply from the well of the literary arts. We’ll also share some pitfalls to be aware of when borrowing from contemporary sources that are infused with a philosophy of moral relativism. We will leave time for you to make recommendations of sources that have been fruitful in your own journey.

Allison Buras

Founding Live Oak alongside Alison Mo a and Carolyn Still marked the ful llment of a dream that began more than 20 years ago around a Dallas dinner table. Mrs. Buras a ended Baylor University for her undergraduate degree, which is in English with a minor in History. A er college she earned a lifetime teaching certi cate for grades pre-K through 8. Mrs. Buras has worked in education for 18 years, teaching K, 1, 2, and high school English as well as serving in various administrative positions. She earned a Master’s of Theological Studies at True Seminary, where she was able to also study Christian Education at Baylor’s School of Education and at Regent College. She is married to Todd Buras, a professor in the Philosophy department at Baylor, and together they have three boys who a end Live Oak: Benjamin (R1), Jonathan (L1), and Michael (G4).

Alisha Barker

During her seven years at Live Oak Classical School, Mrs. Barker has taught Grammar 1, Grammar 4, and now teaches Grammar 5. Prior to moving to Waco she and her husband taught English in Taiwan for three years. Mrs. Barker holds a BA in English Literature with a minor in Philosophy and Biblical Studies from Dallas Baptist University and earned an MA in English at Baylor University. She and her husband have four children: Justin (Grammar 6), Karis (Grammar 4), Macrina (JK), and Juliana (7 months).

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