Monday, March 11, 2013

The Reading Lesson Review

GENERAL INFORMATION: The Reading Lesson – Teach your child to read in 20 easy lessons by Michael Levin, M.D. and Charan Langston, M.S.. This curriculum can be purchased on, and Barnes and Noble for typically under $20. This curriculum also has other items that can be added in order to make it more than just a reading curriculum! The additional separate components also include smaller parent books for different age levels that feature verbal math lessons, that is, step-by-step math without using pencil or paper. The Sounds of Letters DVD also teaches your child how letters of the alphabet sound, and there are also CD-ROMs with stories for your child to read (parent directed NOT a game format). But this curriculum doesn’t just meet the needs of your beginning reader. They also have a book titled Big Words for Little Kids (ages 8-11) which is geared for parents to teach their children how to identify and separate words into their roots, various prefixes and suffixes in order to help them learn the meanings of unknown words. Although I have not had the opportunity to use this Big Words book with my older elementary student yet, I am looking forward to it and am sure that it will prove to be a valuable resource.
For the purposes of this review I will only be referring to the Reading Lesson book and the Verbal Math Lesson Level One for ages 4-7. Mental math seems to be a lost art. With the exponential growth of technology and gadgets, it seems as though very little if any instruction is focused on learning to process mathematics in a mental way, sans pencil and paper. I was pleasantly surprised to find a verbal math book geared towards early learners (4-7). I really enjoyed how this verbal math book utilizes language to hone mental math skills at an early age, making the connection from concrete to verbal. Sure, mathematical rules are taught, but moreover, what is also reinforced is essentially the mental wrestling with basic math in the form of oral word problems from basic to more complex. At such an early age, I see this as a great benefit for all learners, actively engaging them in critical thinking. For those who are more verbally inclined, this is a fantastic way to reinforce learning in an outside of the box way.

The Reading Lesson book was different than anything we had tried before. Beginning with the alphabet and the sounds, putting those sounds together, and reading words, it is also uniquely different in that it specifically and gradually introduces punctuation as well. Such as, what do commas, question marks and periods look like at what do readers do when they see them? Each lesson can be done at your own pace, and is prefaced with helpful notes for the teacher as to what will be taught, warnings of possible problem areas for your learner as well as encouragement to take your time.

I have tried several other reading programs with my children over the years, and this one is definitely worth looking into. Others have been dogmatic and not very visually appealing in their approach but here the cute drawings, clear and uncluttered pages, as well as concise teacher directions make this one different from most. While the book itself contains “stories” we really did miss with this curriculum was the ability to hold books and turn the pages of pint sized books. There are many additional resources that are available on CD-ROM, yet the one thing that we treasure is the joy of holding actual books in our hands from which to read. However, each family is different and this curriculum just might suit your family’s needs perfectly!


Tara is a married home schooling mom of 2 who enjoys spending time with family and friends, serving in her church and passionately pursuing adoption. She has resisted the urge to blog for years now, but fears she may be losing the battle.

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