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. 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 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!