When the four year old asked her big sister to teach her to read using her Kuya’s old and used The Reading Lesson book, I knew it was time to get her her own copy. It was her favorite Christmas gift last year and she actually squealed when she got it!
Before I used The Reading Lesson for my now 9-year-old son, I had no clue how to teach a child how to read. My first-born, now 12, started reading a Berenstain Bears book when she was three, after a rudimentary DIY method of teaching her the alphabet and blending some of the sounds. It should be noted that I read to her (and her siblings) wonderful books every single day – so that must have counted for something!
Since my then 4-year-old boy did not take to my DIY teaching method, I looked for material that would help me. I was so relieved to have found The Reading Lesson that was easy to use, gentle for the child, and of course, effective.
About The Reading Lesson
The Reading Lesson teaches young children to read in 20 easy lessons. Take note, though, that each lesson may take more than a week to finish, as each one consists of several pages. A lesson has a list of words, light exercises, and short stories that bring together all the words and concepts learned throughout.
The book is designed for a child to do alongside a parent, and is based on both phonics and sight word recognition – the best of both worlds, in my opinion. The words in the lessons, both for phonic and sight-reading, are commonly used words in the English language.
Why we love The Reading Lesson
Having gone through the program once, and doing it again this time around, let me offer what’s on the top of my head of why we enjoy The Reading Lesson…
- The lessons start with a list of words for a child to learn how to sound out letters and blend them into words. The words are then used in very short stories in the succeeding pages, letting the child to actually read words in context. It makes the child feel accomplished with just a page or two a day.
- There are helpful marks under each letter in a word, to cue the child in sounding out. As the child progresses, these marks are used less and less, as the child grows in skill and need less hints.
- I love the special font used in the book. It’s big, as is the book, so the words are easy to see, and there are lots of space for the child to doodle on, if desired.
- There are a few cute drawings on some of the pages. After reading a page, the 4-year-old is eager to color the drawings, making the book her own. She also enjoys putting a sticker (random ones we have) on the page that she has just finished, effectively putting a bookmark on where we should start on the next day.
- We do a page or two every day, and it’s just enough for the 4-year-old. She happily plays by herself after each lesson, having satisfied the need to have my full attention and giving me more time to focus on her older siblings’ lessons. The 9-year-old used the book over two years and that’s how I plan it too for this little one— we’re not in a hurry, after all.
- As a mom, I love how open-and-go the program is. There’s nothing to prepare, and I just need to give my attention to the lesson for more or less 10 minutes, and we’re done for the day.
- The Reading Lesson is developmentally appropriate. It doesn’t hurry the child, and empowers the parent to teach in a step-by-step no-stress way. And did I say effective? The 9-year-old, after resisting several of my DIY attempts to teach him how to read at age 4, has become a confident reader after finishing the program.
Beyond The Reading Lesson
Yes, the program is effective, no doubt about it.
But let me just say again that teaching our kids how to read is not enough. We have to constantly provide good books for them to read, and we need to read to them even though they can already do it by themselves.
The lifestyle of reading is something that needs to be cultivated. Try our Raising Readers webinar to learn how to make your child into someone who doesn’t just read, but someone who loves to read and learn.
To make the most out of teaching your child how to read, we invite you to learn all about Raising Readers in our webinar. We’ve done the class live for several years and have always gotten great feedback from participants.