Our Real Life Experience
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Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
It is important to me to protect my boys individual stories and privacy. So, experiences using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons are presented out of birth order. The exception to the anonymity is the story of my youngest child. I am working through the book with him presently, so my experience with him is not yet complete.
Son “A” is pretty competitive and was highly motivated by external rewards. His goal was to watch a few of the Star Wars movies as a reward for completing this book. He gave up naps shortly after his third birthday and we used his brothers’ nap time to do his lessons. He went to kindergarten reading at a second grade level. For him, this book was a massive success.
Son “B” and I made it through most of this book, but he started kindergarten before we finished the book. I had four other kids to juggle after school, so we set the book aside and never got back to it. I am not sure of what his reading level was when he started kindergarten. He had a good grasp of phonics and letters and was meeting or exceeding standards after using this curriculum.
Son “C” napped until he went to kindergarten. There was no quiet time in the afternoon, while brothers slept, to work on reading. With multiple young siblings, we did not have access to the same amount of uninterrupted time as those who gave up naps at age three or three and a half. He and I worked through several lessons from this book, but Son “C” is not easily externally motivated. And, I could tell that he was not learning in the same manner that other of my children have learned. Overwhelmed in my stage of motherhood, I trusted that the school would pick up where I left off.
Son “C” required reading intervention services in school and we hired a reading tutor one summer to help him. When we had him tested later for a learning disability, he showed patterns of remediated dyslexia. This means that it is highly probable that he had been struggling with a form of dyslexia during the time period that we were utilizing this book. My assessment that he was not learning like my other children, based on past experience using this resource, was correct. He has learned to compensate for the dyslexic patterns that affected him at an early age. You can read more about our learning curve about learning disabilities in a future post.
My Current Experience
My youngest son had a hearing deficit, that we were unaware of, until he was about two and a half years old. His language processing skills were underdeveloped for his age because of the length of time that he had experienced this deficit. Through speech and occupational therapy, he made great leaps in catching up, but he still faced a delay compared to my other children at the same age. His nature played a role in his readiness to read as well.
He was of the opinion that he had no need for letters or reading through most of both years of preschool. In fact, for this child, I banned all movies from our van aside from alphabet and phonics DVDs until he was able to identify the names of all 26 letters of the alphabet. His siblings placed significant peer pressure on him to learn letter sounds. No one was happy about the Leap Frog, Dora the Explorer, Sesame Street and other cartoon letter DVDs playing on repeat everywhere that we drove. It worked, though, and he, at least, knew all his letters by the time he finished 4 year old preschool. I knew that he lacked the maturity to tackle reading before kindergarten, so I didn’t even try with him.
His experience in kindergarten was okay. He did not master his sight words, though. And, he was behind reading benchmarks. So, late in the spring of his kindergarten year, I again picked up Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. We moved through the first 50 lessons casually over the spring and summer.
Despite our effort, he still insisted that he could not read. He shared this assertion with his first grade teacher. His performance at school qualified him for reading intervention. I assured his teacher that while I had no issue with him receiving additional encouragement and resources to spur him on, that I was certain that he was not working up to his potential at school. I was aware of his ability from working with him on reading at home. His placement in reading intervention this fall, however, got his attitude in a better place about reading being fun. It also lit a fire under me to get more serious about completing this book with him.
He has a reading path that I sign each day that he reads with me. Lesson 55 is written on the first block of the path. Yesterday I wrote lesson 74 on his paper. The growth he has made in a short amount of time over the last 20 lessons is remarkable. His success is a reminder of how efficient and effective this resource can be when used regularly, without missing several days between lessons. I am confident that he will be meeting or exceeding first grade reading benchmarks by the time we complete the last lesson.
**This post is for people wanting to teach a child to read outside of school. I do not believe that every child needs to be reading before kindergarten. Teachers have gone through many years of education to have the ability to teach large groups of children how to read. That being said, I think it is a great advantage to children to be working on reading skills at home with their parents before starting school and continuing on until they have mastered it and beyond.