Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Teaching Children to Read

I wrote this in response to a question from a friend recently and thought it might be helpful for others as well.

I did a book with all my kids called Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. My three oldest all learned to read with this book but at varying paces. My oldest just zipped right through it and by lesson 70 or so just started reading chapter books. My second took a little longer to finish but still made it through well.

My third had a hard time and so I did it a little different. We would do every lesson twice; some lessons we did even three times, because that's how many times it took her to master the lesson. I would also supplement the lessons with Bob Books. She did well going at a slow pace and I made sure to keep it positive and give her a good feeling about learning. I don't think she ever realized that she was "slower" than the other two or that it took her longer to learn to read. I praised her for whatever progress she made.

I am currently going through the book with my fourth child right now, who's four. It was her idea to do it; she kept begging me to teach her to read. We are once again going at a very slow pace, often doing only half a lesson a day. I ask her if she's tired and wants to stop and I let her if she's had enough half way through. I also repeat the lessons a lot.

All in all, I think the book is a great tool to have, but can sometimes moves at too fast a pace depending on the child. I would highly recommend giving it a try and tailoring it to your situation.

I think any teaching time greatly benefits from giving your children a good feeling about learning and about their abilities. If you can go through the book with him at a time when no one else is around and it is a special time for just you and him, he may come to really look forward to it. Encourage any progress he makes as the miracle that learning to read is. Anytime he struggles and shows frustration, just put the material aside and say, we'll try again tomorrow.


Rebecca Nugent said...

Thanks for this encouragement, Leslie. I started Thomas out on this book in the fall, and for awhile, we were making good progress. But after awhile, he would just get really restless and had a hard time paying attention (he's a three year old boy, after all:) I think I was expecting a little too much from him, and I think I'll start again with your suggestion to put it aside for the day if he's getting too tired/distracted.

Jill Crum said...

I used this book, too. I'm just sorry I didn't know about it (or it wasn't written) sooner. The price was right for us on a very tight budget, the pictures were amusing, the stories kept the reader's interest, and I could reuse the book with the next reader. This is a great resource.