Jason’s Ranting & Raving

Those who don’t read have no advantage over those who can’t.

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

Posted by jaystile on April 13, 2009

My daughter and I have finished working through ‘Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons’ by Siegfried Engelmann, Phyllis Haddox, and Elaine Brune. The book delivers on it’s promise.

We started lessons with my daughter when she turned 4 years old. The book gives step by step instructions to the adult for teaching. It introduces the concepts and skills at a descent rate while reinforcing skills that were learned in earlier modules. The child starts by learning sounds and rhyming and then practicing writing the letters. The characters are ‘sounds’, so you don’t bother to teach them the letter names. This book uses a custom orthography to represent long versus short vowel sounds, also, they are used for the different diphthongs like ‘sh’, ‘ch’, ‘th’, so the child only has to learn one character for one sound. These custom characters are removed from the reading gradually in the lessons. The book also works on reading comprehension by having the adult ask questions about what the child has just read.

The book has some detractions. I noticed a few mistakes in the orthography where they would not use their customer characters. The subtext on the cover says ‘In only 20 minutes a day, this remarkable step-by-step program teaches your child to read…’. Yeah, that’s bullshit. Like every parent I think I have the smartest child in the world and it usually took between 40 minutes to an hour. Maybe if your child is in 1st grade and has already experienced reading and learning to read it might be that short. The first couple of lessons took 20 minutes. Also, this book comes with demands once you start you need to have a lesson at least every other day otherwise the child starts reverting and has trouble with the skills. Also there is stress added to the parent and child because the work is hard and it takes a long time. Sometimes the child just doesn’t want to go through it. But the hard work is worth it. The preschool teachers are amazed when she reads a book she hasn’t seen before. She also writes letters to her teachers, grandma, and friends. There are traces of the custom orthography in her writing and it’s cute. I think we haven given her a great head start. I LOVE TO HEAR HER READ!

So in the end it took us about 6 months to finish the program. Now, I’m taking time to recharge my batteries before I start the lessons with her little sister. She’ll be 3 soon and I don’t want to rush it, but she acts like she is ready.

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One Response to “Book Review: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons”

  1. […] can read at 4.5 years old. This was the result of 6 months of reading lessons (see my book review Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons) that was hard on both her and Dad. But she now has a huge head start against her peers which may […]

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