Cake
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    • I tend to get passionate about things that I really like. And this is a book I am extremely passionate about:

      There are lots of books out there about teaching reading, some of them even with the same title.

      But this is the real deal. I found this book when I was in need of help with my first child. Our work situation made preschool impossible. I loved teaching my children myself anyway and enjoyed using pattern and number blocks and other tools. But I did not like the normal beginning reading books. This was before the Internet so information was harder to come by. But it just so happened the bookstore I was in had this book and it caught my attention. I needed something simple, without flash cards or daily preparation. As I looked through it I was delighted. All I needed to do was to pick it up and sit with my child to go through it lesson by lesson. The only prerequisite was the child needed to know the alphabet letters really well before we began the book, both lower case and upper case. Kids were taught at various ages, some as young as 3, depending on when they were ready.

      But I think if you have a child who is already in school (early grades) and having difficulty with reading it might even be helpful in that instance as well.

      Although part of every lesson included some writing I skipped that part totally, as I was teaching children young enough that the hand eye coordination would be too frustrating.

      That was my beginning.

      This book is interesting, fun, and offers immediate rewards. It worked so well with my children that my grandchildren were also taught with it. (Revealing my age here, yikes!)

      Right away the child feels successful. And you can go at the right pace for the child. Some kids dash through each lesson effortlessly. Others are slower and might need to repeat lessons. 100 lessons might seem intimidating. But you can skip days as needed. And the results are amazing. By the end of the book all of the children could read at least at a 2nd grade level. They jumped right into chapter books effortlessly. All of them have excelled in reading since. It is usually the subject in school that they get the highest grades in and they all love reading. Be prepared to go to the library often or sign up for online book subscriptions.

      Another huge benefit is that you are spending true quality time with the child, whether your own child or in my case, even your grandchild.

    • I am volunteering in my grandson’s first grade each week this year. I sit and listen to 6 year olds read to me. It is quite interesting to see how much difference there is between kids’ abilities. I am also very impressed with their teacher’s patience and total commitment to teach them how to read and write. There are a couple of kids who are clearly having decoding issues, and that is where the public schools have a hard time meeting the needs of the individual. I worry about these two kids because I can already see the fear in their eyes when I call their names to come out in the hall to read to me, and I’m about as non-threatening as one can be. I have talked to the teacher and encouraged her to get these two kids extra help. She confirmed my suspicions and said she had already requested special services for them on several occasions.

      I spent a year teaching fifth grade, and I had kids in my class who were already way behind because they could not read at grade level. They were so frustrated—they had not given up on themselves yet, but they would in a year or two when they got into middle school. They were being pulled out for extra help, but that meant they missed other curricula, and they were always treated “less than” by other kids. Public school can be absolutely brutal that way.

      Thanks for recommending this resource!

    • I cannot say enough great things about this book. And since this is a no preparation or training required book it might worth considering recommending to the parents of these kids. Either a parent or a child caregiver could spend the 20 minutes or so each day to help the ones who need it. Once they see the child start to grow in confidence it will all be worth it and they will be motivated to continue.

    • Some kids come to kindergarten having read hundreds of books with their parent or parents, other kids come not having read any. That's the basis for most of the difference between kids. Certainly their are other learning challenges as you've mentioned.

    • I agree that reading can really make a difference. In in our area we have a thriving program where volunteer dogs spend time with children learning to read. The child has a listening but non-judgemental ear. The act of reading aloud to a listener (even if it is a dog) seems to really encourage them to keep reading.