100 Easy Lessons, Continued

OK, so you can all sit back and have a laugh at my expense now. After thinking long and hard about the comments readers left on my previous post (and lying awake all night wondering whether I’m a complete idiot or just a partial one) I took another look at Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  You see, I haven’t actually looked at it in four years, so I thought maybe I’d better do that. It turns out that I did misremember some of it. It’s not quite what I thought it was. (Yes, we really did use it. I just forgot.)

The impression that it left me with when we used it was that it was something of a phonics shortcut. After reassessing it, I still think that it’s a shortcut, and it’s definitely not a complete phonics program. However, I’m forced to admit that my last post was a little bit off. Maybe even way off. I think 100 Easy Lessons can actually be a really good quick start to reading.

I sat down with David today and had him read aloud to me. Whole pages, whole words, single syllables, nonsense words. Guess what? No problems. The child reads just as well as his mother. (Chances are he thinks better than his mother, too, but let’s not talk about that right now. I want to talk about something more comfortable, like waterboarding.)

Asking him to spell aloud yielded a few more mistakes than I would like, considering how hard we’ve worked on spelling, but he did alright with that, too. Writing? Better, actually, than it was at the beginning of the summer. Still some reversals (k is hard, but he isn’t getting b and d backwards anymore!), but I’m pleased. He hasn’t picked up a pencil since May, so I think it’s because he has matured enough to do a little bit better. This is all very encouraging!

So, I was (probably) wrong. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons works just fine, thanks.

In spite of my apparent misunderstanding of the cause of the problem, I will be continuing with basically the plan I already had. My diagnosis was wrong, but the prescription is still the same. I suspect that the only thing David needs in order to get better in spelling is still more phonics. Thankfully, I already have the spelling curriculum that I think he needs, so I don’t have to go looking for something else that will suit us. A homeschooling mom I trust once told me not to worry about spelling until 3rd grade anyway, so I may just be expecting too much.

So there you have it. Sometimes I overthink things, and sometimes I think things all wrong. That’s why I write blog posts. To help me think. What? You thought this blog was here so I could teach you something? Ha! No. I’m not one of those homeschool bloggers who actually know what they’re doing. Never claimed to be. This blog is here so you people can save me from myself, and I thank you, from the bottom of my wormy little heart, for your input. Have a happy weekend!

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  • Linda July 29, 2012, 11:24 pm

    My daughter has been a reluctant speller and writer from the beginning. I worried about it–a lot. However, we just kept plugging along, and in the last few months she has become a much better speller, and a much, much better writer. I’m not saying that your child will take as long as mine did (she is in 6th going into 7th grade), but some children just take longer. The two things that helped my daughter a lot were being a voracious reader, and playing spelling games (we like to use Vocabulary and Spelling City games because we can input our own lists).
    Be patient and stay strong, one day he will just spell well, and it will be great!
    Happy homeschooling,

  • Amber Dover July 31, 2012, 12:30 pm

    Do any homeschoolers really know what they’re doing? lol…every child is different so I think when people find one method for one kid they end up having to find another for the next kid. So don’t be so hard on yourself ;). I have just one son ( I hate to use the word “just” cause he’s plenty but moving on…). We started out with the Horizons Phonics when he was in Kindergarten but found it to be too hard. So we ended up mixing old school hooked on Phonics (tapes and all), starfall.com, and Bob books. The Bob books really helped things click but I believe the phonics set the foundation. Starfall.com is lots of fun. Also Jumpstart. We started spelling in 1st grade but after a few units it was too hard and we stopped. We’re going back to spelling for 2nd grade and so far he’s doing good (we school year round). You’re in tune with your child and that shows you’re a good & caring mom. He’s got the advantage :)…most kids don’t have a teacher that focuses so much attention on their students individual needs. Have a blessed day!

    • Cindy July 31, 2012, 1:15 pm

      By the time I’m finished, I think I’ll probably know what I’m doing. Until then…well, we pray a lot. 😉

      • Amber Dover July 31, 2012, 4:02 pm

        Amen, prayer keeps us going for sure :) And when I said my son is “plenty” I mean’t he’s worth plenty on his own. He truly is my heart and an amazing blessing. Yeah, I definitely agree with you that children are a blessing and not a burden.

        Chin up & keep chugging along, dear sister! ~Amber D.