Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Book Review: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

This book by Siegfried Engelmann, Phyllis Haddox, and Elaine Bruner, is by no means new to the on the homeschooling scene, but I would be remiss if I did not mention it at least once. I'm currently using it on my 5th child (one to go). This is an excellent, if not must have tool for teaching your child to read. I won't go into an in depth review, because this book is not new to the market, and it has been reviewed quite a few times already. I will however, list some advice for using it from one parent to another.
  1. Don't start until your child is really ready to read. The book states that you can begin as early as 3 and 1/2, but don't feel bad if your child is 5 or older - the book still works - and if you start too soon you'll only be beating your head against a wall.
  2. Don't be in too big of a hurry. The lessons are short, and especially at the beginning, it's tempting to do two or three in a day - but don't. Give each lesson time to sink in before moving on to the next one. Slow and steady is the best approach.
  3. Read the entire book yourself before you start teaching it. This will give you a better understanding of where the authors are heading, and avoid frustration in the early lessons.
  4. You can go off script. The book offers a word for word script for the parent to use with their child. If you've read the whole book, and understand the concepts being taught, don't be afraid to mix it up a little. You know your child's learning style and interests. Use this book as a tool - take from it only what you need, and build from there.
  5. You don't have to make it to lesson 100. I've always planned to, but to be honest, we've never made it past lesson 75. At that point my children have discovered they can read many of the beginning reader books themselves, and won't stay on track with the rather odd stories at the end of the book.
  6. Follow up with sight words. So far we've found a one, two punch of Engelmann's book and Dolch sight words a no fail approach to learning to read. I have four very excellent readers - one emerging reader - and a minimum of grey hair!

As I said, I've used Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons for five of my six children, and I will definitely use it for the sixth. I couldn't recommend a teaching tool more.

It's great to be a homeschooler!

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