How to teach your child to read in 100 lessons ?

(35 Posts)
IloveDisneyxxx Sat 17-Feb-18 14:44:15

Hello all !

Please tell me what you think of this book ?

My daughter is 7 and has Autism, which comes with the language difficulties she has. She has been having trouble learning how to read. She aced through learning how to say out the phonetics but had trouble blending. She wasn’t able to hear the word unless I was saying it.

After many months, I came across “How to teach your child to read in 100 lessons” and she’s progressing very well ! The book uses a technique called sound blending, so rather than chopping up sounds /b/a/d/. You sound blend then /b/aaaaaaaa/d/. From this approach my daughter could hear the sound and like I said, progressed really well.

However, my daughter’s teacher does not agree with the approach. She said it’s confusing her to blend one sound together. She’s worried my daughter won’t be able to pick up the individual Sounds by sound blending. But when I asked my daughter to spell “bed” for example, using the sound blending approach, she was able to spell it correctly.

I don’t know what to do. I thought my daughter hit the holy grail as she’s been having trouble reading and we’ve finally found something that works. But I don’t want to set her up for literacy difficulties !

Please tell me your views regarding this approach and sound blending ? I don’t know if I’m setting up my daughter to fail.

OP’s posts: |
Norestformrz Sat 17-Feb-18 15:41:03 is a free course for parents

There's also an iPad app with the first unit free

Mistigri Sat 17-Feb-18 15:49:19

Your daughter is 7, so presumably in year 2 or 3? This means the school has had at least 2.5 years to teacher your daughter to read using their method, but they haven't done so. How many years do they need before they start asking themselves whether their method works for your daughter?

Outside of school, what learning activities you choose to do with your daughter is absolutely none of the school's business. If this method is working for her then use it. If not, stop.

Norestformrz Sat 17-Feb-18 15:55:26

Your daughter's teacher clearly doesn't understand phonics. Personally I'd try blending through the word. So /b/ /a/ baa /d/ bad. I'd also suggest it's easier if the initial sound is one you can hold on to so sad and mad are easier for beginners to decode than bad or pad.

catkind Sat 17-Feb-18 15:56:26

I help with reading at DC's school and had phonics training. There's definitely not a thing about saying the sounds short or separate. They talk about blending too. With the ones that are struggling I do get them to say the sounds long and run together to help them hear the blend, it really seems to help. Don't think you're doing anything different or anti phonics here.

Is that really the only difference? I'm wondering if either teacher hasn't understood what your book is doing, or actually teacher just isn't teaching phonics very well.

KateGrey Sat 17-Feb-18 15:58:31

Two of my dds have autism. One is 7. She hates phonics and it has messed up her spelling as everything is spelt phonetically. She learnt to read by sight. She passed her phonics test but phonics don’t mean much to her. School have had a long time to teacher her. Autism often comes with other conditions to that affect learning. I’d continue on with your method.

IloveDisneyxxx Sat 17-Feb-18 16:26:04

Thanks everyone for your replies.

Cat also she mentioned when she asked my daughter to clap out the sounds in a word she wasn’t able to do this. The programme in the book doesn’t teach this. Also it doesn’t teach the whole “two vowels go walking rule”. I don’t know... this is just gibberish to my daughter, she doesn’t understand those language terms “two vowels go walking”.

OP’s posts: |


Norestformrz Sat 17-Feb-18 16:36:50

I'd avoid clapping out sounds in words (I'd only do this with syllables not sounds) and definitely don't do the when two vowel went out walking thing. It's misleading.

catkind Sat 17-Feb-18 17:07:49

Pshh, I think your book is doing phonics better than the teacher. Stick with the book.

We also had clapping syllables not clapping sounds. And the two vowels rhyme is not in any way an important part of phonics, some people use it as a mnemonic for some of the more common two-vowel digraphs, that's all. I can see various ways it could be confusing to a child with autism, can well imagine it's best avoided!

BeesAndChiscuits Sat 17-Feb-18 22:21:21

I tried this book too - it does use phonics. About halfway through it gets tricky as the words have American English pronounciation. So the specific symbols for the different vowel sounds don’t work so well. You may need tippex at this point. If it’s working, then carry on with it. I switched to books from reading chest when we got stuck on the mismatches in pronounciation.

Gremlinsateit Sun 18-Feb-18 12:09:11

I used the book with both my kids and found the method excellent. I just went ahead with a pen to fix the sounds that didn’t work for our accent. It did get a bit boring in the later lessons so we skipped the handwriting and some of the repetition, and used lots of sticker incentives.

I found that the kids’ school was great at teaching sounds but then left them to figure out blending for themselves, so the book was great for that reason.

BlackNails Mon 19-Feb-18 05:51:39

I would also start looking at having your child assessed for dyslexia, if she cannot blend and cannot clap out the beats of a word. My daughter also couldn't clap out beats but we did a huge amount of this in speech therapy and she has got better. I used the How to in 100.. with my eldest and didn't find it that good. I am using Toe by Toe with my youngest (just turned 8, very low literacy - 2.5 years below age level - severely dyslexic) and the are inching forward. I think the How to in 100 is not a bad system but not for all children as it is not necessarily transferable skills. Toe by Toe is easy to use, easy to transfer skills, will work on her blending etc and build her phonic awareness.

Norestformrz Mon 19-Feb-18 06:32:04

There isn't a beat in a single syllable word

BertieBotts Mon 19-Feb-18 06:41:44

I teach esl children to read and I think the clapping sounds part of jolly phonics is confusing and unhelpful to most children.

It's designed to help the children differentiate between a word having four letters, four sounds (e.g. t/u/n/a) and a word having four letters but three sounds e.g. m/oo/n. I would for your DD use a more factual statement for two letter digraphs - e.g. "Two letters, one sound".

The teacher sounds quite inflexible and hung up on her system rather than putting it into terms your DD can understand which may be holding her back.

IloveDisneyxxx Mon 19-Feb-18 06:57:01

BlackNails My daughter can blend now, since using “How to....”. Can you also explain why “How to...” is not transferable ? Toe by toe looks interesting and I’m wondering if I can incorporate elements of “How to” and “toe...”. However we are half way through “How to” and I’m a little bit inclined to stop using it all together and push my daughter back further.

Also, it’s not that my daughter can’t clap out beats in the sound. It’s more to do with that she doesn’t understand the instruction. However, if I asked how “How many sounds are in m/oo/n...” She will be able to do this.

OP’s posts: |
Toffeelatteplease Mon 19-Feb-18 06:57:19

Grab the old Peter and Jane "look and say" books and she be reading in far quicker than 100 lessons.

Watch how much the teachers disapprove then.

And how little you will care because the progress is phenomenal

Norestformrz Mon 19-Feb-18 07:30:47

I'd avoid Toe by Toe at this age Bear Necessities is much more Primary friendly.

BertieBotts Mon 19-Feb-18 07:35:05

Exactly - if she can identify the number of sounds then being able to clap them is unnecessary!

It sounds like the steps the teacher is getting hung up on are the steps which are intended to make the process more "fun" for children in order to engage them. This might well not work for an autistic child who needs the process to be accessible and clear, before "fun".

hipshopshap Mon 19-Feb-18 08:03:56

It sounds like your daughter is learning to read! I was a teacher until recently and that would be quite enough for me.

I now Home educate two, one diagnosed asd and one with many features of asd. I’ve found that for one phonics has been near impossible to learn (though once he could read we tracked back and segmented to improve his spelling). It’s been reading by sight for 80%. The other has enjoyed jolly phonics and it was fine for the initial letter sounds but one aspect of asd I didn’t think of is she just isn’t flexible enough for the concept of two letters= one sounds, different pairs making the same sound or long/ short vowels etc to the point it out her off. Plus she just can’t blend. We use phonic strategies and clues, and sound blending as you do, along with sight words etc. I’ve got to the point I just don’t care at all about the ‘how’

catkind Mon 19-Feb-18 08:05:44

Sorry toffeelatte, not a teacher but I learnt with P&J and kids learnt with phonics and the latter was a whole order of magnitude quicker. While whole word methods can look a little quicker in the very early stages as they learn to read whole words straight off, they keep having to learn individual words by repetition when phonics kids can immediately sound them out. While it may have worked well for your kids, I think it's a massive stretch to say it will work fast in general. And given OP has already found a method that works well for her kid, if you're advocating "appears to work for us" she should stick with what she's got.

hipshopshap Mon 19-Feb-18 08:05:59

A side note, I had kids who loved toe by toe who liked apples and pears. I found Ruth M’s Read Write Inc better in many ways too

Toffeelatteplease Mon 19-Feb-18 10:10:00


It's was a flippant comment but with good basis.

Audio processing difficulties are so prevalent in kids with Autism that GOSH audio processing team won't even test kids with ASD anymore. Audio processing difficulties can make phonics difficult if not impossible. Look and see was recommended to us by Ed psych after 3 years of failed phonics and a Kid who still couldn't get beyond his own name.

2 weeks of look and see/Peter and Jane, he was reading. That was it.

Even if it just reduces the number of words you need phonics for that's helpful for kids who will always find phonics hard. I should point oit 3 years later DS still doesn't "phonic" words, we have meaning based strategies to help with new words. He's ahead of reading age these days but phonics just does not work for him. Had we stuck with phonics we might never have been reading.

If it doesn't work you haven't lost anything except the money to buy the books (if you can't find them in the library). The OP is in no different position than you are now, struggling with a system that has already shown itself to be terribly ineffective with their child.

If something isn't working, it's worth trying a different approach

AppleAndBlackberry Mon 19-Feb-18 11:58:02

I've been volunteering in my daughters' infant school for about 4 years reading with children. If they can't read a word we sound it out together. If they can't say it at that point I blend the sounds more slowly e.g. mm/aaa/nnn. Then if they still haven't got it I say mmaann man. Often they get it when I blend them more slowly. For longer words we will split in two or three segments and read one at a time. I sometimes tell them things like "the G is making a 'juh' sound in this word" as well and point out silent letters and other unusual sounds to assist them reading tricky words on their own. I think if your technique is working then stick with it, the teacher's obviously hasn't been.

catkind Mon 19-Feb-18 13:48:21

But toffee, OP does have a method that's working, using the 100 lessons book. I would also debate that you've nothing to lose even if that were not the case. Getting them to automatically scan through words one sound at a time is key to phonics - you'd be actively discouraging that. As I say, whole words can initially look faster, so you could be actively discouraging good habits for months. Not sure I understand what's flippant though, so maybe you're being sarcastic?

Toffeelatteplease Mon 19-Feb-18 15:53:04

Any reading method that takes 100 lessons to get them to the point of being literate enough to manage to a base level in class and to read for fun isn't a great method in my book. (Flippant)

Teaching a kid to sound out is fairly pointless if as a result of audio processing difficulties they can't hear the sounds properly when they sound out or don't have the working memory to hold what the first sound was by the time you get to the last sounds. It just becomes and exercise in futility and frustration, worse so as words get longer. This sounds very much to me like the OP's DD difficulties.

But whatever. Phonics, look and see noone cares how they learnt once they are reading. I wouldn't be fussed by what the teacher thought good bad or otherwise if the child's happy and reading.

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