Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons

If your school age child needs help with their literacy skills or your preschooler is interested in learning to read, then try this DIY program.

DIY reading lessons for your child, preschoolers and up

“Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons” by Siegfried Engelmann, Phyllis Haddox and Elaine Bruner

This DIY teach your child to read book is based on the successful DISTAR  (Direct Instruction) Reading Program developed by Professor Engelmann.

I decided to try this book out with my oldest child, in the year before she was to enter her first year of school. She was six at the time and was showing a keen interest in books and had even learnt to read a few simple words.

Essentially, this book, offers a basic, progressive reading programme that concentrates on the letter sounds.

The great things about “Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” are:

  • Allows a parent or carer to teach the reading program to their child, at the child’s pace. This allows the individual child the chance to learn in their own and not their class mate’s time. I imagine this is one of the reasons why the DISTAR Programme is so successful.
  • Is well structured, lessons build on the material learnt previously. The beginner lessons are very simple and slowly become more difficult. There is lots of repetition and revision on the way to allow for the mastery of skills and enjoyment for the child. The first lesson begins with learning the sound “M”. By the 100th lesson the child can read a complete story.
  • Reading lesson plans are easy to follow for a parent, carer or home schooler who has no previous teaching experience. A script is provided to assist with this.
  • Does not require a child to know their alphabet or their letters.
  • The DISTAR program has been designed to accelerate the learning of children who want to be extended as well as assist those with learning difficulties.
  • The DISTAR program is based on teaching children to learn the different sounds that letters make.
  • Includes a reading guide for future reading once the lessons have been completed.
  • The lessons provide lots of opportunity to bond with your child and give them lots of one on one attention, as well as watch them develop a new skill.
  • Each lesson takes around 15 minutes (depending on the concentration and interest of the child!)

Ensure you are ready for the program

Like many DIY books, the success of the “Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lesson” depends on the attitude of the people using the book.

Both children and adults need to be ready to use and benefit from the book.

Only do the lessons in the book when you child can concentrate and enjoy them.

I know from experience with my own children, that sometimes kids just do not want to sit down. Because of the age of my daughter when we first commenced the programme, it took us about 18 months to complete. We used to stop when it became to hard, or she was tired or  disinterested. Sometimes we would have a gap of a few days or weeks in between lessons.

Please don’t force a child to sit and “do their lessons”. You run the danger of having them associate reading with something they dread.


Both my children completed this programme with me. I believe it gave them a head start to reading at school, a greater understanding of letter sounds, and most importantly, enjoyment.


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