Monday, March 8, 2010

How I have used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Lessons

Our well-worn copy

I am just about to finish using this book for the third and final time. I have taught all three of my girls to read using this book. I thought it might be useful to other homeschooler to explain how I used this book. I used it differently each time. Yeah for homeschooling where we can adapt the curriculum to fit the child.

The first time I used this book was back in 2003. (I pointed out to my hubby that I have been teaching a child to read for the past 7 years and am looking forward to being done with this stage.) Sierra was almost 5. We went through the lessons and I started out reading the teacher's script word for word. I skipped the writing parts. I think I was using another book for writing. At some point before we got half way through Sierra got bored with the stories at the ends of the lessons, so I let her read books from the Now I'm Reading Series instead. Around lesson 50, she was reading pretty well, but didn't like the lessons at all, so I let her just read easy readers for a while. When She was about 7 and half, I began to worry because she hadn't made the leap to chapter books, yet. I went back to 100 lessons and had her go over the sounds from lessons 50 - 100 that we had a skipped. I wanted her to read the stories, too, but she convinced me that if she could read the story from lesson 100 she could skip the other stories. Finally about a month before her 8th birthday, Sierra discovered the fairy books and started reading chapter books. I used an informal reading assessment with her the other day at age 11 and a half she is reading at an 8th grade level.

When I went through the book with Kali, I was less exact with the script. I introduced her to the sounds and had her read the stories. Once again I skipped the writing parts. I pushed her a bit to get her to lessons 75. At this point she just started reading books. I don't think I ever went back to finish the rest of the lessons. I remember being worried that I needed to work with her on sight words, but eventually it all clicked. She started reading chapter books at about age 7. I dont' think her comprehension was great, but she was motivated since she wanted to read the books her sister was reading. She turned 9 in October and tested at 6th grade reading level on the assessment.

Finally, I started teaching Arwen to read. She has been my most challenging kid to get to focus and sit still. We started working through the lessons. She, like Sierra, didn't want to read the stories from the lessons and so she read Bob books and the Now I am Reading Series books. I think we made to about lesson 60 before we took a break. We moved twice while in the 2 years that I have been teaching her to read. At the beginning of this school year I was worried that she was behind. We used the K12 phonics program in the fall and came back to 100 lessons in January. Arwen decide that if she read the rest of the stories through lesson 100 that she should be rewarded with ice cream when she finished. I thought that sounded like a fine idea and she is now on lesson 99. I also had her do the reading assessment and she tested half way through 1st grade which she technically is (turned 7 in November). We definitely still need to work on fluency and I will continue to have her read to me until she becomes more proficient reading on her own. I am confident that eventually it will "click" and she will become an independent reader. The thing that makes me the most happy is that she is now excited about reading and is looking forward to being able to read the fairy books and Magic Tree House books.

The thing I like the most about Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Lessons is how simple it is. You pick up the book and use it. No flashcards, no workbook pages, no complicated games. And it works. The only thing I wish now is that I had done the writing lessons. I noticed as I was looking through the book while writing this post that the writing parts connect the sounds to the written letters. I was so focused on the reading and thought that the writing was just handwriting (we used Handwriting without Tears), but I see now that it ties the phonics with the written letters. I bet doing that would make spelling easier. I highly recommend this book. It is easy to use, can be adapted to fit your child, and it works.


Katrina said...

Thank you for your review of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Lessons. I just bought this book and am excited to try it out with DS. Good work teaching your kids!

Michelle said...

Great information here! You may want to join my google group. You can create your own page with links to posts you have made to help other parents teach beginning reading.

Brit said...

I am exactly where you are, about to be done with it on my last reader. I loved having this book to help me teach reading, and would have been lost without it.

Mrs. Blimes said...

Is homeschooling as easy as you make is seem or are you just that good?

michelle said...

Oh no, Marquesas, it is not easy at all and I am not that good. I am constantly worried that I am doing a bad job. I guess I just hide it from this blog. I do love being with my kids and learning with them though.

Molly said...

Thanks for your tips. Eli will be starting with me next year, he'll be JUST turning 6 and I've been trying to figure out how to pick up where his public kindergarten left off. This was the book I was leaning towards so I'm thrilled to hear of your success. THanks a bunch!