Teaching your child to read can be very challenging. Every child learns differently, at a different pace, and often, at different ages. So far in my journey, I have had kids learn to read at 5, 8, and 7 years old (all boys). I have used dozens of programs and curricula through to years to accomplish my goal of raising readers. I had never heard of or tried the Learning Dynamics Reading Program by Learning Dynamics, so I was curious to see how it would work for my not-yet-reading six year old, Jack.
About the Learning Dynamics Reading Program
This is a complete learn to read program recommended for ages 4-7. It includes everything you need to help your child become a reader in as little as four weeks. It comes in a handy little box that keeps everything together and easily accessible.
Included in the reading program is:
- Lesson Manual
- Student workbook
- 50 full-color readers
- Music CD
- Reward cards
Each lesson is teacher led and requires only 15 minutes per day, 3 days per week. The manual gives simple and clear instructions for each lesson. First, the letter is introduced using the flashcards. Then you read a short story to the child to help the child remember the letter. Each letter lesson then has a song to listen to further reinforce letter sounds. A workbook page is then completed and the song is played once more. To close the lesson, the flashcards are used to review what has been learned and the child is given his reward card to keep.
Blending lessons begin after five letters are introduced and learned and are structured a bit differently. There are videos on the website that help demonstrate how to implement the lessons which is super helpful. The short readers are introduced after lesson 9 requiring mastery before introducing the next book. There are a total of 41 letter lessons with built-in review and 14 letter blend lessons. This learn to read program is backed by a 30-day money back guarantee, which I think is great considering not all programs work for every child.
After teaching three of my boys to read, and seeing how sometimes they are not ready to learn to read at 5, 6, or even 7 years of age, I approached this review in a very relaxed manner. Some lessons we repeated over several days and we were both ok with that. If you have read previous reviews, you might remember that Jack is not very fond of kid songs. This made it challenging to complete lessons as the CD is an integral part of the reading program. Some days he whined and refused to actually pay attention to the songs. Other days he humored me. Candy was sometimes involved as an incentive! I think this had an impact on his mastery of each lesson.
Most of the workbook we did orally without writing in the book, as some days he just didn’t feel like coloring. We also opted not to use the handwriting lines when they were included on the workbook pages, as we are already doing a separate handwriting program. These tweaks made our lesson times seem a lot more like quality mommy time, which made him look forward to our lessons.
As a busy mom with a houseful of kids (and currently puppies), I liked that very little prep was required and the lessons were short and to the point. I also appreciated the way all the materials were packaged and easy to keep together and grab as needed. The little stories for each letter included in the lesson manual were fun to read and Jack seemed to enjoy them. They are a little like long tongue twisters, with a lot of repetetion of the letter sound being learned.
So did Jack learn to read with this reading program? That’s a tricky question to answer. Some days he read words without a lot of trouble. Other days, he seemed to not be able to recall letter sounds he appeared to have mastered previously. That tells me that the issue is not the program itself, but rather his readiness. While he is at the age where it is fun to play with letter sounds and words, he is not quite ready to get into the serious work of becoming a reader. He’s a 6 year old boy, and in my experience most boys at this age are not quite ready. I am ok with that! We will continue to do and re-do the letter lessons and blending lessons, and reading the books together until he shows he is ready for the more involved task of reading for himself.
Make sure you click on the graphic below to read more Crew Reviews of the Learning Dynamics Reading Program!