The Bottom Line: A cheap fun way to teach children to read and the basic foundations of math.
This is an AWESOME book that could be used with a child from 3 or maybe even younger all the way up to teaching to read. When my daughter was 4 I checked this out of the public library and immediately fell in love with it and had to special order it from Amazon.
This book starts with a little info on the author, teaching children to read, etc. It then starts off with several "pre reading" games you could play with your preschooler to prepare them for learning to read. The kids don't know they are learning but it really helps prepare them to learn to read. You then prepare to teach the child to read, you can do a little bit of prep by just purchasing tactile flashcards and making sure you have the supplies for the "activities" in the house or a lot of prep by making your own tactile flashcards (she tells you how) and having to buy items for the activities.
The lessons are spelled out for you in an easy to follow format but I found I could do as little or much as I felt needed. You use tactile flashcards in conjunction with activities such as finding the letter in magazines, writing them in rice on cookie sheets, making hats with the letters on them, etc. You start by teaching the child the lowercase letters which she explains in the book (and it makes a lot of sense) and you only teach their sound (I went ahead and taught name and sound since my daughter already knew half of the names, but remember you don't need the names to read). Your child really feels accomplishment because from day 1 they are reading. The book includes a collection of small comic strips, each one to go with each letter, in lesson 1-9 they read only the letter sounds they know and it is written so it makes sense that they only need to say the sound, the sound is the word such as "ahhhh" of a being a startled sound or the "mmmmm" of m meaning yummy. By lesson 10 they are learning to read words. She later adds sight words and combination sounds.
The second half of the book covers math and it is all using games. She not only goes over those obvious things such as numbers and adding but other mathematical concepts like sorting, catagorizing, graphing, etc
This book makes it so much fun for a child to learn to read. My daughter was reading at 4 and I am so happy she learned with this emphasis on phonics, though the school taught phonics it used it in combination with so many other things. This really created a great foundation for my child who is now in the 3rd grade and at last testing (last year) was reading at a 6th grade level. Her little sister is now 4, we tried the theory "you get what you pay for" and bought her Hooked on Phonics. Hooked on Phonics was NOT fun and could not hold her interest, she could not learn to read with it and got discouraged refusing to even try to read words, but the comic strips from this book really helped boost her confidence back. For more info on Hooked on Phonics you could read my reveiw on it but I HIGHLY recommend this book instead.
Now updated with the latest resources--including the best Internet sites--and filled with "excellent yet simple strategies" (<I>Library Journal</I>), this acclaimed guide helps parents make a difference in how their children learn when they go to school. Recommended by the National Center for the Study of Reading. Drawing on her own experience in the education of her two children and her professional experience as an elementary school teacher, Teresa Savage shares her proven techniques on how parents can get their 3- to 6-year-olds ready for school and become active participants in their child's education. Incorporating the latest research on school-readiness, information on the dyslexic child, updated home-schooling resources, and the best sites on the Internet for parents to help their preschoolers develop basic skills, the book's eight clearly written, step-by-step chapters include easy-to-follow lesson plans and assignments to teach basic phonics and numbers. Over 60 phonetic learning exercises, 35 game