Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Not So Easy Lessons

24 Feb

There’s a real flaw with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, at least for us: the orthography. At first I thought this was brilliant; Stiggy really took to it and reading words with long vowels, ‘e’ at the end, and other silent letters was a breeze. At lesson 73 they introduce the child to normal font. I thought Stiggy would have no trouble transitioning, but it’s not going smoothly. The past 3 lessons have been SO frustrating for both of us, worsening with each lesson. We’ve never had such bad reading sessions. Stiggy just doesn’t want to do it, he cannot concentrate, and my anger has gotten the best of me.

The lessons do try to ease the child into it, but it’s not gradual enough. I feel like I’m having to teach him to read all over again and that I should have just taught him how to read with normal font from the start. The programme does not explain to the child what a long vowel is and the rules behind it. When he sees the words written in regular font, he sees them as totally new and sounds them out, silent ‘e’s and all. So, I’m having to explain the rules now because otherwise he has to just memorise each word, which is not how phonics works. It’s just created more work for both of us. AND this is making reading seem more of a mystery, more of a chore, and not so enjoyable. Not good.

This is why I’m critial of The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading. The programme relies heavily on a poem to teach phonemes, which created an extra step in the child’s mind whilst reading. This is the method schools use to teach reading because they’re having to teach large groups. This is not necessary when teaching individually. It takes a bit longer, but it’s easier just to teach the phonemes without this ‘trick.’

But when I looked at EZL, I didn’t see the orthography as a problem; I figured the transition to regular font would happen much more gradually, and go virtually unnoticed by the child (as the authors claimed), but it hasn’t. So, we’re learning to read…again.

I’ll be using The Road to Reading by T.H. MacDonald, which I believe is out of print, but still available. This book is a bit old-fashioned in its method, but solid and more thorough than EZL. We’ll also be using the Modern Curriculum Press Phonics workbooks, which he enjoys. We’ll be starting right from the beginning with basic blends. This will be easy for him, but a good review and will get us used to the programme. Hopefully we will work quickly and easily through it, then just go on to reading books. I think we’ve both had enough of ‘reading lessons.’ Let’s just read.


Posted by on February 24, 2009 in Kindergarten, Learning to Read


4 responses to “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Not So Easy Lessons

  1. Lynn

    February 25, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Glad you have found a way forward that you will both be happy with, Michelle.

  2. Anonymous

    February 25, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    I had bought Teach Your Child…but ended up not using it for the reasons you mention.

    I used a little book called The Chalkboard at the Kitchen Table (or some such title) and another book that gave the reading levels for thousands?? tons of books. We read and read library books.

    I think you have to do what you have done, find what works for you and your son. Sorry you had to go through the frustration, but keep on plugging away!


  3. Mama B

    February 25, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    We skipped the silly rhymes in OPGTR and it worked well for us with my first boy. My second son I’m not sure it will work for him. He’s only 4 yet so no hurries. I’m just progressing like I did with my older son from letter names to letter sounds then we’ll see where we go. But I’m on the watch for something I think will speak to him or rather “read” to him 😀

    100 EZ drove *me* batty with the basic structure of the book. That one was a no go from the start.

    I’ve not heard of that last one “Road to Reading” I might have to keep my eye out for it and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on how it is working for you and your boy.

  4. michelle

    February 27, 2009 at 8:40 am

    I have taught 2 of my kids to read with 100 easy lessons and I don’t think we ever made it to lesson 73. My 3rd just got to around lesson 60 and petered out, too. I have not used any other program. Once we hit around lesson 50 we just start reading books. The series that has worked for us is the Now I am Reading books. Level 1 use all short vowel sounds and Level 2 uses long vowels. After we finish these we just move on to other easy readers until the child is comfortable reading on their own. I do end up going back to 100 lessons and skim through it to make sure we haven’t missed any phonemes covered in the last 50 lessons.

    I bought Ordinary Parents Guide to help my oldest because she was taking a while to transition to chapter books, so I thought she needed more phonics, but I never ended up using it. When she was ready she made the jump and reads really well as does my 8 year old. My 6 year old seemed to be struggling, but then about a month ago she just seemed to “get it” and is reading more smoothly. I imagine it will be another year before I stop having reading practice with her and she is reading on her own. Teaching a child to read just takes lots of time and patience.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: