From Skeptic to Enthusiast: American Reading at Home
November 13, 2012
© American Reading at Home
"American Reading at Home has been kid tested, teacher tested and parent tested," enthuses Dr. Sears.
We're speaking on the phone about his endorsement of a reading program for new readers, American Reading at Home.
Thankfully, this program is actually quite amazing. When assigned the interview, I scoffed at the idea of another reading program -- incorrectly thinking it would be a gimmick to make money. Or worse, similar to the now-defunct "Your Baby Can Read" program (--a program I liken to "Your Cat Can Learn French".) But after doing my research and trying out the books, I became more and more impressed with the quality. It's well-researched and engaging for kids.
Sears continues, "The number one goal of a parent in all of education is to teach your child a love of learning, simply to love it, not to read correctly, not to read every syllable, just like speaking; it's more important to speak comfortably, not correctly."
"The neat thing about the American Reading At Home system, is that it's broken down to 5 levels for emerging reader so it fits the child. There are no DVDs, no workbooks, you choose the books that fit the child!"
Dr. Sears is a big fan of program.
Sears said, "When our grandkids come, my daughter brings the American Reading Books so I can read to her 5-year old. . . . She loves my face. I say red car. Then, point to red in the book . . . she's making all these connections!"
Later in the day, I speak with CEO of American Reading at Home, Jane Hileman. She explains how reading is "an opportunity to engage the world, and to further our relationship with our children.
"Our system is organic," she continues, "if a child is not ready for it, back off. Children have to drive their learning process."
I could just hug her -- that's wise, developmentally-appropriate advice.
Here's just some what I like about this program, and why I think you should check it out.
- child directs the learning
- well-sequenced book levels
- developmentally appropriate
- lots of good book options for readers
(I really love the book, Clothes Hounds, see below!)
- easy to navigate website
I'm telling you this because I passionately want to help children learn to read. Reading is everything.
The more ways to help your children learn to read, the better. Will this program work for your family?
Melissa Taylor is a freelance writer, an award-winning educational blogger at ImaginationSoup, an award-winning teacher with a M.A. in Education, and a mom of two children, ages 6 and 9. Follow Taylor on Twitter or find her on Facebook.
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