“Of all the wondrous delights you may confer upon your child, few will match the enduring pleasure that literacy provides,” Sidney Ledson wrote in Teach Your Child to Read in Just Ten Minutes a Day. I recently picked up this book because my son has been asking me to teach him to read. He first asked me last September, but I was dragging my feet because it seems like a lot of effort. I’ve taught preliterate adults before and I know it isn’t exactly easy.
In the past, I’ve been swayed by both the whole language and the phonics perspectives, but Ledson makes a fairly compelling argument for phonics and provides an easy 32-step program based on sound-symbol correspondence. (We’re focusing on sounds and ignoring the names of the letters for now.)
Our five-year-old seems to be in need of a new challenge – something to distract him from superheroes – so the timing is right. Once he found out why I was reading Ledson’s book, there was no rest until I started teaching him. So we started on Sunday. Today I dug out our wooden blocks and reviewed yesterday’s lesson, the sounds for U and P. He can now read “up.” At least he could this morning. Ledson advises not teaching any more sounds until a child has mastered the ones that have already been introduced. We’ll review those before bed time, and tomorrow I’ll check to see if he still remembers them before moving on to the next letter in the sequence, C.
Perhaps by the end of April we’ll have mastered the first 100 words. Stay tuned.