Book Review

Reading After ABC

11836353_950091725046935_94757040_o-1I know we aren’t the only family out there with struggling readers. Kids struggle with reading no matter what educational avenue they are walking. Often the struggle continues even after the child has mastered their alphabet and phonics. Would you like to know where you go from there? My friend Rachel has written a ‘guide book’ to help you take the next step with your child: Now What? A Guide to Teaching Reading After Phonics.

This book is an effort to share the steps of reading with you. This book will not cover how to actually decode words. That is to say, I will not tell you how to teach your child to sound out words in order to be able to say them out loud. This book is for the child who has already learned how to get the words off the page and now needs to go deeper. Normally, this would mean children in second grade and higher, although there may be younger kids to whom this would also apply.

Reading is a complex activity. ~Rachel Harrison

This book is also an attempt to organize reading, and all of the fancy terms associated with it, into simple, easy-to-understand language that provides reading teachers and kids’ parents or caregivers with the tools to work together for each child’s success. As a beginning teacher, and then later as the leader of my school’s reading study team, I was extremely frustrated by the lack of organization and clarity in the materials I saw that supposedly teach reading. I have also been frustrated by the vocabulary used to describe reading skills. It took me a year to find the definition of the word “schema.” Everyone used it, but no one could explain it well enough to be useful. As an educator, I found this unacceptable. Reading is complex, but everyone does it to some degree. The trick is to demystify the process so that everyone understands it well enough to teach it to a child.

Finally, my goal with this book is to include some practical strategies, questions, and activities to help you help your student. I hope you find these to be useful. They are by no means completely new inventions, and they are not a comprehensive list of all the possible resources available. My goal is to avoid overwhelming you, and to give you some options that you could use repeatedly with your child. I tell my students that it is never bad to do the same things over and over again in reading. They play the same games, practice the same sports, and even eat the same meals more than once. Repetition is a part of life, and it is a part of reading. I hope you find this resource to be user-friendly.

Rachel will be hanging around this blog post to answer any questions you may have about teaching reading or about her book content. Please ask away!

For a chance to win a copy of the book for free, click on the link below. Entries include:

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1 thought on “Reading After ABC”

  1. My forth child is a struggling reader or at least has been, it seems to have taken off this summer. I’m sure this book will be of huge help to parents teaching their children this vital skill.

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