Thoughts From Mom“We used 'Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons,'” says CC’s mother, Becca, a pleasant, energetic mother of four. “20 minutes a day was all it took. Near the end, the lessons got longer, so we divided those in half.” She pauses a moment, then adds that they supplemented these lessons with some of the “Explode the Code” workbooks, which “are very easy for kids to self-direct.” Even before CC had finished “100 Easy Lessons,” Becca tells me, she was making her way through easy readers, like the “Frog and Toad” books.
When asked if CC ever reads aloud, Becca nods. “She reads to me from her history and religion books to practice her enunciation.” Then she adds an afterthought, “And either Sam or I read to the girls. Right now we’re doing ‘Island of the Blue Dolphins.’”
At some point in our conversation, Becca remarks, “We don’t watch television very much.” It goes without saying that the girls aren’t playing games on Mom’s phone or computer.
Added BenefitsWhen I ask CC what she likes about reading, she tells me it’s fun, then says, “It’s something my hands can do and something I can do when I’m bored.” Her remark about her hands was entirely new to me, an attribute of reading I’d never before heard mentioned and the meaning of which I’m still turning over in my mind. Her comment about turning to books when bored, however, deserves some attention.
Once CC became a reader, not only did an endless garden of flowers blossom before her, but that new talent proved a help to her busy parents. She doesn’t need constant entertainment or attention; she finds it instead in books. While her mother is helping her 4-year-old sister with schoolwork, CC reads to herself. Moreover, she sometimes reads to her sister or her 2-year-old brother, freeing Mom up to deal with household chores and pay attention to the needs of the youngest, an infant girl.
Getting StartedLike many others, Becca uses the time-tested “100 Easy Lessons.” The homeschool mail-order company my wife and I once operated, Saints and Scholars, featured that book as well as other similar guides, ones we had used with our own children or that were recommended by other parents. Search online for “reading and phonics curriculum,” and you’ll find an abundance of choices and customer reviews.
Unless a child is afflicted with a reading disability like dyslexia, parents, grandparents, and guardians possess the ability to teach reading or help their youngsters with their reading lessons from school. The tools are there, and the effort, time, and cost are negligible, but the reward is a gift given for for a lifetime.