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Learning to Read with The Carden Method®


The most valuable of all school activities is learning to read, and the foundation of all school arts is the ability to read. This ability is the master key which opens the entrances to all other school subjects. Reading contributes to the attainment and enjoyment of life.

The Carden Reading Method establishes permanent skills. It equips children to master the other academic processes in their schooling. It develops appropriate attitudes, fosters varied interests, and provides fruitful experiences. The young student establishes within him or herself a secure confidence which promotes and encourages intellectual inspiration in the personal quest for wholesome education.

From the very beginning Carden inculcates independence and self-reliance. The child learns to think as he reads. He comes to understand the basic structure of the English language because grammar becomes a tool of comprehension. Development of reading techniques follows a natural sequence, each succeeding step logically rising from the one before. The child builds upon accurate knowledge already gained. He acquires the power to read with independence and understanding. Children employ their personal tools, such as sounds of consonants and vowels, and enjoy the benefits of continuous progress. The bright child progresses rapidly. The slower-learning child makes steady progress because he is not dependent upon memorized sight words that are frequently unavailable for recall.

Comprehension receives great emphasis. From the beginning the child reads to find the thought. She expects the sentence to give her a complete idea. Her attention is alert and her mind is active. As she reads, she weighs every word to see what part it plays in making the idea clear. When oral reading is mastered, the children read silently. Mental habits established through oral reading become the mental habits of silent reading.

Rhythmic reading, a vital part of the Carden Reading Method, is first experienced in kindergarten with the reading of sentences. This is experienced by reading individually or in unison with a group of children. Expression and tone quality are skillfully blended to attain a smooth, fluent performance. Punctuation is observed to secure the desired tempo. The child learns to pull thoughts and phrases together in order to read by sentences rather than by words. Group reading benefits many individuals. Whereas a child may display timidity and uncertainty when performing alone, he will demonstrate confidence and assurance when working with a group. The bumps of the jerky reader are leveled. The oral reader who is too fast learns to control his speed for comprehension. The slow reader is pleased and encouraged with the support and help that enable her to read successfully.

The advantages of the Carden Reading Method are not confined to reading alone. As the child masters the sounds, he learns to decode words when reading and to encode words when spelling. As he learns to read he learns to spell. He learns to listen with concentrated accuracy. Because the child has learned from the beginning to be alert to sounds in words and because he knows which letter or letters produce each sound, he is able to spell the great majority of words without any previous drill. When the child achieves control of the basic phonic analysis of words, he welcomes the diversion of the exceptions. Dictation has an important place in his learning. Spelling of individual words is extended to writing sentences. Spelling is the application of sounds and controls the child has mastered in learning to read, not memorization of each word as a separate task. Power to listen accurately and with concentration produces the ability to write complete sentences dictated only once by the teacher. Paragraphs and story writing are developed through this technique. Both spelling and dictation add to the power to analyze words and increase the child's sense of satisfaction.

With the aid of skilled, prepared teachers, the Carden Reading Method has become a cornerstone in the elementary grades of private and public schools. Teachers have taken courses of instruction by representatives of the Carden Educational Foundation. With the warm enthusiasm and child-centered interest displayed by Carden teachers, the Carden Reading Method is successful and productive for the young learner.

Schools endeavor to provide their children with the best educational opportunities. The adoption of the Carden Reading Method enables their ambitions to be realized in the art of teaching their children to read.

Click here to read a printable document with more information about the Carden Reading Method.