Teaching Your Children to Read Using the Book of Mormon

Teaching Your Children To Read Using the Book of Mormon is a course that has been adapted from the tutoring manual authored by Dr. Grant Von Harrison, noted authority on effective reading instruction. It is provided to our students via Canvas.

Course Overview

This reading program is based on the Structured Tutoring model designed by Dr. Harrison after two decades of researching the best methods for teaching reading. Selected for the National Diffusion Network, nominated as a promising practice in Right to Read and written up in the Harvard Education Review, Structured Tutoring and its classroom version have had a significant impact on thousands of parents, teachers and tens of thousands of students over the years.

This reading program contains each of the four focuses of the National Reading Panel’s recommendations:

  • Explicit instruction in phonemic awareness (words can be broken into smaller sounds)
  • Systematic phonics instruction (blending and non-word reading)
  • Methods to improve fluency (reading rate exercises)
  • Ways to enhance comprehension (vocabulary building and reading comprehension passages)

All units are delivered via Canvas, the learning management system used by Ensign Peak Academy. The units are divided into bite-sized learning topics to help children learn to read and write one step at a time.

The course includes clear Guidelines, as well as General Techniques and Procedures, and an easy to use sound guide.  

Research-based Instruction

Harrison’s work also followed the recommendations of Educational Programs that Work and Effective School’s research.  The report found that there are unique characteristics and processes common to education where all children are learning, regardless of family background, or aptitude, which was commonly thought to be the determinant as to whether a child could learn to read or not.  Harrison’s Structured Tutoring model and also the classroom model have proven to be effective for all children, especially those thought to be unable to master reading for all of the common explanations of failure to learn.

Research has shown that the root cause of failure of a child to learn to read is the inability to blend letter sounds to form words.  Based on this finding, procedures are provided in this course for teaching children to blend letter sounds.  In addition, the lessons cover other critical aspects of reading.  In the lessons it is explained how to:

  • Teach letter sounds and basic attack skills (blending individual sounds to form words)
  • Teach the most frequently encountered sight words (those whose pronunciation must be memorized (e.g., the, where)
  • Teach phonetic rules
  • Teach students to read fluently and comprehend what they read

The only way to ensure that children are proficient in their ability to “decode” or sound out words, is to give them extensive practice reading phonetically regular words which have not been encountered previously.  The surest way to do this, is to have them read nonsense words (e.g., faf, thexcon, brime).  For this reason, the child is given practice decoding nonsense words to ensure their ability to decode new words that haven’t been encountered before.

The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon is a perfect text for teaching reading because in the process of reading the Book of Mormon, the critical sub-skills of reading are practiced over and over again.  Children who can read the Book of Mormon fluently do not experience difficulty reading other materials.

Enrollment and Independent Use Options

Option A: Enrolled Self-Paced Student

  • Included in the Language Arts Courses for K-3rd grade
  • Parents serve as the primary mentor for their own children, as students progress through the course. Parents report mastery of each skill.
  • Parents and students receive support from the course specialist.
  • Certificate indicates completion of each unit.
  • Visit our Admissions Process page for complete details.

Option B: Independent Use

  • Families use the units on their own.
  • No course support or certificate provided by Ensign Peak Academy.
  • No application required
  • Start anytime by purchasing the unit of your choice

Author Bio

Grant Von HarrisonDr. Grant Von Harrison, author of Teaching Your Children to Read Using the Book of Mormon, obtained his Ed.D. from UCLA. Shortly after receiving his advanced degree, he became co-founder of the Instructional Sciences Department at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. 

Dr. Harrison was a strong advocate that parents can teach their young children to read. He published numerous articles, booklets and manuals on the subject of reading. 

After developing his Structured Tutoring model, Dr. Harrison implemented a large tutoring program on the Utah Navaho Reservation in the early ’70s to test his model in grades K-6. One hundred percent of the third graders involved attained grade level and stayed at grade level through the sixth grade!

Based on his experience with hundreds of primary grade teachers over nine years, Dr. Harrison’s program was formally published in 1977. Since then, his materials have been placed in numerous schools and homes. 

Dr. Harrison is respected by his peers and colleagues and admired by countless school teachers and parents for his thorough, meticulous and open-minded approach to improving children’s, as well as adults’ ability to read. 

He is the father of seven children and was an avid fly fisherman. Although he has passed away, his legacy lives on.