"Five Star Excellent!... Simply spectacular! Extremely resourceful. Take my advice. This book works!" —Jennifer LB Lesse, A StoryBook Weaver's Book Reviews
From the Publisher
You need to be consistent in how you sound out the letters. However, a word of caution is needed: no two children or even adults will say a sound in exactly the same way. Regional accents and children's relatively weak auditory and articulation skills account for the variations. In the classroom this fact is particularly obvious. It is impossible to make all children say a sound in the same way. Encourage your child to make the closest possible sound to the one suggested in the lesson but allow some leeway. Blending sounds and reading new words is what counts. Learning phonics is an important, however, an intermediate step. So do not insist on absolute accuracy in sounding out the individual letters if it is difficult for your child.
You may consider purchasing the Reading Lesson CD-ROMs. Through animation and simple games, these multimedia companions will make learning to read fun. For very young children, we suggest, the Sounds of Letters DVD, another good way to teach phonics.
For many young readers (including children who are familiar with the alphabet), the letters in words seem to melt together. The instructions in Lesson One show how to blend the sounds. The bars under each sound unit will help your child to identify and separate the letters she already knows. These bars are there as guides and are used to blend the sounds into words. This process is called sounding out. At first, blending is difficult for most children. You will need to help the child but he will get better at it with practice.
Each lesson consists of words, exercises and short stories. When reading the words, ask the child to tell you what the word means. Before you read the story, read the title and talk a little bit about the content of the story. Your child may also enjoy these stories on our animated StoryBook CD-ROM.
Approximately 300 key words form the basis of reading skills in this course. Each lesson introduces a set of key words. Your child should learn them well before you proceed to the next lesson. These words are used in later lessons. How fast should you go The length and the pace of the daily lessons will vary with the child's age and abilities. We suggest the following schedule: For children under five, one page per day For children between five and six, two to three pages per day For children over six, three or more pages per day
Children have a very short attention span. Try to keep each lesson under fifteen minutes and spend no more than five to seven minutes per page. If your child is young, don't rush. Work at a leisurely and comfortable pace. Remember: you have plenty of time to complete the course and, if necessary, to go back and repeat the course before your child starts reading instruction in school.
We do not suggest that you try to teach a child under the age of three to read. Contrary to some books that suggest that you can teach infants to read, there is no proof that such a thing is possible. Children need certain developmental skills before they can read. Flashing cards with letters and words at a baby is a fun thing to do and makes us feel like good parents, but it does not work.
If your child is reluctant to do the lessons, you may be going too fast. Slow down the pace. Always try to stop the lesson just before the child gets bored. If your child is having real trouble staying on task and learning the material of the first lessons, he may not be ready for this program. Put it aside for the time being and try again in a few months.
In every lesson, there are individual sentences as well as little stories. Most children prefer to read only the stories. They are happy to show-off, and love to be praised when they do it right. The sentences, although they contain words from the stories, present somewhat greater reading difficulty because the child cannot guess the words from the context. Stories make guessing easier. Children need to develop both of these types of reading abilities, so we advise not to skip the sentences just because the child does not want to do them.
Children learn to read faster and more easily if they learn to write letters and words at the same time. Our brain receives direct messages from the movement of our finger joints and remembers the shape of each letter. Through writing exercises, a connection between sound and letter is made. We highly recommend the Writing Lesson CD-ROM which has printable pages for daily practice to learn complementary hand writing skills. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.