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I am starting my 3 1/2 year old daughter on the DISTAR reading program (AKA Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons)......from what I have read and researched about it, it's very successful, and people who have used it like it. Does anyone here use this program to teach your children to read and if you have used it do you like it? If you have used it and don't like it can you tell me why. Thanks
 

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I picked this up when my dd asked me to teach her to read. After the first couple of lessons, we dropped it as she was VERY bored. It is, imo, a very dull system.

Dd was 5 at the time, and a very short while later, she simply started reading on her own.

I've heard many people rave about it though.
 

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When tried it after my older DD had asked me to teach her to read. She like the first couple of lessons, but by lesson 20 hated it and we quit. I held on to it just in case it was a good fit for DD#2, who is a very different child. She hated it too.

I, too, have heard many people rave about it.
 

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I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. It is uses operant conditioning to teach children and is based on the animal training methods of a behaviorist called B.F. Skinner. I would go with a traditional, no frills phonics program personally. I use Turbo Reader, but I don't think I would use it on a child as young as 3 1/2. I actually wouldn't use any reading program, just read to the child, and teach them the letters and sounds if they were interested.
 

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I got it out of the library when dd asked me to teach her to read at age 4yo. During the 2nd or 3rd lesson she burst into tears and sobbed, "this is sooo booorrrrriiiinnnggg!" I said no problem, and took it back to the library. She wanted nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with reading programs or learning to read for at least a year after that.

But other people I know IRL have used it and liked it.

Funny how many of us are saying almost exactly the same thing -- "my kid hated it, but I know other people who say they like it."
 

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I bought it a year and a half ago for my then 4 year old. She loved it for a little while, then got tired of it. I didn't have the stomach to use it as the directions suggested, it seemed a little too scripted for me.

My dd recently had a breakthrough with reading, but was kind of stuck at the level she was at. So we are going through it again, but we only do the parts she wants to do. My only requirement is that we go through it in order. She's enjoying the little "stories" and both her confidence and her speed are improving.

Everyone I know IRL who has tried it, gave up on it fairly quickly. :p

ZM
 

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We tried the 100 Easy Lessons book and what threw me off was the weird writing. It didn't seem right to teach ds one way to write letters that was totally different from how he would really need to write them. I ended up using The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading and liked that much better.
 

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I use it with my 3 1/2 year old. She is very bright -- I probably don't need to do anything, since she's done most of it on her own up to now (she can already read the Bob books on her own).

She likes it -- but I don't follow the script and I make it silly. The "say the words fast" and "say the words slow" bits are great fun for us. She gets the point, and we make a game out of it.

However, I probably don't need to use anything at all, since she's on her way to reading very well all by herself.
 

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I have this book and thought it would work for us. It does seem to be rather "tedious" and I found myself not using it after a short while. This school year is upon us and I'm looking for something else. I've written down the other suggestions and will look for them.

Many Blessings,
April
intuitive medium
...talking to both sides...
 

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I've used it with success, but not in it's scripted form. It was too tedious, the lessons were too long, and my children HATED it that way. Like the previous poster who said she shook it up a bit and made it fun, I injected a little creativity into the process. That made a huge difference.

I also used Montessori sandpaper letters to teach the letter sounds in the order they were introduced in the book. When the kids were comfortable with a lot of those sounds, THEN we used the book.

I didn't do the 'rhymes with' part at all. That seemed to seriously confuse my children.
 

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I've looked at it, decided it didn't look like a good fit for my kids, and picked something else.

FTR, although I know people who "like" this program, I don't know a single person whose child actually finished the book. Most kids get far too bored by the time they get to the middle of the book.
 

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We started using it when dd was around 4 years because she was interested in learning to read. I approached it with a lot of flexibility. I didn't stick closely to the script because it was unnatural for me to talk to my dd that way and we skipped the writing portion because she did not have the fine motor control yet. If dd didn't want to do it we didn't. About halfway through the book, dd was reading very well and was not interested in the repetitivness of the lessons so we stopped. We probably could have skipped ahead.
I liked that it wasn't too costly and didn't need anything else. The lessons were fairly short. I think it helped dd to learn how to read unknown words on her own even after we stopped using the book.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by therdogg
I LOVE it, love it, love it.

But maybe I'm weird, I'm also a behaviorist.

Please tell me what you like about it. I just want to teach my very average, very everyday, 3 1/2 year old who doesn't have adult conversations with her mommy and daddy, how to read. W ithout having a psychology degree.
 

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Well, it's user friendly. When people say their children were "bored" it is probably because they weren't delivering the lessons with good pacing and use of intonation. If you go to the Association for Direct Instruction website, www.adihome.org, you can see video clips of DI (Direct Instruction) curricula being delivered, albeit in group situations, but it gives you a pretty good idea of how to make your presentation more dynamic. Quick pacing is very important, as is appropriate correction. The lessons are so carefully scoped and sequenced that your child will be reading before you know it! My 5yo (has autism) is reading well, thanks to this curriculum.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by therdogg
My 5yo (has autism) is reading well, thanks to this curriculum.
DI (Direct Instruction), has been shown to work well with special needs kids. I just have a problem with using animal behavioral training techniques on children whatever their needs.

In a classroom setting it has been shown to induce anxiety, behavioral problems and even sickness in children. Obviously the mamas here using this program wouldn't let such things happen, as is apparent with their posts, most that have used the system have modified it.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by therdogg
When people say their children were "bored" it is probably because they weren't delivering the lessons with good pacing and use of intonation.
Or, maybe it just isn't a good method for those children.

Since we'd been reading a variety of books to dd, she knew reading meant exciting stories and interesting characters or, as in non-fiction, lots of information about some topic which intrigued her.

100 Easy Lessons was none of that, of course.

When she said, "Teach me to read." she meant she wanted to access those books herself. So, sitting there repeating the same sounds over and over, completely out of context from what she knew the written world to be, WAS boring and not at all what she was seeking.

She learned to read by being read to, and by being surrounded by the written word. Playing with sounds and blending turned out to be unnecessary.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by uccomama
DI (Direct Instruction), has been shown to work well with special needs kids. I just have a problem with using animal behavioral training techniques on children whatever their needs.

In a classroom setting it has been shown to induce anxiety, behavioral problems and even sickness in children. Obviously the mamas here using this program wouldn't let such things happen, as is apparent with their posts, most that have used the system have modified it.
Actually, Direct Instruction has been shown to work well with typical children, including advanced children. In the largest study of educational methodology ever conducted, Project Follow Through (US Dept of Ed), Direct Instruction outpaced by far ALL the other models, including whole language and eclectiv methods. Actually, it has never been shown to induce anxiety, behavior problems, or sickness, in fact just the opposite (can you cite the study you are referring to?). Children who are instructed using DI show increases in self esteem and better affect during instruction than control models. Apparently, being a competent reader makes children happy and feel good about themselves.

And as for using animal behavior training techniques, this is simply bogus, a straw man contention. Behavioral contingencies apply to all organisms, using the science of behavior analysis is ALSO effective to use to train animals, but it is also used in human learning, alcohol treatment programs, Olympic athlete training, corporate management, etc etc.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Joan
Or, maybe it just isn't a good method for those children.

When she said, "Teach me to read." she meant she wanted to access those books herself. So, sitting there repeating the same sounds over and over, completely out of context from what she knew the written world to be, WAS boring and not at all what she was seeking.

She learned to read by being read to, and by being surrounded by the written word. Playing with sounds and blending turned out to be unnecessary.
I am glad that your daughter learned to read so effortlessly, it is truly wonderful when a child learns simply from being steeped in good literature, research show that this is not true for the majority of US children, who need a more regimented approach. To me, this sounds like someone saying:

When my daughter saidd, "teach me ballet" she meant she wanted to glide across a stage with a tutu and be a prima ballerina for a major company. She didn't want to have to stand at a barre for years, doing boring repetitive exercises day in and day out.

Some people are amazingly talented and can dance without special instruction. But the average dancer needs many practice sessions, which can be tedious, before they can dance beautifully.
 

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I tried to use it with two of my children....

My first I was ignorant when I pulled him out of school. He hated it. In part because it includes learning to write with reading. Two different skills that IMO shouldn't be learned depending on each other. He had fine motor skills issues.

With my second she wanted to use it because we had it around the house. That attempt was short lived. She hated it.

We did/have used the say it slow/say it fast games. I have used the dot, line, and arrow for helping them learn to blend.

I do not think it is a horrible program just not for my children. I would borrow it from the library before I purchase it to see if it is a match for my child first. I do think the possitive side it is a phonics program that many kids need.
 
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