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Why Johnny Can't Read: And What You Can Do about It Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reissue edition (January 7, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060913401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060913403
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 49 customer reviews
Learning to read was fast and fun, just as with my first son.
Ferrin Sanders
You could just use the practical methods in this book to thoroughly teach your child to read using phonics.
M. Christensen
Wow...after just a few months of using this book, my five year old's reading TOOK OFF!!
Dan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Ferrin Sanders on April 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
I found this book back in 1987 right before my first child turned 5. After reading the book, I decided I had better teach my son to read myself before the local public school had a chance to mess him up. I couldn't believe how fast he learned to read! Using this book made it simple, easy, and fun for him. We spent no more than 15 minutes a day going through the exercises in the book (my son was very hyperactive back then with a very short attention span!). After about 3 weeks Andrew was able to read simple children's books, and very soon progessed to higher-level reading. Once he learned HOW to read (thanks to Flesch's method), he was able to quickly progress on his own. Sometimes he wanted me to read to him; other times he wanted to read to me. I helped him whenever he got stuck on a word that was not spelled the way it sounds. Even though there are a lot of English words which are (unfortunately and annoyingly) spelled contrary to phonic rules, such as "eye," once you learn to read by phonics, the "sight words" aren't that hard to learn. Most of them are figured out by the context and are then quickly memorized. But FIRST, you need to learn the phonics!
Anyway, since my first son learned to read so fast and well, thanks to this book, naturally I turned to it again 5 years later when my second son was almost 5. However, it turned out that Collin had no interest in learning to read at that point. I felt no need to rush or pressure him, so I put the book away. A few months later I got the book out again to see if he was interested yet, and he was. Learning to read was fast and fun, just as with my first son.
For both of my boys, the first word they learned to read was CAT.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Lucinda-June Chapman on February 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
He had failed to learn the kindergarden and first grade words. I read "Why Johnny Can't read" with the fifteen minute primer in the back. I used it with my ADD Hyperactive son. My spelling improved. He was reading at grade level before he went to second grade. When he had just turned 13, was in seventh grade, he was tested and his reading level was freshman in college tenth month. That's 7 years ahead. The only book I used to teach him reading was "Why Johnny Can't Read". It is one of those books that is a must own.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Ijya C. Tulloss on August 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
"Why Johnny Can't Read..." is an excellent handbook for homeschoolers, elementary teachers and teacher trainers. The book offers a convincing argument why knowledge of phonics holds the key for decoding any word one encounters. Learning to read in any other way is but an exercise in memorization of word form - word correspondence which takes up about 600,000 memory slots in our brain. Such memory space could have been better used for other functions. In contrast, just by knowing the 44 phonemes of the English language one can read anything. The book clarifies that because there are 44 sounds and we only have 26 letters of the alphabet, some phonemes are represented by single letter symbols while others by a combination of letters. There are also several forms (letter combinations) of representing the same phoneme. The book further eliminates confusion of spelling by giving the rules for spelling such as the double consonant rule. The book systematically leads the reader to the sequence of learning these phonemes and reading carefully chosen words in a word list, utilizing only the phonemes so far introduced. This method facilitates mastery of new phonemes introduced as well as give suficient review of phonemes thus far learned. With only five main steps illustrated in 72 lessons, at the rate of one lesson a week, one can expect to master phonics in two school years (40 weeks per school year). This handy, systematic and comprehensive guide is a classic, a "must have" book for everyone, especially for those of us who never were taught phonics in our schooling.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Stephen M. St Onge on December 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
Why can't Johnny read? Because he's being taught in the wrong way, says Flesch, and he's right. I know. I was being taught that way in 1959, and I couldn't learn to read either. What can you do about it? Well if it's your own child, teach them yourself, using phonics. Flesch lays out a comprehensive course, usable by anyone who can already read. My mother taught me with phonics (she had no training or experience in teaching, by the way), and I quickly jumped to number two in my reading class. But if the question is, what can you do about the failure of our schools, the answer is "Nothing." Here is the only place Flesch falls down. This book was published in 1955. After 44 years, the situation has only gotten worse. This is because the people running the public school system want it this way, and the country's parents won't fire them all. Sad but true. Save your own while you can.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Susan Murphy on September 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am the mother of a learning disabled son, who is now 36 years old. Along our journey during his school years, I sought help in a multitude of tutors and agencies. Of all the things that I did, I am very grateful to a tutor who helped him for three years, from the second to fourth grades, who used this book to teach him to read. I have always believed that he would not have ever read had it not been for that very wise tutor and THIS book! All of the exercises were reinforced and reinforced again at home with me and I saw the miracle of learning to read become a reality for my son. Now my little grandson is encountering some difficulty in the first grade and I am ordering this book for my daughter-in-law. The book is a lifesaver!
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