I’ve talked about this book before, I’ve even posted pictures of us going through it with Claire but I haven’t yet written a review about it.
The book is called, “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons,” it was recommended to me by Leigh T., a friend & our pastor’s wife in Omaha. After I received it, I honestly didn’t touch it for a while, it looks wierd. Really, it does, see?
After I read the introduction and felt like I had a handle on the format, I approached Claire with this fun new activity that we can do together when she was about 2 years old. Something you should know about Claire, she’s brilliant. Really, I really think she’s a genius, and I’m not saying that because she’s my daughter. I truly believe she’s got her father’s mind. A little background: by the time she turned one she was saying 54 words. Shortly after that, she was speaking in full sentences and by the time she was 2 she recognized the entire alphabet, capital & lower-case letters and knew all the phonics for those letters. I was at a loss for what to do. She was just progressing so fast and I honestly wasn’t doing a great deal with her.
I say none of this from a place of pride, though I will admit that I love that she is so eager to learn. Instead, it actually provided a conundrum. I didn’t know what to do or how to teach her. She knew the reading stuff that kindergartners were going to be learning. This is what actually prompted us to think about homeschooling in real depth. We didn’t want her “stalling” in learning until she was old enough for school but she was just going at such a fast pace with reading. On the other hand, she loathed doing anything with writing, or drawing, or painting. She really didn’t like to try any of it. That’s when I asked people what I should do, and Leigh stepped in with great advice because her oldest, Parker, was like that. She was also encouraging because she related to the fact that most people didn’t believe me when I would talk about it or they just thought I was bragging when really I was trying to figure things out! She recommended this book and it was such great advice!
This book immediately teaches reading in a way where kids are learning phonics, blending, and that words go from left to right from the very beginning (it’s the lines and dots). It also teaches in a way where there is some differentiation between phonics sounds or that some letters are silent. It looks really, really odd but it’s awesome because she figured it out rather quickly. She did not want to do the activities in this book for long periods of time, in fact if we could finished 2 tasks out of a lesson, it was a miracle. Sometimes she would want to do it, but then when I opened the book and tried the first task, she lost interest and didn’t do it. I refused to push, I didn’t want to get frustrated with her, so I let her dictate how often we did it. Sometimes, we didn’t open it for weeks at a time, but then when we did she remembered where we were at.
At about Lesson 10-12, something “clicked” (I don’t know how to express it any other way) and she just started reading words all over the place – the grocery store, in the car on road trips, etc. She points them out everywhere and is constantly trying to sound things out. She now reads small sentences, we are on Lesson 19 right now, so we haven’t gotten very far into it! She has impressed me, challenged me, and keeps me on my toes, that’s for sure. We can no longer spell simple words that we don’t want to say in front of her because she knows what we’re spelling.
Here is a link to the video of Claire doing some of this with Daddy.
In all, this book is an excellent resource. It’s easy even though at first glance it doesn’t look easy. She has fun and she gets so excited when she reads a whole sentence. We’ve also connected word families from things she’s already learned and she just loves going over those while we eat (they’re taped to the dining room wall). It is such a great buy, I recommend it to everyone!