Helping our kids become readers is exciting, but the education marketplace is so full of literacy resources it can be hard to know where to begin. Keeping things simple is the key, and curriculum writer Valerie Bendt understands this. A homeschooler herself, Bendt has written Reading Made Easy specifically with home educators in mind.
Bendt wants kids to fall in love with reading; she is not an advocate of drills and uninspiring primers. Instead, she recommends using materials that motivate and provide an impetus to learn more. As an example, she shares that her own daughter enjoyed reading the Little House on the Prairie series, and so these books became a focal point of her reading lessons.
Reading Made Easy features a 500-page guidebook and four activity workbooks. The guidebook is both a parent/teacher manual and a student text. Different phonetic concepts are illustrated with varied typeface. Although at first glance this may be confusing, it is a far more streamlined approach than other guides of this kind, and children are likely to find it helpful once they get the hang of it. As the lessons advance, these print clues disappear. Each workbook contains tracing, copying, and writing activities.
The appendix contains reproducible pages for making games and activities, which is helpful since having fun is an essential element of any learning plan for young children. Also provided in the appendix are a pronunciation key, additional phonics rules, a list of recommended read aloud books, and a list of early readers. Very little preparation time is required of the parent. Lessons include scripts for the parent so whether you have taught reading before or not, the information you need is in comprehensive detail.
Content of the book is secular until Lesson 97 when the story of Gideon appears. Secular homeschoolers may be uncomfortable with this section of the program as its story and lessons contain religious references.
Reading Made Easy is divided into108 lessons, and the publisher recommends families cover the manual in 36 weeks. This curriculum is for learners in Kindergarten to 1st grade. Both of the workbooks and the guide come in print and digital formats and are available for purchase online.
Whether you choose this reading program or another, keep things simple and fun, and enjoy the wonderful adventure ahead!
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