Reading Made Easy is an easy-to-follow manual for teaching reading written by seasoned teacher Valerie Bendt. It includes 108 fully-scripted lessons that each take about 30 minutes to complete. The author recommends covering 3 lessons each week, with review between lessons. This plan will allow a child to finish this phonics program in a typical school year consisting of 36 weeks. However, the author firmly emphasizes the necessity of pacing the program as needed to help your child be successful.
Original stories and poems are provided as reading material as you progress through the manual. Symbols are used to designate various sounds, such as short and long vowels and silent letters. Sight words are introduced at an earlier level than in other reading programs, allowing the child to read more interesting passages.
Introduction to the use of capital letters, periods, commas, questions marks, quotation marks, and exclamation marks are also woven into the lessons with ease. The child watches the teacher copy a sentence from the story onto index cards, writing one word per card. The teacher points out capitalization, punctuation, and phonics clues and then mixes the cards up. The student then puts the words back in the correct order and copies the sentence. The copywork is optional for students who might not be ready for a lot of handwriting. In this way, without placing a heavy emphasis on grammar, the child is introduced to more advanced concepts in a very natural and easy fashion.
Some lessons incorporate simple games like “Sight Word Bingo” and “Sight Word Worms.” In other lessons, simple drawings are included that relate to the story. Children are encouraged to trace or draw their own picture from the model and write or dictate a sentence about the picture. Gradually, children are directed to “write” their own stories (by dictating them to the parent) and to practice reading these stories.
Reading Made Easy concludes with Valerie Bendt’s, twelve-chapter short story, “Gideon’s Gift.” This heartfelt story emphasizes the joy of reading and writing, while stressing finding our God-given gifts and giving God the glory in all situations. Each chapter’s suspenseful conclusion urges the child on to the next lesson. This beautifully written account exposes the child to vocabulary not normally used in today’s books for children. Cathy Pierce – Children’s Librarian
You can view a sample here.
Note: If your child can write, you will enjoy the Student Activity Books! This is another way to reinforce the phonics lesson that gets the whole body involved with the memory work. And a bonus for the parent is that this is something that your child can do independently!
You can buy a set of 4 workbooks here.