Sunday, July 29, 2007

Learning to read...

is the work on my youngest son's desk. At the beginning of the summer I told him "our" goals. He was less than impressed, and I was weak in the knees scared.

After making myself into an oversalted pretzel of the highest twist while trying to cull through the plethora of phonics curriculum courses, books, word cards, magnetic letters, and sound boards. Whew! I finally decided on Jessie Wise and Susan Buffington's bookThe Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. Anything that uses my name in the title, "ordinary parent," seemed to be a sure win. Once I had the chance to look through the book and see its sequential course of lessons, my name became "owner" of Ordinary Parent's.

But buying the book and actually convincing the child for which the book is intended that this is a blessed union of great happiness is another story I'm sure someone has written and is selling at a homeschool fair.

Shoring myself up with the purpose and encouragement of teaching a child to read so that he might one day read his own Bible, write his own thoughts, and communicate as an intelligent man set me to the task.

I'm thrilled to report that the task has actually been an encouraging and enjoyable one. The Chairman has taken to reading like a boy to mud, a horse to hay and a mom to Starbucks. A favorite moment in the last month was when I asked him to go get his phonics cards and book for our lesson. He ran out of the room only to quickly pop back in and say, "Mommy, I love phonics. It's my favorite!"

Whew! Chalk a big one up to "ordinary parents." The phonics cards quickly progressed to word cards and now to forming sentences and reading short stories. He asks to do this lesson first, as well as asks to read stories to me. I'm extremely thankful for the blessing this program has been for us. I know there are other programs available that can provide like results, but I chose this one after research and personal recommendation.

Now, if I can teach him how to exegete Scripture....there's still time!


  1. I used that guide to teach my son to read, and it worked very well. He really had fun with it. We bought the magnetic board and letter tiles to go with it, too. I think the board and letters are one of the best purchases I've ever made for homeschooling.

  2. When we took our oldest homeschooled daughter out of public school, she already knew how to read so I didn't get to teach her that. When our next three (all very close in age & grade levels) were ready to learn to read, I was just about as horrified at my lack of "teach kids to read" skills as you can get. As it turned out, their phonics cards & lessons were THE most helpful things we used, and I'm delighted to say teaching them to read wasn't nearly as spooky as I thought it would be. They're all checking out books from the church library now, almost every Sunday after church and reading them before the week is up.

    This fall, I get to do it all over again with my youngest who enters kindergarten. I'm actually looking forward to it now.
    Phonics cards are amazing.

  3. Teaching Sam to read is one of the most enduring blessings of my life.

    I still get a thrill every once in a while when I see him deeply engrossed in a big, thick book.

  4. What a huge blessing--an eager reader! :-)

    We have one eager reader (our oldest) and one reluctant reader (our youngest)--both due to their transition from Russian to English. I've checked that book out of our local library a number of times to use with our youngest. IMHO it presents the most "logical" and painless method. Overall, I've been pleased with just about all of the Wise/Bauer materials.

  5. I do so enjoy your style! Blessings on you and your little reader!

  6. As we start our homeschool journey (next week!), both my kids are already reading. We're starting First Language Lessons (same authors) and I hope to be as thrilled with it as you've been with OPG! I've said many times, watching the world of reading open up to my kids has been one of the most thrilling moments of being a mom. :)

  7. We used the OPG to Reading last year with my oldest and will start my son on it this year. I am VERY pleased with the book's progression - it doesn't move so fast through concepts that they are not grasped but moves quickly enough that we see progress soon after begining. can get away without using the phonics cards, and there is no prep time required.
    I expected long term rewards from homeschooling, teaching my daughter to read brought immediate rewards I hadn't counted on. I hope you enjoy using this resource as much as I have!