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The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading Kindle Edition
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This book is a great scope and sequence for what phonics rules to teach and in what order. We basically went through each lesson in order. With my oldest I completed the book around the latter part of first grade. My younger children are not quite as far along as he was at the end of kindergarten, so it may take longer. I found the repetitiveness to be an asset. I found the book easy to navigate and it was easy to flip back to previous lessons and do quick reviews.
I actually LOVE that the book has no flashy colors or pictures. This is INTENTIONAL. In schools children are taught to use picture clues to figure out words. I taught in public school for three years and have a MaEd. and I can tell you THIS IS NOT READING. It is a common practice and I NEVER saw it help a child, other than to encourage guessing. In The Ordinary Parent's Guide the child can only "read" by focusing on the words...right from the start.
Yes, the words are small, but I found my kids had no problem quickly learning which words were for them and which were for me. I placed a simple piece of paper under what they needed to read and that was that. Font and small type was a non issue for us. The kids adapted almost right away.
I would suggest, however, NOT using this as your entire reading curriculum. It was the MAIN part of our reading, but in and of itself it was dry and boring...effective yes, exciting NO, NO, and NO. So, we moved through our lessons, while I enriched reading time with exciting read alouds (this is where I asked reading questions about character, setting, plot...etc.) Until the students are reading independently AND fluently it is useless to ask them comprehension questions about their own reading, so I do this through read alouds (decoding words at the early ages it quite enough).
Once the kids started reading well enough, I began to check out easy readers and Bob Books from the library and moving through those in addition to their regular lessons. The kids enjoyed reading "real books" rather than just the reading lessons. I found Scholastic's book finder to be an invaluable resource for checking out books on each child's level, while gradually increasing difficulty.
I also introduced more sight words than The Ordinary Parent's Guide. I found when checking out books from the library or reading Bob Books (such great readers that build in level gradually) they needed to be familiar with more sight words earlier than they are presented in this book. I simply couldn't wait until they were covered, so we made a word wall and did many earlier.
So, there you have it. This book it not perfect, but is a great resource and a great backbone to any reading program. In my case, this is evidenced by three early reading normal kids. I previewed the 100 easy lessons book, but found it didn't cover enough and I firmly believe it takes more than 100 phonics lessons to have a fluent reader (just my personal/professional opinion). The Ordinary Parent's Guide has been the best, most thorough scope and sequence I've seen....just add some fluff to your reading time to keep kids engaged. Honestly, there is NO single magical resource that does EVERYTHING a reading program needs to do...common sense, adjusting, and listening to your kids is necessary no matter what is chosen. Good luck!!
I decided that I didn't want to read the teaching scripts aloud, since this would bore both me and my daughters, and instead summarized them. I let the girls read as much as they could, skipping some of the "I will read it, we read it together, then you read it alone" stuff. Again, that would get old pretty quickly and I wanted to feed their hunger to be actually reading. However, with those stylistic changes, we have followed the book closely, doing each lesson and some of the optional games and exercises. I am amazed that both girls are fairly confident now with 1-3rd grade level readers from the library when four months ago they couldn't read at all! There are a few highlights to celebrate, and a couple of critiques:
1) The lessons are brief. Need I say more?
2) I appreciate that this book doesn't dumb down the English language to make it easy to read. The practice paragraphs are full of interesting words, many of them words that my girls had heard for the first time so it allowed us to work on expanding vocabulary and comprehension as well as reading.
3) I personally love that the lessons build on each other, and that there is a plan and script built in. I rarely do any prep work, except if I want to use one of the optional activities.
4) Punctuation marks are built in as part of the lessons, gradually, with many opportunities to practice using them.
1) The font used for the parts of the text that the children read makes the lower-case L and upper-case I look the same, and I am constantly getting asked if the letter is I or L.
2) Some of the "story" paragraphs are a bit complex, and difficult to follow. Most of the time they can be read, but then I have to explain - which, as stated above, can be a good thing, too.
I realize that part of our success was that they were truly ready and eager to read, and it was an immense help that I never had to force the issue. I am having fun teaching reading, and I will definitely use this book with my younger child. As an ordinary parent, I definitely recommend this book!