I have used the book Teach Your Child to Read in a 100 Easy Lessons successfully with most of our seven children. I really love that it is scripted. In other words, it tells mom exactly what to say and what to ask the child to repeat.
However, this is not the only way to teach reading, some moms and/or children respond better to a different presentation. Another fantastic scripted program, I wish I had when my children were little, is All About Reading . A multi-sensory program this would have been perfect for my kinesthetic learner as well as my auditory learner. It is a pick up and go program with a gentle approach that achieves success quickly and easily.
Also highly recommended, is the Little Angel Reader Phonics Program, this lovely program has the added bonus of being a Catholic program with readers and workbooks which reinforce and teach basic phonics. In addition I have used the series, Explode the Code, as it too has beginner lessons to give focus on sounds and blends that need some extra help or a different presentation of the basic letters and sounds.
All of these programs introduce your child to the concept that symbols represent sounds, and that when the symbols are placed next to each other and blended, the new, blended sound forms a word. The next step would be to introduce the concept of writing these sound-symbols together or in other words, begin a spelling program. We highly recommend the new All About Spelling Program.
The entire process of reading and spelling varies in time and method, and can be individualized for each child in your family. My best recommendation is to watch for reading readiness in your little child. When you begin to see your child follow along with you while you are reading to them, and you see them begin to make out the sounds, either by themselves or in imitation of you, it is a good sign they are ready.
Move at your child’s pace. Try to keep these sessions short, fun, pleasant and full of praise. A sure sign of moving too fast is when they get easily agitated or downright resistant to these sessions. That’s when it’s a good time to close the book and move back to reading aloud, cuddled up next to mommy.
All of our children have learned to read at a variety of ages, some as early as five years old, and some closer to nine years old. But all of them, I am most happy to report, by having had the luxury of moving at their natural pace, have a true love of reading.
After all, a true love of reading and a real sense of reading success is a gift of lifetime of learning!