The How of Reading Instruction in a classical education

About the Workshop

This workshop will focus on the subject matter that occupies a significant place in the Grammar School curriculum: reading.  To teach reading well, you must have a good deal of knowledge about how reading “works” so that you can analyze students’ needs, successes, and difficulties with it.  Teacher preparation and knowledge are fundamental to reading achievement.  While being knowledgeable of best practices is important, an understanding of how the brain functions during the reading process is equally necessary for effective reading instruction.  Together, we will discuss these best practices, as well as why a systematic phonetic approach to reading instruction is classical, brain-based, and effective.  We will address the obstacles that get in the way of the reading process and how to come alongside struggling readers.  Practical strategies for providing this necessary support in the Grammar School classroom will be shared.  We will also discuss the importance of reading throughout the Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric stages.  Participants will leave knowing how to apply their knowledge of reading development into effective instructional practices.   

 We will address the following essential questions:

  • How can we establish a strong reading environment in the Grammar School?
  • How do we train faculty in the science of reading?
  • How can we assess students’ reading progress and act on that information in our teaching?
  • What types of instructional and intervention strategies help students reach those goals?

Our learning will include both what reading is about as well as how to assess and teach it.  Throughout our inquiry together, we will develop defensible reasons to support why we teach reading in particular ways. 

Meeting Dates and Times:  TBD

Meet Your Workshop Leader

Jessica Gombert has been the Grammar School headmaster for 16 years at the Geneva School of Boerne. She holds a MA in Education and has been involved in many aspects of education for over 30 years. Teaching experiences include: special education, kindergarten, adult classes for Region 20 Alternative Certification program, and university student teacher supervision. She has a passion for teaching students to become lifelong learners, encouraging and leading teachers, and for Christian and classical education. Jessica has led the SCL Grammar School Heads cohort for two years and has presented at several conferences. She is currently writing children’s readers to supplement the phonics curriculum. She also has a love for serving and teaching children in Africa. She has taught and trained teachers in Zambia and is currently helping to build a classical and Christian Grammar School in Uganda.
Jessica Gombert
Grammar School Head, Geneva School of Boerne

Workshop Syllabus


Reading Instruction workshop

$ 599
  • Regular Pricing Begins January 1: $679
  • SCL Member Schools receive 10% discount
  • All workshops require a minimum enrollment to make
Early Bird


Please reach out to Sarah Spencer at