Comments from over 700 reviews from parents and home school blogs. We are universally loved for having a simple, and effective reading program.




From Discovery Channel


Our Good family"I am really impressed with how the lessons are laid out. The language is simple and easy to understand AND explain to your child. For me, it was helpful to read through the entire Reading Lesson Book first so I knew what was coming after each lesson.”


“The method used in the book is sound and proven. The program is easy to understand and implement in your daily homeschool. The program is not colorful or distracting. The words are clear on the page and easy to focus on for young children."



 The Activity Mom“What I love about The Reading Lesson:


  1. It is easy for parents to understand and implement.
  2. This step by step program makes it predictable for young readers or struggling readers which
  3.  helps them to feel successful.
  4.  There are no rules about how fast to go or how many pages to cover. You move ahead when
  5.  your child is ready (all of those guidelines are included in the book)
  6.  The lessons are short and direct”


Here We are Together

"This book is the best reading program I have ever come across. We have looked at so many different ways to teach reading to little ones and I have never come across such an intuitive and fun approach before.”


Hip Homeschool Moms

“We’ve looked at and tried many different reading programs that just never seemed to work for our boys. This one, by far, has been the easiest and best one we’ve ever used.”


“I like The Reading Lesson book because it walks you through teaching your kids the letter sounds and how to make them into words. I’ve tried a book very similar to this one but this one is actually made for the kids to sit with you and try to read. I mean the other one was too, but what I love about The Reading lesson is the size of the words and the pictures.”



Our Village is a Little Different"The Reading Lesson is a very easy method that has had a lot of success. It takes a couple of weeks to complete a lesson, but after 20 lessons, children will be able to sound out their words, develop reading confidence, and even enjoy reading!”



Hall of Fame Moms“I am so happy with where The Reading Lesson has taken Kylie in her journey to reading, we are both very excited to keep on working through the lessons!”


Lollipops and Ladybugs"I am so impressed with this program. As I said in the beginning there was a lot of frustration with trying to teach her to read. This is an A+ Program and I highly recommend it."


Hip Homeschool Moms"I’m happy to report that The Reading Lesson delivered results for us! Not only were we able to get past the first few lessons without tears and complaints, we reached that “lightbulb” moment when my daughter began to understand HOW to read — not just memorize — and could sound out words on her own in any environment."



Hip Homeschool Moms“Compared to other similar phonics programs on the market that we've have experienced, I really like the layout, ease, and its' concentration with only reading (decoding) while going through each lesson. ”



5 Minutes for Mom

“I believe The Reading Lesson would be a great program to use for homeschooling. It would also be great to use for those parents who have a young children showing an interest in learning to read but aren’t sure where to start.”


The Better Mom

"Just when you feel like it is never going to work, it seems as if the skies open up and your child is a reading machine! I spent the last few months going through The Reading Lesson with my son Noah, and we love it! It is very simple to follow, not too overwhelming, and it works!”



The Natural Homeschool

"You might be surprised that I am using it with my 3.5-year old daughter, but she really is ready and, even if we take a slower pace, she is loving it and I am seeing results."

Comparison of The Reading Lesson book with  the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. - Click to see this YouTube video.


Teach Your Child to Read in 100 easy Lessons is a very popular book. However, most people when they compare "The Reading Lesson"  with the "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 easy Lessons "  book prefer ours. The Reading Lesson is simpler, flexible to the needs of your child, non-scripted and less intimidating. Since we did our book as an improvement over this older book, we have removed many of those frustrating elements. But of course, we are not handled by a big publisher so we are less well known. But like AVIS, we try harder!


Do take a look. We think you will like our book better.



There are many videos like that on Youtube.


Make a video of your child doing the Verbal Math Lesson with you and get $25 gift certificate at our website.


More letters, emails from the past. We have a long history because The Reading Lesson is a wonderful book.


Some Customer Letters.

Dear Reading Lesson,

Our son, Marshall Kagan, is almost finished with the Reading Lesson.  He is a terrific reader, thanks to your book. It has been a great

experience going over two pages a night with him for the past 8  months. I will miss it when he finishes. We just started chapter 20

and he will finish in a week at most. You mention at the beginning  of Chapter 20 that we can request a certificate. He would love a

certificate! His information is below. He will be 5 1/2 next month. The ability to read has really made him a confident boy willing to try anything in his Kindergarten class. Thank you Reading

Lesson! July 2008


After much research and contemplation, I have decided to give your product a try. I used the sample lessons with my daughter and found it very effective in teaching her to read. I was nonetheless still on a hunt for a reading curriculum since I'm planning to homeschool her. But tonight, after viewing a sample of the Reading Lesson CD and Sounds of the Letter movie as well as re-reading the testimonials, I made the purchase. I am eager to continue using your products with my daughter.

Thank you for the free demos and sample lessons on your website. The ability to "see, touch and feel" revealed how your program works and was helpful in my purchase decision.

Cinda, June 2008


It started a few years ago when my daughter, Baimon, had already known all the alphabets (name). I thought It's time for reading so I tried to find many resources of reading program. Eventually, I found The Reading Lesson the most effective reading program for us. Do you know, why? In my country, mother language is Thai and English is what we have to learn as a second language. Actually, it's a compulsory subject too.

The common method to learn English is just to learn ABC only by their names and memorize all English words. If you want to read, you have to memorize English words and theirs sound (of each word not sound of the alphabets) as much as you can. Your reading ability depends on how many words you've known. If you face with the new word that you've never seen before you can't even read it. As far as I'm concerned, that isn't a correct way to read and I do not want my daughter leaning that way either. Can you imagine of the pupils who must to recite English words at least 10-20 words every day? It's real in here.


Since I got you program, everything is changed. I found the best way to read for my daughter. I realized that if you want to read, you should start from the sound of the alphabets. I studied your book for months before I used it with her. I definitely followed your instructions and I love to read them pretty much. But you don't forget we are here in Thailand. English isn't our mother tongue and our children learn it differently from yours. I couldn't teach my daughter directly or immediately from your book. I sometimes had to simplify or apply it for the best learning outcome. I gradually taught her step-by-step. For the difficult sounds like /r/ sound or /v/ sound I tried very hard to teach. Of course, it took times.

So far, she is already finished all twenty lessons and been able to read. I do appreciate you and all of your staff who create this terrific program. About Big Words for Little Kids I think it's still too advanced for my daughter to learn, how ever, I've been studying it all the time and I will probably teach her some day. Baimon is in the third grade (8-year-old) now. She learns Mini English Program at her school


Ananchai Mokrahong

Thailand (The land of smiles) May 2008


My 4 year old son is in week 5 of the reading lessons. He absolutely loves it. He wakes up every day asking to do a lesson.

He has even asked me on the weekend to do this.

The thing that has amazed my husband and I is how quick he is reading things around him. He is sounding out words everywhere he sees them. We have two older children who still weren't doing that when they were in K and 1st grade!

I am homeschooling him in K next year and am recommending this program to all my friend who homeschool!

Thank you so much for sharing this program with us!

Brandy Warren April 2008


I just finished the reading lesson with my daughter, Elsa, who is 4. Your book is very good, she can read and understand book level 2. I have already used your book with my other daughter, Morgan, last year. Now she is 5 and in Kindergarten, she has a reading level and understanding of a third grader. Great book, and simple to use. At the end of lesson 20 you wanted us to write you so you can send me a certificate to commemorate my child achievement. Thank you for the certificate and again great book. I have recommended this book to many friends and school teacher.

Ralia, March 2008


I just wanted to express my gratitude for your amazing product: The Reading Lesson. My son is in Kindergarten, and until now- had not had a strong interest in reading. Last year he was diagnosed with ADHD, combined type- meaning he is both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive. So, as you can imagine- trying to teach him has been very trying! Since I purchased your book his reading has improved dramatically. We are currently on Lesson 10, and am going to try to have the book completed in 6-weeks. His father returns from a year long deployment in Iraq, and my son wants to show him that he can read! I will do anything and everything I can to help him achieve his goal. Luckily for me, your book pretty much does it all! Thanks again!

Kimberly Hill, Salt Lake City, UT, March 2008


I am very satisfied with the Reading Lesson. My two sons have just finished  the book after using it over the past year. I was a little late in getting

the other materials, the writing lesson and the stories the storybook cd. They are now using the storybook for review and have begun early readers.

They are also starting to write using the writing lesson which they are familiar with from their memory of the Reading Lesson. Again, I am very

grateful for such a terrific set of products. Keep up the good work. Any possibility of a follow-up reading program in the works?

Michael Grant, March 2008


I am a reading specialist and I work both at a school and in my own private practice. I use the Reading Lesson book for my students. I like it because it follows roughly the same sequence of phonics as Orton-Gillingham which is the approach I use in much of my tutoring. I also like the fact that the kids get immediate opportunities to practice the new sounds and new words that have just been presented, and the fact that there is phonemic awareness built in as part of the lesson. I've only been using the book for about two weeks but so far it is working very well.

Valerie Derrick, Feb 2008


I just wanted to thank the creators of this program. I started the reading lesson with my son immediately after his 3rd birthday. We only got through

lesson 8 before he began fully reading on his own. He is now 4 1/2, but reads at a 2nd grade level. The book was just captivating enough without

being overly stimulating. This product is amazing and I'm contemplating starting this with my 2 1/2 year old son soon.

Amy Blum, Oct 2007


Just to take this opportunity to thank you and Michael for creating these books because it really works!

My son Nathaniel who was 4 year old that time learned to read fast through your Reading lesson book which I bought through the internet. I have tried plenty of phonics reading materials in the past but this book is so simple and my child could just focus without any distractions like very colorful pictures or drawings just to give emphasis on letters. My son was the first one to learn how to read phonics and books in their class that time. I was very thankful to you guys but has'nt just got time to email you back 3 years ago.

anyway, I believe this math lesson ebook would gonna work too as the reading lesson book!

I would definitely recommend it again to my friends. God bless and more blessing to your business!


Mrs. J. Petrache, Oct 2007


Dj was very happy and has the certificate on the table to admire. Thanks again. Our reading is going great..and you make it look easy teaching it..but I remember the fear I had before we started. And now it’s the most natural thing, even the confusing sounds like one. I went ahead and said..that sounds like a W just have to learn that word is a W sound. English is a tough one..but you made something hard easy. D. Flores, Sep 2007


Luca and I are now midway through Lesson 19. It's amazing how much she has learned in just about 3 2/3 months. Her cousin is going into Kindergarten this coming week and I am so proud that Luca already knows so much already. In fact, I did teach her cousin lesson 1 in about 20 minutes. It's so simple. I am "officially" home schooling Luca this fall and we'll start on the story lessons, writing and math. Thanks!

A. Hawkes, Sep 2007


Wow, I didn't know you were a family owned business. I have read all the good reviews on your product and my daughter is 3 and a half. She loved the sample lesson and she is very enthusiastic to read more. We will definitely be coming back for more products. It's wonderful!! I am sure there are more parents out there who are grateful that their children are benefiting from these superb products.

Nish Mattews, Aug 2007


We are loving The Reading Lesson. My 5 year-old is nearly done with lesson 4 and we got it about 2 weeks ago. She did know her letter sounds before hand which helped. She is learning quickly. I looked online for reading ciriculum for quite some time. I was about to buy the Learn to Read in 100 Easy Lessons when I came across this book. The comments were outstanding and now that I have the lessons, I know why. My son is 3 and a half and knows his letter sounds too and so I will soon try him on lesson 1. I know he is not ready yet because of his attention span but I AM excited to try the Math Lesson as he LOVES numbers and stories.

Allison Cole - June 2007


I have been using the Reading Lesson with my son for the past couple of months and I have to say I absolutely love your program. We tried Learning to Read in 100 Easy Lessons for about 5 months and neither my son nor myself liked the program. (We did get about half way through the book, but found it frustrating to use.) My son finally said to me, Mommy, these stories just don’t make sense, I don’t want to do it anymore. I had to be honest with him at this point and told him that, the whole program did not make a whole lot of sense to me, and that I would find another reading program for him We have started the Reading Lesson a couple of months ago and we both love it! Your product is far superior to the Learning Read in 100 Easy Lessons. I love the lay out, the way you have set out the lessons, the stories, the little activities, etc. The whole program is very well done. My son is on Lesson 12 already. The supplementary computer CD is a great as well. We really like it and find that it helps my son when it comes to his reading lesson.

Shiela B. - April 2007


I have 20 children from age 2 through 6 and they LOVE the reading lesson! EVERY ONE of them is READING! They ASK each day if they

can read and it is often mentioned as their favorite thing they did at school when we ask at the end of our day!

Thank you for such a logical approach to reading that creates success in ALL

children at their own pace!

Emily Mullens

The Children's House @ CATHE

Burlington, Wi

March 2007


Just wanted to let you know my 4 1/2 year-old finished the "Reading Lesson" book today after about 4 months of instruction. Christopher loved your book so much, he begged me to do his reading lesson every day. I found the program incredibly easy to teach, even for a novice with no training in education. I will continue to recommend your program to everyone I know. I only wish there were a sequel or advanced-level course, e.g., covering more difficult phonograms such as "gn" or "kn" or "ough", as well as prefixes, suffixes, etc. I do plan to follow the suggestions on your website for beginning-level readers, but I also think my son could continue to benefit from more advanced phonics instruction. I have looked into Explode the Code, but my son detests workbooks, so that isn't a great option for us. I am considering using the "Spell to Write and Read" program, but adapting it for a preschooler who is not yet writing.

Thanks again for helping make my son a reader!!

Katie - Dec 2006


My son and daugther both learned to read with The Reading Lesson. My daughter Leah, who is 5 just finished the program. I want to tell you how really nice your book is. We think it is the best book for teaching children to read and you deserve a lot of success. Thank you again and please send the completion certificate to:

S. Lev, Cleveland, Ohio, Dec 2006


My son, Danial Firdaus, who is five and a half, has just completed all 20 chapters of 'The Reading Lesson' today (4 December 2006). Both my husband and I are extremely proud of him as he has done this in less than 3 months.

We would like to thank you for producing such an amazing book (we relied solely on your book 'The Reading Lesson'). It is a highly effective reading programme and has even managed to sustain the interest of our son, who had hitherto been such a reluctant reader.

Towards the middle of the book, he showed a clear enjoyment of the reading passages and even suggested that we coloured in all the pictures. We gave him a nice reward (he wanted a pop up book and a fancy cake) for completing Chapter 10 and will get him a bigger present, as promised, now that he has completed the entire book. Thank you once again as our child is now a very confident reader. Have you got a follow up to this book or could you recommend us other books to make him read even more fluently?

I would be really grateful if you could send him a certificate to mark his big achievement. Our address is as follows:

Maizura, Malyasia, Dec 2006


I homeschool my 5 oldest children but I was having trouble getting my boys interested in reading. As soon as I found The Reading Lesson ( it has been a different story. My 2 boys are loving their lessons and I love it, too. I bought the ebook and really enjoy just sitting with the boys at the computer to do our "school" as they call it. My 6 year old ask me everyday, even Saturday and Sunday, if I'm ready to do his lesson. I'm so thankful for how easy and fun it is for them to learn. My 8 year old is so confident now. Thank you so much for all that you're doing with the ebooks.


Joanna Shepherd - Nov 2006


I have a five year old son, to whom I taught reading using your Reading Lesson book. I don't have enough words to thank you for designing such a  simple way to get them started. I did not have to think and plan what and how to teach, you had done all the planning for me, I just kept on going through the book with my son. He really enjoyed every day reading it, he used to bring that book to me asking me to sit with him if I ever forget. It isa great success. It gave me and my son lot of confidence. Infact I recommended this book to my friends and they have started liking this book too. The time I spent with my son teaching this book, was one of the treasurable memories in my life. I started on April 2005 and completed in

August 2005.  He is now reading early reader books very well. To mark his achivement, can you please send him a certificate, it will

definitely thrill him.Thank you so much. Again, thanks for this great book. I keep recommending this book to all the moms who are teaching their kids to read. S. Nadig (Mom of a 5 year old) - Nov 2006


I just wanted to express my thanks for your program. The material was well presented well and made it easy for me as a parent to use consistently with my son. My son, who turn 4 1/2 on Dec 1, 2004, has just completed The Reading Lesson and we are pleased with the results. Watching your child read is a joy, especially when you know that you, the parent, taught him. Now, his world will be expanded as he begins to read on his own and with me.

Quincy Henderson, Texas


To whom it may concern, we have finished The Reading Lesson. We have had a very smooth, successful experience with your program! I am requesting two of the completion certificates for my kids. One is for Kaleb Jackson, age 6 and one for Mary Jackson, also age 6.



I have used the reading lesson for several years. My students start the program at age three and are completing the program before kindergarten. I am a preschool teacher. I would love to see booklets that correspond with each lesson so they can take home a reader that relates to their lesson. Is that something that may be available in the future ? The children love the pictures of the characters and coloring them after they read would be rewarding and fun. Thanks,



We are living testimonials to your book. I purchased "How to Teach Your Child to Read in 20 Lessons" when my son was 4. We did a page, or two or three depending on his mood, every day. I didn't push him, just let him set the pace. We are finished now (he's 5 and 1/2) and he is reading so very well! I cannot believe how successful your book is. Thank you! I plan to order it for my daughter who's 3 and I'll put it away until she's 4. Thank you so much. Sincerely, Kris Denholm



I am writing to express my gratitude for your creating and offering The Reading Lesson.


I began using your materials last March with my then four-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Seven months later -- last night, specifically -- we finished Lesson 20. She is very proud of her achievement in completing the book, and she experiences great joy in sharing her reading skills with friends, family members, teachers and classmates; for example, last night she fluently read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (Numeroff/Bond) to her three-year-old brother.


Our copy of The Reading Lesson is marked up, colored, torn, adorned with stickers, and falling apart. I think I will let my daughter keep it in her room for as long as she wants to keep it: It is, in all its tattered glory, a trophy (of sorts) and a reminder of just how far she has progressed in the past few months. I will purchase a new copy for my son when he starts to demonstrate some reading readiness.


Thanks, again, for creating and offering The Reading Lesson.

With best regards,

Paige Kimble

Director, Scripps National Spelling Bee


First I want to tell you what a wonderful program I feel you have. I used it a couple years ago with children with autism and they loved it and made outstanding progress.


Now I am teaching a special education kindergarten class. I have a little boy in my class who has Landau-Kleffner Syndrome, a rare seizure disorder which affects language. Children with this condition often completely lose their receptive and expressive language ability. I have been doing some research and have found that children who can read and write before they lose their language often retain that ability because a different area of the brain is affected. I want to teach my student just as much reading and writing as we can this year, so that if he does lose his language ability, he will still have the ability to read and write. His mother and I both feel an urgency to teach him as much as we can as quickly as we can.


I have started with The Reading Lesson computer program and he is responding very well to it. I would like to know if I could get permission to copy pages from The Reading Lesson book to use with him. I know that it would help him greatly.


Thank you very much. Regardless of what you say, I want you to know how much I appreciate your program.



Glennys Sabuco

Special Education Teacher

Jordan School District

Sandy, Utah


I am writing to let you know how impressed I am with The Reading Lesson. My daughter enjoys it very much. I have been trying to convince my sons charter school to carry this program. I think it beats a lot of the other programs out there. It is simple and fun to use. It makes teaching reading fun and less scary! I love how the CD ROM incorporates the keyboard so the children learn where letters are.

Thank you very much for resending that lesson to me. I hope to show it and the CD ROM to the school if that is okay. The teacher looked online and said the program looked like it was for preschoolers. The school already offers Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. I have tried that program, and I think this one is superior. It is more engaging and interesting. I also think it is more fun than the totally scripted repetitive pages in the other program. I hope to convince her that this is a very complete program for teaching reading even to Kindergarteners. .....

Julie Merrill, Modesto, CA



The Reading Lesson is the perfect first reader. It teaches the main concepts one at a time. The stories are fun. My son wanted to read and reread them. The print decreases in size as the learner progresses, an effective teaching strategy. The pictures are simple, clear and straightforward. By teaching concepts in stead of rhyming, the child learns quickly and reads using sight words. Thank you writing a book that starts simple, is easy to use, grows with my son, keeps his attention and reinforces key concepts. As an educator I am very impressed. As a parent I am very thankful.

Ann O'Brien, RN, MSN, San Ramon, CA



I have been using the Reading Lesson with my 4-year old for a few months now. He loves it and is making remarkable progress. The program includes four workbooks and combines phonics with key word recognition. After we do each page, my son signs his name at bottom of the page, puts a sticker on the page, and sometimes draws a little picture or scribbles a title (real scribbles) on the top. I don't put any pressure on him to do more than we wants and it seems to work. Sometimes we get through two pages at a sitting, sometimes five or six. Thanks for putting together the Reading Lesson. The logical progression of learning sounds and words without all the rules makes your program so much better (for pre-schoolers especially) than others I have seen.

Renee Paufve, CA



We are really enjoying using the Reading Lesson at our small private school that deals with learning disabilities. We are very enthusiastic about your reading program. We have used and investigated many programs including Hooked on Phonics, Ball Stick Bird etc.. We like your program for several reasons. 1. It is a full scope program while most are only phonic or only bits and pieces of reading programs. 2. It never introduces a word without child knowing how to attack the word. 3. Even children with severe dyslexia have not been bored by it or refused to work with the program. Its Excellent

Marilyn King, Ph.D, Oak leaf Center, Kennewick, WA



I have enjoyed your Reading Lesson books. I think it's a great value for the money and a wonderful little program for parents to use at home. I've also recommended it to classroom teachers and LD specialists as a supplementary program for kids in the first and second grades who are having trouble learning to decode.

Nancy Mather, Ph.D. Dept. of  Sp. Education, College of Education, University of Arizona.



First of all, let me state that I think you are on to something terrific here. The program seems to be quite well thought-out, the graphics and animations are extremely professional and the sound recordings are obviously very well produced. The program seems to be well researched as well.

Gary Dauphin, Advisory Systems, Apple Computer Inc.

When my son was three-and-a-half, I began looking for books and programs on how to teach my son to read. My son soon became bored with books and the materials I  found. I began using the Reading Lesson books and CD when he turned four. He is now four and a half and knows all the sounds of the letters, including vowel sounds and has begun blending. The program is so easy to use for parents. The software is beautifully animated and he instantly loved it. I have to literally tell him to that it is time to put the program away because he spends so much time on the computer with it. My son's preschool teacher always mentions how much my son knows. Thanks for your wonderful program.

Suzan Cervantes, Palo Alto, CA



The best things in life are worth waiting for. Today I received the Reading Lesson and set it up with Silvana, age 5, and she spent 3 hours (late afternoon hours) totally immersed. I am so psyched about your products. The graphics are so clean, the steps so simple and intelligent, sequenced and non-patronizing to the child. Thanks you for all the thought and care that went into this program and the lack of silliness.

Janet Snoyer



I have been using your program to tutor young children now for about six months. I have used it with six children. As a tutor, I like to stay on top of what is good and what is not. ... Now to your software, I think it is a "real-reading" program. The books are necessary (so many people think that you can teach children to read from software alone.) and your stories are cute, short and fun. Writing pages are there. The software teaches all aspects, sounding, blending, visual memory, games, key words and your stories are cute, short and fun. Writing pages are there. The software teaches all aspects, sounding, blending, visual memory, games, key words. You have not cut any corners and you have not given in the desire to make the program "Hollywood" although the program is totally professionally done. The interface is simple. I like that. In many software, the interface is far more interesting than the material you are trying to reach so the child gets bored quickly. In your software, all the action is in the learning activities and not in the interface. This is how it ought be.

Vicky Patterson, Escondido, CA



My three year son just loves your videotape. He sings along with it and whenever he sees a cat, he says, c as in cat. I love it.

Fran Podova, New York




Today’s Librarian

Feb 2001

The Reading Lesson

by Michael Levin and Charan Langton



Langton and husband Michael Levin, a pediatrician, created this teaching guide after finding other reading programs on the market unsatisfactory. The authors present 20 lessons centered around the techniques of phonics, high-frequency word recognition and guided reading, all designed to take a child with no reading skills to a second-grade reading level. Lessons begin with three to four sounds and introduce key words commonly used in the English language. Each chapter adds new letter combinations and words while building on previous chapters. A special typography--words are large in the early lessons and get smaller--and symbols help children differentiate between letters and see exceptions to standard pronunciation rules. Chapters end with a short story. The lessons require direct involvement from a parent or teacher. The book is highly recommended for libraries with large home-schooling communities. Parents of children ages 4 to 8 with learning difficulties will also be interested. The book comes with a CD-ROM, progress chart and certificate of achievement. Mountcastle also produces The Writing Lesson as a companion course.




Review by Cathy Duffy

Oct 2001

This simplified phonetic reading program is presented in one large book that

also includes a companion CD-ROM that runs on either Windows or Macintosh

systems. Phonetic concepts are presented in twenty lessons. Rules are kept

to a bare minimum. For example, the sound for "ou" is taught as the sound in

"ouch." But the alternate sound as in "would" is not taught; instead "would,

could, should" are presented as sight words.

A unique marking system of underlining and other supplementary marks such as hollow circles above vowels is used to alert children to phonetic groupings, alternate vowel

sounds, and the difference between b and d. The system is fairly

unobtrusive; it does not play a major role as do marking systems in programs

such as The Writing Road to Reading.

Letters are taught in groups that allow children to begin reading words

immediately; lesson one teaches the letters "c,o,s,a," and "t," so children

can begin reading words such as "cat" and "sat." Children are not taught the

alphabet in its entirety first, although it won't hurt if they already know


Words, sentences, and short stories are interspersed throughout the lessons

for reading practice. The authors recommend that students first work through

the CD-ROM presentation for each lesson, then the lesson as presented in the

book. (If you do not have a computer, you can teach only from the book and

provide adequate instruction.) In both cases, a parent needs to work

alongside his or her child, providing explanations as needed, helping a

child know what to do next, listening as they read, etc.

The CD-ROM, created with Macromedia, features animations and sound along

with simple games to enhance the learning process. It's nicely done, but it

isn't always obvious how to proceed. I think most children who have worked

with such programs are fairly proficient at figuring such things

out.probably better than most adults. In any case, trial and error work

quite well.

Capital letters are introduced beginning in lesson eleven. Writing the

letters is not taught within this program. Mountcastle sells a separate

CD-ROM called The Writing Lesson. It includes printable worksheets for

ball-and-stick, slant-print, and cursive styles. You will need to work with

this or other resources to teach letter formation. Also, be aware that the

letter "a" in this book is printed only with the standard typeface form

rather than the ball-and-stick form typical of many early reading programs.

(This sometimes confuses children.)

A weak point is the lack of instruction on syllabication. In addition to the

omission, groupings of letters obscure syllable divisions, which might pose

a problem when you try to address the topic later on.

The Reading Lesson is a beginning reading program. While it does introduce

compound words, the vocabulary is almost exclusively one- and two-syllable

words. Some suffixes (ing, s, ed) are also taught. It does not try to cover

everything, but it should do a fairly good job of bringing children to the

point where they can read all first grade readers.

When you also consider how low the cost is for this program, it begins to look like a very good bargain.

Cathy Duffy

Oct 2001




The Reading Lesson

Review by Ann Blasius

Ann is a frist grade teacher at the Beach chool, Piedmont Unified School Dist

For Berkeley Macintosh Users Group (BMUG)

The Reading Lesson is a step by step interactive approach to reading for children ages 4 to 8. There are 20 lessons in the book that can help children learn to read fluently. This worthwhile program is designed for parents who want to help their preschool and kindergarten children to read.

The Reading Lesson is a practical structured teaching method, for the first time reader, as well as for children with reading difficulties. The book and a CD-ROM contain short stories and activities. The Wordbook contains all the important (Dolch) words used in the course. A video reviews the names and sounds of the alphabet in a straightforwad way. In each lesson children learn new sounds, letter combinations and words. The Word Theater has animation and characters - clowns, magicians, and sea creatures - that make learning to read fun for the child. The Interactive Reading Games build word recognition skills rapidally.

The Reading Lesson teaches new sounds, sound blending and how to recognize key sight words in a very step by step progression that is easy to follow. It also incoporates basic spelling. The program offers no gimmicks, or magic formulas. It is structured, simple and easy. Adult supervision is needed because the parent plays an important role in teaching the child to read.

The Reading Lesson uses both phonics and sight-words that are developmentally appropriate. The vocabulary of the program closely corresponds to 500 most commonly used words.

The Reading Lesson does not follow the alphabet, but instead begins by teaching the most common letters un the English language (similar approach as the Distar program in the book, "Teach your child to Read in 100 Lesson". This way children can begin reading words and simple stories from the very first lesson. Lower case letters only are used in the first ten lessons. Upper case letters come later.

The Reading Lesson concentrates on teaching children to decode. Decoding is not the same as reading comprehension. The goal of this program is to give children basic reading skills so they can begin to read independently.

I have used this program with some of my students, who were not familiar with the names of the letters, their sounds or how to blend to make words. They are now starting to look at words with new interest. They are beginning to try to sound out words they don't know.

This is a great program for parents who want to intorduce reading to their children.


Bob Spear

Publisher and Chief Reviewer

Heartland Reviews



READER: Laura Joy Francis


The Reading Lesson takes the basic form of How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, slows down the pace, and simplifies the concepts. Each lesson begins by introducing a few new letters or sound combinations. Then the reader builds competence and confidence by working through a slow, steady progression of practice sounds, practice words, matching games, short phrases, and stories.

Simple symbols are used to clarify potentially confusing pronunciation as new words are introduced. The reader is slowly weaned from these cues once a word has been read many times. Delightful line drawings of animals and objects illustrate stories and provide mnemonic sound cues as letters are presented. Punctuation, capitalization, and sight words are gradually worked in, and the print size steadily decreases as the difficulty of words increases.

This low-frustration reading program is particularly geared for children 4 to 7 years old and older children with reading challenges. We rated this book five hearts.


 I wish I had a picture of my five-year-old grandson’s  surprised look the first time he read “a cat sat” in chapter 1 of The Reading Lesson. “Am I reading, Grandma?” he wanted to know. Slowly but surely, Leo is learning to decode new words and recognize sight words. He especially enjoys the animated program, often conversing and laughing with Giggle Bunny. After we downloaded The Storybook file that you recently sent, he insisted on reading several stories in one sitting. I’m so glad we ordered the animated program, because he knows how to use the computer and can click on the program to review chapters he has learned.


I appreciate that you use lower-case letters in the first ten lessons. How many of us realize, when we teach children to read and write, that almost all letters in print are lower-case letters? As you mentioned in your book, you and Dr. Levin had taken this into consideration when creating the program. Another thing that I’d taken for granted is the fact that keyboards just have upper-case letters. While initially doing the interactive writing portion, Leo complained that he could not find the lower-case letters on the keyboard. Stickers with both lower- and upper-case letters helped solve that problem.  These stickers are the ones used to teach kids proper finger placement while learning to type. They are color-coded, which makes it more fun to type.


Teach Me Handwriting is also a big help. We’ve printed the pages, and Leo seems to enjoy writing on paper. Thanks again for this wonderful program.


 Mei Ling Rein




Winner of numerous awards, here are just some of the reviewer sites. Over 700 reviews in various blogs, and sites.



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