Help Your Child Read in 100 Easy Lessons

Do you want to help your child read, but are afraid you’ll do something wrong? Is your preschooler bored with coloring and ready for reading? Is your child halfway through first grade and still unable to read?

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann, Phyllis Haddox and Elaine Bruner will bring you and your child closer together, while giving your child the reading skills needed now, for a better chance at tomorrow. Twenty minutes a day is all you need, and within 100 teaching days your child will be reading on a solid second-grade reading level. It’s a sensible, easy-to-follow, and enjoyable way to help your child gain the essential skills of reading. Everything you need is here — no paste, no scissors, no flash cards, no complicated directions — just you and your child learning together. One hundred lessons, fully illustrated and color-coded for clarity, give your child the basic and more advanced skills needed to become a good reader.

Learning to read so early in life has allowed each of them to succeed in all other aspects of child schooling also, such as Spelling, English, and their Social Studies classes. They can read and comprehend the material in the textbooks and take-home study guides on their own; so that they can come to you for ‘real’ questions about the material, rather than needing to ask basic questions as to what certain words are and what they mean. They can proceed through the other class material independently and with comprehension, which makes their school life so much more enjoyable and valuable than if they were struggling with reading.

This book is great on teaching your child how to read. The lessons only takes 20 mins a day to explain to your child. If your child already knows a lesson you can skip it and move on the next lesson. At first it might seem so basic in the lessons, and yet that is how it is able to build upon itself. The kids learn something new, and the book reviews it for a couple of lessons and then gives them another new sound. It just makes so much sense logically. Everything the parent is supposed to say is in red. It makes it so simple. You really have to read the lengthy introduction before you start this book. It explains what you as a parent are supposed to do and explains the program. Of course, it takes dedication from you, the parent, to get through all 100 lessons in this book with your child; but it is absolutely worth every minute.

The book uses a specific orthography to present letter sounds which may seem confusing to some (letter blends are written so that the letter join together, there are special marks to remind readers that combinations such as ing have their own sound, etc), but this scaffolding in learning the letter sounds and blends is gradually faded so that the reader no longer requires it toward the last quarter of the book.

Here all parental instructions printed in red type and the book literally tells you what to say. Thoroughly preparing the parent, the book’s concise but crucial introduction has excellent practical instructions to the parent and, most importantly, tables that show you exactly how make all the phonics sounds correctly. Also included are tables showing how to teach your kid how to actually write letters (writing exercises are in each lesson), helping them learn to form letters easily and correctly (this is important too – kids are very creative at forming letters in bizarre ways and pick up bad habits quickly).

So the bottom line here is that you don’t have to take the time to become an effective teacher yourself (a huge task) – the book does it for you, laying out a fail-safe, carefully planned and graded path of instruction, introducing new sounds, words, and difficulties with obvious thought and care.

This means your child accelerates smoothly, and you won’t push her/him off that cliff by suddenly tossing in something that completely baffles the child. This is a big problem even with very smart kids – they rarely convey their puzzlement if they really don’t understand something, while most likely you will keep going, not noticing the child has stopped, disconnected from the continuity of what they’re learning.

Putting reading skills together the first time means the whole task has to form a steadily-accumulating, coherent whole in their minds. When that process is working, kids learn very quickly and make big leaps on their own.

Typology in this book is phonetically helpful also, as the little ‘stories’ presented are printed in a slightly modified alphabet which adds some basic pronunciation marks to help kids over ‘silent’ letters, complex sounds (th, ch, sh) and other little pitfalls. Also, short oddly-pronounced words (to, for, was) are carefully introduced as special cases. In doing this, the texts of the book’s quirky and slightly amusing little stories can move quickly towards advanced reading skills, through their dozens of carefully-graded steps.

But remember, no program will meet every child’s needs, so it is up to the parent to not only adjust the program to fit the child, but to listen to the child and let them be the leader. This was easy to do with this book. Also, true literacy requires a rich environment.