This spring we reached a milestone in homeschooling: we finished our first textbook.
On Friday, April 19, 2013, Lucy finished the hundredth lesson in the book “_Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons_”:http://books.google.com/books/about/Teach_Your_Child_to_Read_in_100_Easy_Les.html?id=dPBdpGdc1A4C. There was much rejoicing on that day!
Now, let me tell you some of our backstory. We have been working on this book — on and off — for over two years. We started when Lucy was four, and after about ten lessons she decided she hated it. No problem, I thought. We’ll put it aside for a little while. We took it out again about a year ago, and it went much more smoothly. Lucy was definitely more ready to tackle phonics.
This book really is a good introduction to phonics, and it is truly easy to use (with “teacher text” written out very clearly). But there was one small problem: this book is boring. Neither of us really _enjoyed_ working on the lessons, but we were motivated by the goal — so we tried just doing a little every day. Each lesson is quite short (which is good), and most of them are accompanied by a picture (which is interesting). We developed a practice of covering up the picture and saving it as a “treat” to look at after the story had been successfully read. We also found a “hundreds chart”:http://donnayoung.org/math/100-number.htm which we used to mark off our lessons.
Slow and steady we went, taking a few weeks off here, a month off there, then renewing our resolve and getting back with the program. In March, Lucy had about 25 lessons left and she made a goal to finish before her 7th birthday. She did it! Lucy is very excited about her next project: to read 100 books and record them on a poster-sized chart.
Lucy is definitely still growing in confidence as a reader, but she seems to have all the basic tools she needs. It is a delight to watch as she spreads her reading wings a little bit, and I know it won’t be too long before she really takes off. Good job, Lucy Boyd! Way to be a reader!