Early childhood education has always been extremely important to me. During and after college I taught 4 year olds at an academic preschool. I was also a teacher and therapist for children with autism. I knew even before I had children that I didn’t want to leave the teaching of my children entirely up to the public school system.
I began teaching my first son letter and sound recognition when he was just two years old. Once he’d mastered several letters I began to teach him blending and simple words using a highly effective phonics program developed at the preschool I’d worked at. He caught on at average speed, and was reading simple books by the time he entered kindergarten.
I have not been quite as proactive with Little Brother. Thanks so some great apps on my iPhone and iPad, however, he learned his letters and sounds without very little teaching on my part. It was at this very point in Little Brother’s reading progression when Jim, the creator of the Children Learning Reading program, emailed me and asked if I would review his program.
Like I said before, I’ve taught my son and many other children to read using a phonics program I have a very high opinion of. I am not a fan of the way most (not all) schools teach children to read. Knowing this, I want to tell you that I was impressed when I read the description of the Teaching Children to Read program:
The Children Learning Reading program is designed for parents with young children between the ages of 2 to 6 years old. It is designed to teach toddlers and small children to read effectively…If your child has learned to speak, then you can use this program to teach your child to read.
The central goal of the Children Learning Reading program is to help your child learn to decode printed text quickly and learn to read fluently through the critical process of developing phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is arguably one of the most important aspects of learning to read, and becoming a fluent reader…Jim & Elena’s Children Learning Reading program is an extremely simple, straight forward, and step-by-step program. Their program includes simple exercises and practices starting with the very first lessons that work to help your child develop phonemic awareness, and learn to read. Clinical studies, and even the National Reading Panel has stated that helping children develop phonemic awareness is one of the most effective ways to teach children to read.
The program itself is simple enough for parents who have absolutely no experience educating children. It is also designed to avoid frustration and burn out for the child. At the beginning of the program lessons are about 2-5 minutes long. Once your child has mastered the basic concepts of reading the lessons very gradually increase in length.
The program itself is laid out in a very logical progression. Introducing, first, letters and sounds, followed by short vowel words, diagraphs, silent e, etc. Simple, easy to sound out stories and rhymes are included in the program to give children a chance to practice what they learn.
The program also includes mp3 audio clips of many of the sounds introduced. You would not believe how many preschool children I taught pronounced letters like L, P, C incorrectly, saying “L-uh”, “P-uh”, “C-uh”. Proper pronunciation of letters makes sounding out words much easier!
When I started Little Brother on this program he knew about 75% of his letters and sounds already. Because of that we were able to combine several lessons into just a few. After learning and reviewing his letters and sound for a week and a half using lessons from the Children Learning Reading program, I introduced a few three letter words.
Here is a video of him reading on the first day we started reading words. The was his first time seeing the words he is sounding out.
The program is available in PDF format which makes it easy to print out parent teaching pages and reading pages for your child. And priced at just $49.95 it is a very affordable program. The other reading program I have (which takes a very similar approach to teaching) retails for $200.
The only thing I think could be improved upon is the parent sections. ’They are too long, and at times are a bit to academic for the average parent. At times I felt like I was reading a research paper, and I found myself trying to skim to the parts that would tell me how and what to teach my child. This, however, is simply a personal preference and doesn’t have anything to do with the effectiveness of the program.
Overall, I think the Children Learning Reading program is an affordable, effective, and easy to follow program (for both parent and child). I’d highly recommend this program to any parent looking for an effective way to teach their toddler or child to read!
You can visit the Children Learning Reading website to learn more about the program here.
Disclosure: I was provided with the above-mentioned product, at no cost to myself, for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and are entirely my own. This post contains affiliate links.