With my first two children, I really struggled gathering materials together to teach them to read. There are a few materials that I absolutely loved, but there always seemed to be a huge gap to get there. We loved playing with our Foam Letters to learn ABC’s, sounds of those letters, and words to go with them. We also all loved Dick & Jane books, Bob books, and Mo Willems books. With my third child, I decided to try this book.
Now, granted, I am not strict about following an everyday schedule, following every rule (unless it makes sense,) nor pushing my child to hurry and get it right. We had read this book about 3 days/week. Sometimes, we had gone on vacation or he just didn’t seem to be doing as well, and we would go back a few lessons until he was comfortable. I didn’t have a timetable that he should read by, but I figured that I generally wanted him to be able to read in about a full school year.
I love the details in the book, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Englemann, that don’t leave you with any hesitation about what to do.
This book begins with simple letter sounds. Then moves on to simple words to use those few letters, and moves on. It uses phonetics to make it easier for them to learn certain words. As the lessons go on, the words get smaller and in the 70’s lessons, the phonetics are taken out.
Now, my son doesn’t sit still for very long, so we had to figure out a fun way for us to read this book together. I learned my son’s limits. When he began getting too distracted to sound things out, but would look around, play in his shirt, guess words and get frustrated, I would have him take a 30 second break.
We would get to a point where I could say, “Okay, do this one page and you can make silly faces for 30 seconds.” or even, “Go to this line, word, or paragraph, and you can hop around the room for 30 seconds.” etc.
We also would cover up the picture before he read the story, so after he read it, the picture was his reward. We had fun with it.
Some people like supplemental activities to go with the material.
One person had come up with a chart. I didn’t like the chart because like I said, if he needed to go back to get comfortable, I didn’t want him to feel like he was doing something bad.
I like to use the “sight words” section and make a game out of it. I would lay them on the floor in different designs and have him hop on them when he said the word. (This is also what we did with the foam letters to help him learn for preschool.)
There is a writing section at the end of each lesson. I would write the two learning letters for him on lined paper to do on his own, and he loved it.
If you want to advance your child from preschool after they know their letters or just give them help with their reading, it does help them advance from K-2nd grade reading level.
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