Today, First Son completed the last lesson in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. On the whole I've been pleased with the book. I loved having a "lesson" to do with First Son, a road map to help me along the way as I taught him to read. Certainly it seems to have accomplished the task; First Son can read! We did modify it a bit. On the advice of another homeschooling mom, I omitted the writing exercises. I agreed with her that it seemed confusing if we were also going to do handwriting exercises (which we've just started in a leisurely sort of way). I also omitted the second reading of each story. I'm sure it would have helped First Son be a better reader, but the stories simply were not interesting enough to read again. I expect the books he's reading now to be engaging enough for many reads and lots of repeat practice.
It was a little frustrating to note mistakes every now and then, many more than I would expect for a book that seems to be so popular (meaning I would expect them to release updated and corrected editions, but perhaps they have; I bought a used copy). I'm going to keep the book around, just in case I decide to use it when it's time for First Daughter to learn the read, but I'm also going to stay open to other methods. If we do use it again, I think I'll start some of the reading suggestions at the end before we actually finish the lessons. The first few books seemed very easy for First Son. Now that we've hit Dr. Seuss, I think we'll stick with this level for a while. First Son doesn't like to stop in the middle of a story and come back to it (which we'll do eventually, of course) and some of them are a bit too long for him to finish in ten or fifteen minutes, which is about as I'd like him to focus on his lessons right now. (He actually reads quite a bit on his own, which we encourage, but I don't count those as lessons since we're not reading along to make sure he's not just skipping the hard words or substituting another word with the proper meaning.)
Now that First Son is reading, I find myself astonished at how big he is. How fast he's growing. New skills and better dexterity with his pencils and scissors. I really do remember his as a chubby little baby. I remember his as a newborn, snuggled up against me just a few hours old. That's why I like this picture of his finger moving along the letters. It's still such a cute chubby finger!
I told myself we should have a celebration for him, but I'm battling a ferocious head cold right now and just couldn't muster the energy for a cake. He doesn't like cake much, anyway.