Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, August 25, 2006

On Learning to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

Ice cream and celebrations are in order, for on this day Noogs has finished Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

I have to say that the book has lived up to its name: there were 100 lessons, they were easy, and she's definitely reading. We've enjoyed the stories, which seem to me more interesting than the "See Jane run. See Dick hop." variety. I didn't look at any other reading programs before we started the 100 Lessons, but this one seems to work fine, and we'll probably use it for Babs when it comes time for her to learn.

I don't think that the book's special font for the earliest lessons was either a help or a hindrance -- Noogs mostly paid it no attention. I also found that by the end I wasn't paying much attention myself to the teaching directions but tailored the lessons to Noog's strengths and weaknesses. (The teaching scripts were a great help in the beginning for building my confidence, however.) I had planned to stop using the book at about lesson 80 because it seemed like, aside from the stories, the lessons were mostly drill without any new material, but it soon became obvious that Noogs needed the drill or else she grew lazy about sounding out her words.

So congratulations to Noogs! Next step: Houghton Mifflin Literary Readers Book 2.


Anonymous said...

Bravo for Noogs!! I just loved it when my children learned to read...such an accomplishment.
I updated about Phil and Jack on my site a few minutes ago.
Thanks for your prayers.
Hope you have a blessed weekend!

Pro Ecclesia said...

Do you think it's too soon to start teaching my 4-and-a-half year old to read? I was that age when I began reading, and my son seems much more intelligent than I remember being at that age. He has an excellent vocabulary, even using words like "menagerie" in the proper context.

But although he LOVES when we read to him every day, he doesn't seem to have the attention span to actually sit down and learn to do it himself.

What do you think? Thanks.

mrsdarwin said...

When we started with Noogs about a year ago, she was at the point where she would page through her books and pretend to read them to herself, since she'd memorized many of them (not hard with Hop on Pop or Madeline). She took to the early lessons pretty readily, as they're very basic and don't take much time.

I would offer, based on my limited experience, that perhaps you should try starting a reading program with him and see how he responds. I did find that after an easy start, we did hit a point where she would lose interest and want to squirm and run off, and I had to find a mean between instilling the discipline of finishing a lesson and yet not pressuring her too hard. Some days we had to let it go and come back to the lesson later, and others I made her sit it out and finish what we'd started. But I could usually tell when she was really frustrated and needed a break and when she was just goofing around, and I'm sure that you'll know that point as well with your son.

Good luck! Keep us up on your progress.

Dorian Speed said...

Jay, my son is the same way. I'm not "worried," it's just interesting to see the different rates at which young children develop their different abilities, you know?

I ordered the 100 Easy Lessons book next week and am planning to ease into it once we are settled in our new home.

Pro Ecclesia said...

Mrs. Darwin and Dorian,

Thanks for the advice. I think that I, too, will order the 100 Easy Lessons and try to ease my son into it.

Amber said...

Congratulations! That's definitely an accomplishment. I agree about the scripts - they were invaluable at first but I'm gradually relying on them less and less. We're only about a 1/3 of the way through, but it is really neat to see the incrimental progress Emma is making. A little bit every day (*ahem* or as close to that as we can get!) really does a lot, doesn't it!