This review will be continuously updated as we progress through the 100 lessons. I will make a new update every 20 lessons.
Son's Age: 5 1/2
Ability to read at start: Knew ABCs and most of the phonics. Had never read words on his own.
As the parent (or instructor), please take time to truly read the introductory pages. They go over why this method works and how long it took them to achieve success with all the children they tested this book's method on. It took years of revisions of the method until they reached the one used in this book. It gives very specific instructions on how to teach, the tone to use, how to correct mistakes, pronunciation, etc. Success hinges on the parent's ability to teach correctly. If we don't put in the effort, it will fail. PERIOD.
Lessons 1-20: Let me start by being perfectly honest with you. The first 5 lessons were tortuous for both me and my 5 year old son. He does not like to sit still, he does not like to repeat things over and over again, and it was extremely confusing for both him and myself as we began this book. I was still getting used to the teaching aspect, and he was getting used to the sitting still and repeating sounds over and over and over again. I nearly gave up after the first 5 days. You may want to as well. PERSEVERE!
We pushed on, and I adjusted my attitude from one of impatience to one of encouragement. I put excitement in my voice. I offered incentive (more on that later) for completing a week's worth of lessons. We kept at it.
Around Lesson 8, something changed in my son. He caught on. A switch flipped in his little mind and he began putting the pieces together about slowly sounding out the letters without pausing...and noticing how he was suddenly READING A WORD! He was stunned. I was stunned. The method works, everyone. It is monotonous and repetitive, but it works. Sounding out the words without pauses between each letter is brilliant. The dot method used in this book is brilliant. He uses his fingers to move to each new dot and sound and it keeps his mind on track.
This book has no frills. It looks boring and nothing like we'd think to buy for a small child. There are no colors or brilliant pictures. But it keeps their minds focused on the words and letters.
This book is very quick. You can knock out lessons in 10-15 minutes once you've gotten the hang of them. We do them in carline as we wait to pick up his older sister from school.
We're on Lesson 20, currently. My son has gone from not being able to read ANY words, to reading MANY words (2-4 letters) with ease.
I've added on BOB Books after each lesson, and they are the perfect addition to these lessons. He has BLAZED through 2 boxes of BOB Books, and has begun picking them up and reading them on his own. I AM STUNNED.
IT WORKS. Don't give up in the beginning because it is hard and frustrating, but I PROMISE, if you're doing your job and find a way to keep your child engaged (ENCOURAGE ENCOURAGE ENCOURAGE!)...they'll soon be so proud of what they can do! Updates on further lessons and progress to come!
We are now up to Lesson 47. There have been many days where my son is doing so well and enjoying his progress so much that we do an additional lesson that day. I must say that this is truly shaping up to be the best book I could have ever bought for my son. I am stunned at the progress he is making!
He knows the sounds well and can say them quickly without thinking. He is remembering old words and is able to quickly sound out new words due to his knowledge of the letter sounds. The orography used in the book is ingenious for helping little ones remember the different sounds some letters make.
The lessons are all basically the same, but as the child progresses, they start to teach newer techniques such as "READING THE FAST WAY". Admittedly, we stumbled at first. It's a tricky thing to teach a young child to sound it out IN THEIR HEADS, and when the know the word, just say it fast. It took one or two days of frustration before he caught on....and now it's no problem! If you think about it, that's reading. We say the words in our head. This book just adds the step of having them say it out loud, too!
Something I had thought about is addressed in the book as well. Some words are always said differently than how we sound them out. Words such as 'SAID' 'TO' 'OF'. The book teaches the child to sound it out first (as they always should)...but to then explain that it's a funny word that is spoken differently. There's honestly no other way to teach this to a child other than some words in the English language are just weird, lol!
I'm impressed and very encouraged at my 5 year old's progress. New update around lesson 70!
- Paperback: 395 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (1 June 1986)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671631985
- ISBN-13: 978-0671631987
- Product Dimensions:: 21.3 x 2.3 x 27.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 939 g
- Customer reviews: 3,325 customer ratings
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: 6,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)