The answer is a resounding YES! Naomi has always loved books. Since she was two she's been asking me how to spell this word or that word. She loves everything about reading, only she couldn't read. My sister-in-law taught her kids to read using the book Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons and recommended the book to us so we got ourselves a copy. I had it for about 8 months before having the courage to try it out. I am so glad I did!
I know most of you haven't heard of this book so here is a little background info. The program is called Distar, which is unlike the way most students are taught in public schools. Distar has been involved in more than a dozen comparative studies. The results show that children taught with Distar outperform their peers who recieve instruction in other programs. The results hold for one, two, three and four years after instruction (that is impressive). The program in this book has been streamlined and modified for home use. The book claims that the program is appropriate for bright three and a half year olds, average four and five year olds as well as anyone who has not learned to read. Let me just say that I am a TRUE BELIEVER! The best part is that it is so easy! The lessons are completely written out for you and take between 12 and 20 minutes depending on how well your child can hold their attention (it takes us 20 minutes). They recommend that you follow it word for word. You just read the words in red out loud. That easy. And by the 100th lesson your kid will be reading at a second grade level. We are on lesson 34 and Naomi can read quite a lot. She is moving from sounding out words to "reading them the fast way" which is pretty cool to see.
The lessons also teach your child how to write. This was where I was hesitant about Naomi being able to do the program. After the first lesson I nearly quit because she is SO FAR from being able to write a letter (other than "O") on a piece of paper. Thankfully I had these write and wipe cards around that I've been using as a substitute. She does these very well and is learning the concept. I highly recommend them if you try this program with a kid that isn't able to write letters yet.
Like I said, we are only on lesson 34 so I'll have to let you know if we continue to love the program as much as we do now but as of now I am super impressed.
Have you had experience teaching young kids to read? What method worked for you? For all of you teachers out there, what do you think of this program? Have you even heard of it?