What is Children Learning Reading?
Put down the flashcards, worksheets and books that don “sight words” because teaching your child how to read using them doesn’t actually teach them how to read at all. Instead, sight words teach a child how to recognize word shapes and configurations which is all fine and dandy… Until they run into words that have similar shapes and configurations such as hurt, hunt, bunt, punt, etc. but that sound different. Since sight words force your child to recognize shapes instead of learning the sounds of words, teaching a child how to read this way can lead to serious reading difficulties moving forward.
So, Children Learning Reading has scrapped sight words from their teaching techniques altogether. Instead, this unique online program teaches children how to read using phonetics or in other words, the different sounds of letters – not words.
To put this into perspective, there are only 44 sounds in the English language; there are over hundreds of thousands of words in the English language. Do you think it’ll be easier for children to learn 44 sounds or over 170,000 words? Of course, it’s the 44 sounds, and that’s exactly what the program does.
This unique reading technique has been scientifically proven to be a successful way to teach children – even infants how to read and how to become fast and fluent readers moving forward. It’s also an excellent program for older children who are currently struggling.
However, this program is much more than simply teaching your child the 44 words of English. It also teaches you, the parent, all about the technique and why this approach to reading is significantly more efficient and easier for children of all ages.
Who is the Author of Children Learning Reading?
This program was created by a man named Jim Yang, who is a reading specialist. He has developed this program to make use of various techniques which have been proven to be effective in child learning. He has a lot of experience with child development and he has compiled everything that he has learned over the years into this comprehensive teaching manual – in order to make things easier for parents.
How “Children Learning Reading” Works?
The creator of this system put it together to teach his own children to read. His goals were to make the lessons short enough to hold the attention span of a small child yet effective enough to teach the child to read — even at a very early age. The system has been refined through the raising of his own three children.
A basic assumption is that parents need to be involved in helping their child learn to read effectively — not TV and videos, computer programs and apps, or even the school system. For a child to effectively learn and master reading skills they need consistent attention from one or both parents. With this in mind, however, the lessons are kept short from 5 to 15 minutes a day. An additional benefit of this approach is that you will also build and improve your relationship with your child.
This system is ideally suited from children anywhere from around 2.5 years up to about 7 years of age. It can also be used with older children who are having difficulty reading.
The ultimate goal is to have your child become fluent in reading both capital and lowercase letters.
By providing background information, related research, and lesson plans you will be teaching your child the following:
- Letter names — both capital and small letters
- Letter sounds — both capital and small letters
- Combining and blending of letter sounds to read whole words
- Separating out sounds to break down a word into its separate phonemes (useful when learning to spell)
- Common words your child will likely come across that are exceptions to basic phonetic rules
- How to read — starting from small individual words, working up to sentences and eventually full children’s stories
Also include are tips on organizing your lessons, dealing with resistant learners, proper mindset and expectations, and more.
Information is presented in the following ways:
- Written booklets with background information, detailed lesson plans, and reading material (provided in pdf form)
- Videos demonstrating how to use the lessons with your children
- Audio recordings presenting how to correctly pronounce each phoneme separately as well as in a variety of example words
- Cue card printouts (provided as pdf files). These cards are formatted to be printed on business card sheets that are commonly available in office supply stores. However, regular paper can be used and cut into separate cards with scissors.
“Children Learning Reading” is a phonetic based reading system. This means that it first teaches your child the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they make. It then applies this understanding to help your child figure out words based on the sounds the letters make. The program is designed to teach the basic “code” for reading initially. Only after this has been mastered are exceptions, complications, and variations introduced.
The author chose the phonetic approach over the whole word method for many reasons which he presents within the product. I won’t go into detail about the research behind the phonetic system here and how it compares to the whole word method. However, if you are interested the author of the system does go into great detail on related studies as well as provide a full list of resources that he used to base his research on.
Mastering the foundational reading skills will allow your child to focus on understanding the topic they are reading rather than struggle with understanding the words ultimately leading to a more rewarding and enjoyable reading experience. The techniques used to help your child read have also been shown to improve their reading, comprehension, and spelling ability in the early school years.
The scientific research behind this approach is impressive and suggests it very effective. However, you are probably more interested in whether or not the author effectively used the research to create a system that will work for your child. The rest of this review is devoted to my own experience using this product to teach my 4 year old daughter to read and will hopefully give you some insight into this issue.
Quick Summary of the Children Learning Reading Program
The program is split up into two different stages, each with a separate instruction book.The first stage of the program will help your child to develop all of the important foundational skills of learning how to read fluently. It consists of 28 lessons that will help your child to understand printed text, starting with the alphabet letters and sounds and focusing on very simple words and blending.
Then, stage two of the program will advance your child even further with extra lessons so that they can improve their reading skills even more. There are 22 lessons in the second stage of the program and they will focus on teaching your child combinations of letters. The lessons will eventually progress to words, sentences, lesson stories and rhymes in order to increase your child’s reading fluency.
As promised, let’s get into the details of the two eBooks that make up this online program. Here’s a sneak peek at the topics covered:
Stage 1: Topics + 28 Reading Step-By-Step Reading Lessons
- Phonemic Awareness
- The Research Behind Phonemic Awareness
- The Importance of Blending
- Developing Early Phonemic Awareness
- Smooth Blending and Choppy Blending
- The Importance of Repeated Practice and Exposure
- Systematic Synthetic Phonics
- What is Synthetic Phonics?
- Why Synthetic Phonics?
- About Synthetic Phonics and this Program
- About Sight Words
- Letter Names and Letter Sounds
- Synthetic Phonics and The Complexities of English
- What Reading Does for the Mind
- The Matthew Effect in Reading
- Reading and Vocabulary Growth
- The Importance of Home Support for Literacy Development in Children
- Our Observations – Just Observations
- The First Steps
- How Much Time Should We Spend on Lessons?
- What if My Child Already Knows All the Letters and Sounds?
- Learning the Letter Sounds Yourself
- Keep Up with Sounding Out and Blending Practices
- Do Not Skip Lessons
- Teaching Capital and Lowercase Letters
- How to Teach Reading and Present Lessons
- Reading Left to Right
- Teaching Letters and Letter Sounds
- Teaching Words
- Font Used – Verdana
- Getting Your Child to Cooperate
- Maintaining a Routine and a Regular Schedule
- Talk to Your Child, At the SAME Level
- Praise and Encouragement
- Simple Tips and Ideas for Motivation
- The Reading Content Game
Stage 2: Topics + 22 Step-By-Step Reading Lessons
- Teaching Digraphs
- How Much Time to Spend on Lessons?
- Guided Reading and Books
- Shifting the Focus to Reading Books
- Reading Comprehension
- Decoding and Word Recognition
- Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension
Children Learning Reading teaches children of all ages how to read or how to improve their reading based on a scientifically-proven method that focuses on teaching children the sounds of words, instead of forcing them to recognize word shapes. This makes sense considering there are hundreds and thousands of English words that look similar. By teaching children the sounds of the letters, they learn to decode words based on the letters, which essentially helps them read significantly faster and more fluently. So, if you’re ready to join the 38,700 happy parents, start your child on the Children Learning Reading program.
The links contained in this product review may result in a small commission if you opt to purchase the product recommended at no additional cost to you. This goes towards supporting our research and editorial team and please know we only recommend high quality products.
Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.