My favorite resource for teaching my children to read is The Reading Lesson by Montcastle. I used it with my oldest who is now 8.5 and my middle child who is 7. My youngest is 4.5 years old, and we are starting it with her. She loves it! It is a program that ideally takes daily practice. It is usually 1-2 pages per day, and usually it takes 5-10 minutes maximum. Daily, regular practice helps reinforce what is taught. Taking long breaks disrupts the program, although we had to do so for my middle child because of medical needs. It still worked well for him. I’ll share our experiences with reading, and in another post, I will go over how to use the program.
I started The Reading Lesson with my oldest when she was 4.5 in preschool/Pre-K homeschool. It took from September-June to complete it. As a 3rd grader now, although I have not had her reading level tested, she can read books above a 5th grade level. She has a huge love for reading and writing, and I think it all began with The Reading Lesson and our family’s love for reading and writing.
For my middle child, I started The Reading Lesson when he was 3 years, 10-months old. I started early with him because he learned the majority of English letter and corresponding sounds by the time he was 2.5 years old. During the year I spent teaching his older sister to read, he asked almost daily if he could, too (but I waited). He did great at the beginning, but that was a year when he needed a tonsillectomy and later a frenulectomy. He also had two anaphylactic reactions to peanuts, and countless colds and asthma attacks needing around the clock breathing care. We had to take a lot of unexpected breaks from The Reading Lesson, but it worked out and we completed it in about 14 months. He loves to read, too. His favorite books to read are The Boxcar Children and Magic Treehouse. I am starting to have him read the book collection I have of some “junior novelizations” of some classic stories, such as Pinnochio, The Jungle Book, and Peter Pan. His most favorite books to read are about building Legos. I try to let him balance chapter books with his Lego books about different Lego designs; he is excited about them, and I let him read them!
For my 4.5 year old, she loves to listen to books being read aloud, and she can sit with a stack of books and quietly look through them for 10-20 minutes independently, even though she cannot read them. She just loves to be like the “big kids” and flips through the pages, looking at the pictures, telling herself stories in her head from what she remembers from read aloud time, and what she makes up. She is very excited to go through The Reading Lesson. She is learning to sound out words, and is learning some sight words, too. I love how the book has stories at the end of each chapter; that really builds confidence. In the future, I will write more about how I help motivate my children throughout The Reading Lesson. I often use some of my “speech therapy” tool bag to maintain focus and success.
If you are looking for a reading program, I highly recommend this one! It’s an all-in-one program and very affordable.