Saturday, December 19, 2009

Review: Teach Your Child to Tead in 100 Easy Lessons

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

Product Description

* Is your child halfway through first grade and still unable to read?
* Is your preschooler bored with coloring and ready for reading?
* Are you worried that your child will become lost in overcrowded classrooms?
* Did you know that early readers hold an advantage over their peers throughout school?
* Do you want to help your child read, but are afraid you’ll do something wrong?
SRAs DISTAR® is the most successful beginning reading program available to schools across the country. Research has proven that children taught by the DISTAR® method outperform their peers who receive instruction from other programs. Now for the first time, this program has been adapted for parent and child to use at home. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is a complete, step-by-step program that shows patents simply and clearly how to teach their children to read.

Twenty minutes a day is all you need, and within 100 teaching days your child will be reading on a solid second-grade reading level. It’s a sensible, easy-to-follow, and enjoyable way to help your child gain the essential skills of reading. Everything you need is here — no paste, no scissors, no flash cards, no complicated directions — just you and your child learning together. One hundred lessons, fully illustrated and color-coded for clarity, give your child the basic and more advanced skills needed to become a good reader.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons will bring you and your child closer together, while giving your child the reading skills needed now, for a better chance at tomorrow.

About the Author

Siegfried Engelmann is a professor of education at the University of Oregon, and has written many books on teaching, including Give Your Child a Superior Mind. He is the originator of Direct Instruction, the most successful approach to teaching, and he has developed more than thirty direct instruction programs. He has provided teaching demonstrations with a wide range of children — consistently showing that they could learn much more than had been achieved with traditional teaching.

My Review

My biggest worry when deciding to homeschool my kindergarten son was teaching him to read. I knew other subjects like Math, History, and Science would be easy for me to teach but I really stressed over teaching him to read. I have always loved reading so I worried that I would scar my son somehow while teaching him to read, in turn making him dislike the subject for the rest of his life. (normal homeschool Mom worries, right?) I put my faith in God though that he would get me and my Kinder through this hurdle. About a month into homeschooling and struggling with finding a reading lesson rhythm I received my blessing. A Mom in my homeschool co-op casually mentioned Teach Your Kids to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Immediately my ears perked up and I gobbled up everything she had to say about this book. As soon as we got home from the park that day I researched the book and purchased a used copy through Amazon. Anxiously I waited for the book to arrive.

In all honesty, my initial impressions of the book were “Are you kidding, how is this going to teach my son to read?” and “Why are all the letters funny looking? How is he going to transition to real books when he learns with odd looking letters?”.  However, putting my faith in God and willing to give anything a try at least once I started with lesson one. Since that fateful day my son and I have not looked back. He eagerly gobbles up each and every lesson. Often times he asks for more to the point where a few times we have done 3 lessons in one sitting. I do not push him and when I see he is getting antsy or silly with his reading we stop for the day. We finished lesson 40 today so we are nearly half way finished.

Previous to this book we tried Sonlight’s early reader method and it just did not click for my son. Entering kinder my son was already reading three letter words and I am choosy about early readers because they are often written with incomplete sentences.

When initially reviewing or considering Teach Yor Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons you will notice letters of different sizes written within the same word as well as letters connected. Engelmann et. al do a wonderful job of transitioning the young readers from these odd looking letters and words to a normal looking sentence complete with capital letters and correct punctuation by the end of the book. The lessons are written in such a way that there is ample review for difficult and new sounds. For a few difficult sounds I gave my son a word to remember that is associated with that sound. For example, he was confusing short a with long a so I told him that when he sees the short a he should think of the word apple. Now when he gets stuck I see the wheels turning and he whispers the word apple to himself and immediately says the correct a sound. Sentences with associated pictures begin at lesson 13. Also, the font is large in early lessons and progressively gets smaller as the lessons increase. For my son these aspects of the book give him a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Occasionally, we flip through pages we have already completed and he notices how far he has come in such a short amount of time. Not only are the words smaller in lesson 40 but the sentences are longer and there is more than just one sentence with his pictures. Lastly, I enjoy this lesson book because it is teaching my son not only how to read but also the early components of reading comprehension. In later lessons there is a picture comprehension component to each lesson. In this section the teacher is instructed to ask certain questions about the picture to see if the student remembers what they just read. Often times I add upon this section and ask my own questions depending on my son’s responses. I prompt him with questions that aren’t asked in the lesson book but yet are still related to the story and picture. My son and I enjoy our reading lesson story conversations. The final section of each lesson is devoted to sound writing. In this section the student is asked to write 2 letters three times. The letters chosen are either difficult letters to write or new letters introduced in the lesson. My son enjoys this section because we get to write together and I like it because it reinforces his handwriting skills.
I knew this book was a blessing and a huge success when my son proclaimed that he loves reading, he wanted to do lessons on the weekend, and even asked to do lessons for his bedtime reading. Hands down this book is a must have, especially for young or struggling readers!
The book description mentions that each lesson takes 20 minutes. In my experience however, I am finding that lessons are much shorter than that. Early on we probably spent 20 minutes per lesson because we were both getting used to the methodologies. Presently though our lessons are much shorter yet still just as effective. My son is a better reader so I find it natural that our lessons are shorter.

You can find a link to this book in my curriculum sidebar.

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