My girls are four and seven (soon to be eight). One is eager to get reading, the other really loves books but has such a hard time. Being that I am an avid reader, I know the value in not just knowing how to read but also loving it. I want that for my girls desperately. We have used many different programs in the hopes of helping my older girl along and I think every one of them has offered something but we have just not found that thing that really makes it all click and stick. When I heard about Learning Dynamics, I thought it would be great to give the Learning Dynamics Reading Program a try with my younger girl. Certainly though, my older daughter was drawn in with how fun this looked!
I was so surprised when we received the program in the mail. I love how it was so perfectly packaged! And there was so much more than I expected. The program includes a Lesson Manual, Student Workbook, Music CD, Flashcards, Rewards, and over 50 books. This program is more than complete; recommended for ages three through eight. Within the Teaching Manual are 40+ lessons to use every other day, for about 15 minutes, with our child. For my girls this was the perfect amount of time for a lesson.
According to this program there are six keys to early learning:
- Teach direct phonemic awareness.
- Teach explicit letter-sound correspondence.
- Teach frequent letter-sound relationships systematically.
- Demonstrate how to sound out words with letter-sound blending.
- Use connected, decodable text to practice letter-sound relationship.
- Read interesting stories to develop language comprehension
In the very first lesson we begin with the “m” sound; connecting the sound with words they know. After a couple letters we begin to blend. Funny, I never realized after only five letters they are ready to begin blending sounds. As they move along they learn to read the words by putting the sounds together to make words. After about the eighth lesson, the words begin to turn into books. As the books become more challenging there is a list of words to sound out before reading each book; this includes a list of sight words used. At the very end of the book are questions to ask. A great and fun way to test understanding and comprehension of what is being read.
My little one (she is four) just loved this! She was thrilled to tell everyone that she could read a book all by herself. My older daughter was thrilled that she could pick up a book and read it all by herself too. Beginning very simply these books move from one simple word on a page to blending sounds and advancing in ability one book at a time. It is a wonderful progression for beginning readers.
For every letter of the alphabet there is a song and animal card that helps children remember the letter and sound. We received a music CD (you can also get these for mp3 download) of all of the songs – these are SO very catchy – I cannot tell you how many times I caught myself just singing one of these songs. 🙂
For each lesson there is a page that can be colored, a letter to trace and then write and fun activities to help review letters and sounds as they are being learned. My younger daughter really liked the workbook (I think I need to order another one too). From matching letters to pictures, circling vowels filling in the missing letter to make a word – this is such a fun way for our children to grow in their reading ability.
While I know teaching our children to read can be daunting, this is serious business, this program really does make it so easy and fun! The Teacher’s Manual walks you through every step of each lesson; there is no guesswork involved. Aside from needing some great crayons for coloring, there was no preparation needed, which always makes me smile. I am so unorganized lately and when I get a material for my kids and then see a ton of requirements that must be met to do each lesson … Am I the only one who tends to shy away from that program?
With this it is all laid out for us; we simply move forward based on the child’s progress. And it is all about mastery. There is no shame in slowing down so we can be sure that the letters and sounds being taught, really have been understood.
This is a wonderful blessing! My girls are both loving it (I think I need another student workbook) and it’s so sweet to see them enjoying these books together. Some nights I catch my older daughter reading to her little sis of the books that she has mastered. A great way for her to build her confidence and develop a stronger relationship with her sister. The ease with which she is reading since we began this program really is amazing.
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