We all envy them: the parents who can trot out tiny preschoolers capable of looking at the “line here” sign and reading it perfectly aloud. An ability to read early on has long been considered an indication of intelligence. Thus, most parents aspire to have children who can do it, to set their offspring apart from the rest. We all want our children to be among the few bright stars amidst the other, duller lights.
Yet the truth is that most children have this “stardom” within them.
The majority of children are capable of reading very early in life. This does not mean that there is nothing that sets apart those who actually do it (instead of merely having the capability — or better yet, potential) from those who do not.
For one thing, these are set apart from the rest in that they often achieve better grades in school. Studies have shown a fairly persistent correlation between early reading and better performance in standard educational institutions. Conversely, studies also show children who learn to read later are more likely to have lifelong reading problems in such settings.
So what allows some children to realize their potential here as opposed to letting it lie dormant? It could be many things, depending on the individual. Generally speaking, though, it is this: their environments give them the means as well as impetus (and in most cases, guidance) for the achievement.
This is where programs like Children Learning Reading may enter the picture.
What Is “Children Learning Reading”?
Children Learning Reading is a program that takes parents through the process of teaching children to read and build their literacy skills. While it is technically a program that can be used at any age, most people will probably be interested in it as a course for teaching preschoolers early reading.
The core program consists of 2 ebooks. The ebooks set out a logical system for teaching children synthetic phonics and phonemic awareness. The system uses no fewer than 50 step-by-step lessons, all designed to boost reading abilities through the foundations of the phonemic awareness reading system.
Not sure what that is? It’s worth an explanation.
The Phonic Reading System
The phonemic or phonic reading system teaches children to read by teaching them to break down words into letters linked to sounds. “Man” is broken down into the phonemes “mm”, “ah”, and “nn” — these get put together as “mm-ah-nn” — the word “man” is read.
The beauty of this method of learning to read, of course, is that the formula can be used on most words. The child no longer needs to memorize whole word sounds: he only needs to remember the phonemes or individual letter-sound associations. He can also make quick inferences based on prior experience in applying the formula.
Consider this, for example. The child knows “man” is read “mm-ah-nn”. When he encounters “can”, he can more readily read it as “kh-ah-nn”; the same with the words “ran”, “van”, and “tan”. He can infer that they sound similar because he has encountered this particular phoneme combination before.
This is how Children Learning Reading works. It shows you how to help your child familiarize himself with the individual sounds of the written word — the phonemes, in other words — and how to put them together. It does that in lessons that take only 10 to 15 minutes a day.
Do they sound short? You will actually find them just right. The sad truth is that most kids cannot stay interested in one thing for long periods of time… and this includes the intelligent and patient ones. My own little girl is an angel, but she still got antsy when I tried another method that called for half-hour lessons. A quarter of an hour at most is really the way to go.
Children Learning Reading is fortunately done in a way that will likely appeal to most kids. Unlike many of the older (and purist) phonic reading programs, it does most of its lessons via stories and rhymes. Many of these come with colorful graphics that you can display on your tablet or computer during the lesson — something that will surely appeal to kids now as traditional books’ vivid illustrations have long appealed to young ones.
Besides the core ebooks, the program actually packs a few other resources for parents in the (digital) box:
- Two Lesson Stories e-books – These include tales with illustrations that cover a good range of reading levels, so you can match your teaching material to your kid’s progress.
- Phoneme Sounds: How to Properly Sound Out the Alphabet – This is a digital audio resource for teaching children the basic phonemes of the English language. It contains a library of MP3s (audio clips) of the phonemes.
- The Most Common Sight Words – Every reading system needs to acknowledge the sight words, or the words that have to be memorized and recognized on sight because their spelling defies normal phonemic construction. This is a good library of them.
- Children’s Favorite Nursery Rhymes – This is a collection of classics that are great for phoneme instruction, including ones like My Son John, Baa Baa Black Sheep, and so on.
In addition to these, owners of the course also get free lifetime updates, free one-on-one email counseling for 12 weeks after purchase and a 100% 60-day money back guarantee.
Is It Worth Your While?
There are, of course, ways to teach your child to read early on using the phonic system without using this program. However, you would still have to do quite a bit of research, organization and the like to compose a similar course on your own.
Children Learning Reading spares you the trouble, outlining the lessons as well as providing the reading material and instructions for your teaching. That is the sort of convenience a lot of parents will appreciate, especially if they do not have time to build their own lesson plans (or test them for efficacy, for that matter!).
This course works well — my daughter is already on her 26th lesson on it and is picking up books we have sitting around herself. It is easy to use, easy to access (it is downloadable after purchase) and pretty easy on the pocket, too. I recommend it to those who want to start toddlers and younger kids reading (you can teach your baby to read with this thing!), in particular, although I’m sure those with older kids will get some use out of it as well.