Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Teaching Your Child To Read" Guest Blogger - Katrina & Korinda (Part 2)

So it is way past due, for another guest blogger on our amazing series of  Teaching Your Child to Read. Guest Post Series. Today we are lucky to have Katrina back. If you missed Part 1 of Katrina Guest post you can check it out HERE. Katrina blogs over at  .

Using the book Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons - Part Two

In part one of this article I described how I have used the book Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons.   In this second part, my friend Korinda tells of her experience teaching her children with the same book. She does a great job of sharing it, so I'll let her take it from here!

My name is Korinda Luhmann, and I have had the privilege of teaching children in a public school and home setting.  Before we had kids, I was a public school teacher in the northern suburbs of Chicago with a master’s degree in education from the University of Illinois.  Because I taught first and second grades, I was actively involved in teaching children how to read and loved to see the light bulbs turning on in students’ heads as the world of reading began to click for them.  Now for the past eleven years, I have been a homeschooling mama to our seven kids (five boys sandwiched between two girls).

When our oldest daughter was three years old, I stumbled upon the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann.  I read through the teacher’s instructions in the beginning of the book and started the program.  By the time we completed Lesson 50, reading began to click for her, about a month before her fourth birthday.  My husband and I can remember pulling up to a strip mall in our town and hearing the names of the stores being read aloud from the backseat.  We looked at each other and said, “I guess she is reading!”  I did not finish the book with her and now at 13, she is a devourer of books.

After our quick success with our daughter, I couldn’t wait to begin the process again with our oldest son.  Because he was not ready as early as our daughter, we did not begin the book until he was five.  The first 30 lessons went well, and then one day he looked at me and said, “Can we just homeschool in the summer and take the rest of the winter off?”  I replied that he would probably regret that decision once summer came around, but I realized that he needed a break from this book.  So, we stopped doing lessons for about a month.  When my husband noticed that we weren’t doing our regular reading lessons, he asked what happened to teaching him to read in 100 days.  I reminded him that it was Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, not days.

  After letting the book sit for awhile and doing other homeschool activities and subjects with our son, I began the book again with him.  We picked up right where we left off, and I was amazed that he had retained most of what he had learned previously in the book.  And yes, by Lesson 50 reading began to click for him, and he was on his way.  But this time I decided to finish the book with him.  Even though my kids are beginning to read by right around Lesson 50, I have found that finishing the book introduces many more sounds and gives them the opportunity to continue to develop their reading fluency using a controlled vocabulary.

My second son was a wiggler, fidgeter, and oh so distracted five year old boy, but we set out to begin the lessons.  Even though this book is designed for each lesson to take about 20 minutes, with this son it seemed like each lesson went on for hours.   I finally realized that in between each “task” (term the book uses) this boy needed to run.  So he did laps around the kitchen table, ran up and down the hallway ten times, did somersaults, and then came back to do the next task.  This is when I knew that homeschooling suited him well.  If he had to sit in a desk at public school all day, both he and the teacher would go nuts.   He would often end up with his head on the couch and his feet in the air by the end of the lesson, but again, by Lesson 50, he too was beginning to read.  We finally finished the book with him, and now, years later, he is the child that we have to tell to stop reading and put his book away.  He never leaves the house without a book.

Currently, I have my next three sons, ages 7, 5, and 3, all doing lessons from Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  I have often said that this book is the best $20 that I ever spent for homeschooling, but this year we had to buy a new copy as ours had fallen apart over the years (this time it was only $12).  My youngest two boys have seen what our older kids are doing, and they want to be part of it too.  So, because they expressed such an interest in learning to read, I began lessons with them.  In fact, my three year old asks each morning if he can do his lesson.  My seven year old is around lesson 70 and yes, reading is finally beginning to click for him too.

As a former first grade school teacher, I wish I would have known about this gem of a book.  In the public school we used a number of different methods to teach children to read, and whenever we used any one program, we had to supplement it with additional strategies to try to fill in the gaps for the kids.  Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons works more effectively than any of the other programs that I have used or come across.

With Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, any parent can pick it up and begin teaching their child to read.  It is adaptable to the developmental differences between children, so know your child and get your cues from them.  We started this book with some of our kids when they were six and others when they were three.  I let my child set the pace and sometimes we step away from it and then return to it a few months later with the same great results. 

A few other specifics.  With my oldest three kids I never did the “handwriting task” they suggest at the end of each lesson.  I didn't  want to add more or distract them from reading.  But for my younger three, I have been doing the “handwriting task” with them and it hasn't been too much.  One thing I have done differently from this book is when it introduces words such as “the”, “said” or “was”, it has them sound them out and then tells them this word says _____.  I skip the sounding out part (since it does not correspond with the actual sound) and introduce it right away as a sight word.  Whenever we see the words in later lessons, I tell them remember this word is “the” or “said”.  It is a sight word; we just have to know it.

After having three kids learn to read with this book, (currently 13, 11, and 8) three currently in the book (all on different lessons), and one more little girl awaiting her turn, I couldn't recommend this book more highly to parents.  In my eleven years of homeschooling, this is and will always be the number one book I recommend to any parent starting out.  It is really all you need in teaching your child to read.  You do not need a fancy, expensive phonics or whole language program.  All you need is 12 bucks and a favorite place to snuggle next to your child, and you can begin the amazing journey of watching your own child’s world come alive.  I am so blessed to be able to give this gift to our children.

Thanks so much to Katrina & Korinda for sharing with us what they are using & teaching. I must admit after reading  these two ladies posts, I finally decided to give it a try & I ordered my own Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  It just barely arrived in the mail, & we are only on lesson 3. I am so excited for it though. I wanted to thank once again these lovely ladies for sharing their knoweldge with us! 

1 comment:

  1. To help make learning to read fun and engaging, our reading program includes lesson stories that are matched to the progress of your child's reading abilities.

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