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We all want our children to read. With great pride we watch our children learn the alphabet and sing the ABC song. We buy picture books and read to them every night. When she can recognize a particular word or he can write his name, we are thrilled. But this is still far from reading the way we understand it. We try to teach reading, but often do not know where to start. So easy for us, reading seems so difficult and confusing to teach.
We found ourselves in this situation when our daughter was four years old. She learned the alphabet, and we were waiting for her to start reading some simple words. We sent for several commercial reading programs, the same ones you often hear advertised on the radio. What we got back was a slew of cassette tapes and flash cards. Our daughter would not sit and listen to the tapes, and the flash cards were all over the house. We also bought software programs for learning to read and found them too shallow and haphazard. Disappointed, we began to make our own simple exercises and stories for her to read. We read books on reading instruction for children, researched academic material, talked to parents and teachers, and began to develop a simple daily reading program. Michael's understanding of child psychology and development, and my desire for a simple, easy-to-follow method, led to the program you hold in your hands.
We have created the Reading Lesson for parents who want to teach their children to read and for instructors teaching basic reading skills to children. The program is suitable for both home schooling and classroom use. It is structured, clear and simple but it does require direct involvement of the parent or a teacher, which we believe is a key element in learning to read.
The Reading Lesson is designed for any child who shows interest in books and reading. Some unique features of this course also make it useful for older children with reading difficulties. What makes this program special The Reading Lesson offers an easy-to-follow recipe for teaching children to read. It takes a child with no reading skills to about the second grade level in reading. Never-too-hard and never-too-easy, step-by-step the lessons teach phonics and build the sight vocabulary. We begin the lessons with three to four sounds and introduce sight words as we go along. Word recognition skills develop through the use of key words. Once these key words are learned using Phonics, we encourage the child to read them as sight words to gain fluency. Certain words such as you and do are difficult to explain using the phonic principles. These and other non-phonic key words are presented as sight words. The Reading Lesson uses a controlled vocabulary of developmentally appropriate words. The vocabulary of the program closely corresponds to the 500 most commonly used words in English. We use many of these words as key words. The Reading Lesson does not follow the alphabet. Instead, we begin by teaching the most common letters in the English language. That way, the child can begin reading words and simple stories from the very first lesson. There are no boring drills. All reading is context oriented. You will hear your child say, "Look, I can read!" after the very first lesson. Happiness is knowing that you are making it possible. The Reading Lesson uses only lower-case letters in the first ten lessons of the course. Often young children do not know the lower-case letters well. Realizing that ninety-five percent of all letters in print are lower-case letters, this is where we start. Upper-case letters are introduced later in the program. For children who know the capital letters of the alphabet, the transition from the lower-case to the upper-case letters is easy. The Reading Lesson uses special typography. The letters are large in the early lessons and get smaller as we progress. The words are spaced far apart, and page clutter is kept to a minimum. We use special symbols to help the child learn the complex and irregular rules of English pronunciation. Children often confuse certain letters, such as b and d. There are special marks to help the child distinguish these two letters. The Reading Lesson is designed for children ages 4 to 8. Since most children in this age group cannot follow if-then rules, or rules such as i before e except after c, we have kept all rules to a bare minimum. Your child will learn these rules in due course as part of the school curriculum. We do not even teach the difference between vowels and consonants. As you will see, your child can learn to read just as well without knowing any of these rules.
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How to do the lessons There are twenty lessons in this book. Each lesson will take about two weeks to complete. Before starting a lesson, we suggest that you read the instructions for that lesson. Take a moment to practice how to say the sounds. Each letter is paired with a picture.
You need to be consistent in how you sound out the letters. However, a word of caution is needed: no two children or even adults will say a sound in exactly the same way. Regional accents and children's relatively weak auditory and articulation skills account for the variations. In the classroom this fact is particularly obvious. It is impossible to make all children say a sound in the same way. Encourage your child to make the closest possible sound to the one suggested in the lesson but allow some leeway. Blending sounds and reading new words is what counts. Learning phonics is an important, however, an intermediate step. So do not insist on absolute accuracy in sounding out the individual letters if it is difficult for your child.
You may consider purchasing the Reading Lesson CD-ROMs. Through animation and simple games, these multimedia companions will make learning to read fun. For very young children, we suggest, the Sounds of Letters DVD, another good way to teach phonics.
For many young readers (including children who are familiar with the alphabet), the letters in words seem to melt together. The instructions in Lesson One show how to blend the sounds. The bars under each sound unit will help your child to identify and separate the letters she already knows. These bars are there as guides and are used to blend the sounds into words. This process is called sounding out. At first, blending is difficult for most children. You will need to help the child but he will get better at it with practice.
Each lesson consists of words, exercises and short stories. When reading the words, ask the child to tell you what the word means. Before you read the story, read the title and talk a little bit about the content of the story. Your child may also enjoy these stories on our animated StoryBook CD-ROM.
Approximately 300 key words form the basis of reading skills in this course. Each lesson introduces a set of key words. Your child should learn them well before you proceed to the next lesson. These words are used in later lessons. How fast should you go The length and the pace of the daily lessons will vary with the child's age and abilities. We suggest the following schedule: For children under five, one page per day For children between five and six, two to three pages per day For children over six, three or more pages per day
Children have a very short attention span. Try to keep each lesson under fifteen minutes and spend no more than five to seven minutes per page. If your child is young, don't rush. Work at a leisurely and comfortable pace. Remember: you have plenty of time to complete the course and, if necessary, to go back and repeat the course before your child starts reading instruction in school.
We do not suggest that you try to teach a child under the age of three to read. Contrary to some books that suggest that you can teach infants to read, there is no proof that such a thing is possible. Children need certain developmental skills before they can read. Flashing cards with letters and words at a baby is a fun thing to do and makes us feel like good parents, but it does not work.
If your child is reluctant to do the lessons, you may be going too fast. Slow down the pace. Always try to stop the lesson just before the child gets bored. If your child is having real trouble staying on task and learning the material of the first lessons, he may not be ready for this program. Put it aside for the time being and try again in a few months.
In every lesson, there are individual sentences as well as little stories. Most children prefer to read only the stories. They are happy to show-off, and love to be praised when they do it right. The sentences, although they contain words from the stories, present somewhat greater reading difficulty because the child cannot guess the words from the context. Stories make guessing easier. Children need to develop both of these types of reading abilities, so we advise not to skip the sentences just because the child does not want to do them.
Children learn to read faster and more easily if they learn to write letters and words at the same time. Our brain receives direct messages from the movement of our finger joints and remembers the shape of each letter. Through writing exercises, a connection between sound and letter is made. We highly recommend the Writing Lesson CD-ROM which has printable pages for daily practice to learn complementary hand writing skills.About the Author:
Charan Langton and Michael Levin are a married couple. Michael is a physician specializing is learning and behavioral disorders of children. Charan is an Engineer.
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Book Description Mountcastle Company, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0913063118
Book Description Mountcastle Company, 2001. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0913063118