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The Reading Lesson: Teach Your Child to Read in 20 Easy Lessons Paperback – April 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0913063026 ISBN-10: 0913063029 Edition: Second Edition, Second edition

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Editorial Reviews


"Five Star Excellent!... Simply spectacular! Extremely resourceful. Take my advice. This book works!" —Jennifer LB Lesse, A StoryBook Weaver's Book Reviews

"I found it to be a very appealing program that would be especially beneficial to homeschoolers." —Terri Bittner, bellaonline.com

"This sensible early reading system introduces young children to letter sounds and to simple words, sight words, and basic stories to read. Parents will appreciate the book’s refreshingly straightforward approach and uncluttered format." —Discovery Education

"I've used a few different reading programs, and this is by far the easiest to use. If you want a simple, inexpensive reading program, then I'd encourage you to look at The Reading Lesson!" —Teisha Priest, Home Educating Family Assocation

"Refreshingly straightforward approach and uncluttered format. Highly recommended." —Library Journal

From the Publisher

How to do the lessons There are twenty lessons in this book. Each lesson will take about two weeks to complete. Before starting a lesson, we suggest that you read the instructions for that lesson. Take a moment to practice how to say the sounds. Each letter is paired with a picture.

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.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Mountcastle Company; Second Edition, Second edition edition (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0913063029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0913063026
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 8.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (290 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to anyone who doesn't think they can teach their child to read!
Amazon Customer
My daughter really looked forward to her reading lesson time, and she loved to call relatives on the phone and read stories to them.
Shanna Aten
I have been looking for a book that would help me teach my 4 1/2 year old daughter how to read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

377 of 391 people found the following review helpful By Fernando Chapa on July 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have taught three children to read trying various methods at different stages in their development.

After researching & almost one thousand dollars on reading programs I finally settled on "Teach Your Child to Read in 20 Easy Lessons" for my two year old son. My research has led me to several conclusions, among which are:

* Different types of reading programs may work better at different stages in your child's development. For example, "How to Teach Your Baby to Read" by Glenn & Janet Doman, works best for children under two.
* If your child is approximately 4 years or older and DOES NOT HAVE ANY LETTER RECOGNITION, then a program like "Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons" may work best.
* Hooked on phonics may work well for children over the age of six who already have some reading skills, but are having problems.
* Bob First (Scholastic) books are good for kids 4 and up. Younger kids may have problems with the Bob First books because the print is too small.
* Do NOT teach the alphabet to kids under 3 years old. They will learn to read more easily if instead, starting with lower case letters, you first teach the sounds a letter makes. They can easily pick up the names of the letters once they are well into their reading program.

The first lesson in the 20 Easy Lessons book starts by introducing your child to the sounds made by five of the most commonly used letters in the 500 most commonly used words of the English language. Whereas the book recommends spending up to 5 minutes on one page, I only spent about 15 seconds per session and two sessions per day, for a total of 30 seconds per day. Just long enough to point out the letters and say the sounds.
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90 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Shanna Aten on December 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter loved this book (The Reading Lesson: Teach Your Child to Read in 20 Easy Lessons). She is currently in kidergarten and reading on a late second to early third grade level. We used this book during her preschool years.

I taught my daughter to read using "The Reading Lesson", but I used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons to teach my first child. Both books use a similar approach. I believe that "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" gives the teacher (parent) a stronger foundation in teaching reading, and I used some of the tools I had gained from experiencing that method when teaching my daughter. The strength of "The Reading Lesson" is it's child-friendly appearance and approach. "Teach Your Child to Read..." is fully scripted and has the parent's script and child's assignments jammed together. My son hated it after a while. "The Reading Lesson" is not quite as strong of a program, but the pages are easy and fun for a child to look at. My daughter always wanted to do "just one more" page. Once we got to lesson 12 or 13 her reading started taking off. We actually didn't finish the book because she had gained enough tools to continue learning to read on her own.

The cover is a little misleading when it says "teach your child to read in 20 easy lessons". "Lesson" here is more like a unit. Each "lesson" may be 10-15 pages long, and is not designed to be completed in a day. With young children you would probably only do one page a day, where you might do several with older/highly motivated children.
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77 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Joan Benjamin on December 28, 2000
Format: Spiral-bound
Hello. I am a second grade teacher and I would like to share my experience with this reading program, The Reading Lesson. The Reading Lesson is an excellent way to supplement any primary grade reading program. It carefully covers all necessary phonics, thus guiding the beginning student in phenomic awareness and reinforcing the letter-sound relationships to remedial readers. Because it is easy for first and second graders to use and they enjoy it (The children in my class love this program) they can work on it independently, I use it during center time. I like the way the program uses a finger to help the student "read through" the words. I do this in my guided reading groups so the reinforcement in a computer program is very helpful. Even if there are no computers in your classroom the workbooks are well thought out, organized by sounds, and the letters are big. Another great part about this program is that it contains almost all of the sight words we teach in the primary grades, so even students who know sounds can use it to practice their sight words. Basically, I am very pleased with this product and it has added a lot to my reading program. I have seen big improvments in my student's reading and know The Reading Program is the reason for some of this success.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
I would highly recommend this book for anyone looking to give their child a head start in reading. I purchased the book along with the CD-ROM for my 5 yr. old daughter. She enjoys the reading lesson so much that she reminds me daily, "it's time for the reading lesson". Before purchasing the reading lesson I downloaded the first two lessons (free) from thereadinglesson.com website and my daughter was thrilled that she knew how to read. Prior to the reading lesson my daughter had trouble remembering words and letter sounds. But just after a few lessons she would remember words and sounds easily. We read 3-4 pages a day for maybe 15 minutes. It's been about a month and a half and my daughter is now on lesson eight and reading (words in lesson eight) with minimal help. She also just had her interview for kindergarten and her teacher was amazed at how much she knew. Each lesson begins with brief instructions and tips on reading. I would suggest purchasing the book along with the CD-ROM (not only because it's fun) but the child would learn the correct way to sound out letters. The program is so simple with amazing results!
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