Teach Your Child


There are only two safe ways to ensure that your child will read well:

  1. You must find some competent person to teach your child.
  2. Or you must teach your child yourself.

#1 can be expensive and you may face the same problem that you have with the schools, since the tutor you hire might be using the same methods that are producing our national literacy disaster (a lot of tutors are school teachers). Determining whether a given tutor is competent might be beyond your ability.

Fortunately there is an alternative that requires only an investment of your own time: you can teach your own child how to read. Unfortunately you have probably been raised with the idea that only licensed teachers are competent to teach children.

So let’s think about this. If licensed teachers are so competent, why does the U.S. Department of Education say that your child has a 63% chance of being functionally illiterate after attending public school for 13+ years? Worse yet, the “achievement gap” suggests that the public-school literacy failure rate for all students is closer to 80% (because more affluent parents find outside remediation). How then are licensed teachers needed to teach children to read? In fact, how can we say that they are even qualified to teach children to read? Or to put it another way, how could you possibly do worse?

The most successful reading curriculum ever tested in a major educational study is Reading Mastery, which was the clear winner of the U.S. Department of Education’s Project Follow Through research. Reading Mastery is part of a larger curriculum called “Direct Instruction.” Direct Instruction was not just the winner, it simply demolished all of the competition.

Not surprisingly, Reading Mastery is a phonics-intensive curriculum. Also not surprisingly, the public schools actively ignored the results of this study and are still ignoring it today, instead preferring failed feel-good alternatives.

There is a do-it-yourself version of Reading Mastery that is designed for home use by parents. It is used widely and successfully by thousands of home-schoolers. It's called “Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons” and it costs less than $15. You don’t need to be a home-schooler to use it; you can teach your kids after school. It has been around for decades and is still a best-seller. One of the reasons that it works incredibly well is that the parent doesn't need to be a proficient reader. The book uses a small, simple set of instructional patterns that allows almost anyone to teach a child to read phonetically.

I know that Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons can be used successfully by parents who are poor readers because my wife is one. She had the same disastrous reading program in her schools that I did, but unlike me she didn't have parents who taught her how to read phonetically. Despite her inability to read phonetically herself, she was able to produce two fully competent phonetic readers (our daughters) using Teach Your Child How To Read.

You can teach your own children to read. My mother did it for me. My wife did it for our daughters. My after-school reading program did it for hundreds of students. None of us “teachers” had a teaching degree. And you don’t need one either.