Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons: How To Modify For Special Needs

“Why are you homeschooling her?”

“Aren’t you worried about socialization?”

It seemed all of my daughter’s friends were going to kindergarten and I was dodging questions from their respective mothers.

When I began homeschooling, I felt the pressure BIG TIME. And I wanted to get the naysayers off my back.

So what was my solution? To get my kid reading ASAP.

Not sure if this resonates, but I know I wasn’t alone. So whether you’re a new homeschool mom or you’ve got a 12 year-old who’s still cries at the thought of picking up a book, keep reading.

Today, I’m talking about Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Specifically, I’m taking about:

Homeschool Goal #1: Get My Kid To Read

“Public school was good enough for me, so it’s good enough for my kids.”

Man, that one was beyond annoying.

‘And why do you care what I am doing?’

(Anyhoo, it’s been more than 11 years. I’m over it, right?)

Regardless, in response to the inquisition, I became a defensive and determined.


This was my goal. Once I taught my oldest to read, I’d sure show them.

(No, my motives weren’t pure. Live and learn, right?)

Search for the Best Homeschool Reading Program

My first step was to hit up the local homeschool store to find the perfect reading curriculum. (Hint- it doesn’t exist.)

But in the end, it wasn’t an expensive boxed reading curriculum that worked.

Nope. It was a $15 paperback.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons: Quick Snapshot

100 Easy Lessons is literally one book with 100 daily reading lessons.

It can be highly effective for all types of learners including those with ADHD, APD, and older kids who need extra reading support.

The program gives kids a jump start to reading. The stated goal is for the child to read at a 2nd grade level by the 100th lesson. It does this by focusing on:

Reading comprehension is not specifically addressed. When done with 100 Easy Lessons, you’ll need to work on comprehension skills.

For more on that, read How To Homeschool A Struggling Reader-The Mother of All Guides.

Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons Works For ADHD & APD

If you didn’t know, we are an ADHD family (Hint… ADHD is hereditary). On top of that, one of my girl’s has an Auditory Processing Disorder diagnosis.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons worked beautifully for our outside-the-box minds for a few reasons:

  • The lessons are short and to the point,
  • They require no-prep work by mom (limited decision making required),
  • And the lessons support visual and kinesthetic learners.

Ultimately, the quick progress and small goals are encouraging to child and momma.

RELATED POST: How To Choose The Best Homeschool Curriculum for Learning Differences

** Learn more about auditory and language processing issues here.

Read In 100 Easy Lessons With DISTAR? What’s that?!

If you’re familiar with All About Reading, you may know about the Orton-Gillingham method of reading instruction.

Likewise, Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons uses it’s own approach called DISTAR.  The method is fascinating to say the least!

Personally, I highly recommend reading the PARENTS GUIDE at the beginning of the book as it explains the logic behind it. Here’s a brief explanation of the methodology if you’re interested.

Modified Alphabet System- What’s a Macron?!!

100 Easy Lessons uses a modified alphabet system that provides visual cues that indicate which sound is associated with the alphabet symbol. 

For example, the letter symbol “e” is modified slightly depending upon how it’s used in a word.

  • In the earlier lessons, macrons are shown to indicate long vowel sounds.
    • What’s a Macron?
      • (A macron is the little line above vowels. You typically will see these in a dictionary.)
long e sound in distar method
Long e is shown with the macron in Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

Vowel Teams & Silent Letters: Size Indicates Silence

All silent vowels are initially introduced in a smaller font to indicate that it should remain silent.

As shown below, the silent /a/ in the vowel team /ea/ as in EAT is printed in smaller font in order to show that it’s a silent vowel.

In the end, visual cues like these are extremely helpful for kids who need extra supports.

vowel team teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons
Silent vowels are shown in small font in order to offer visual cues to children learning to read with 100 Easy Lessons.

Slowly Remove Reading Supports

DISTAR’s unique letter symbols are gradually removed as kids begin to recognize the letter patterns and sounds.

In other words, the brain no longer needs extra visual cues. For most kids, this transition happens seemlessly.

Mom-Friendly Reading Lessons: I Don’t Have To Think!

One reason I love Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons is that I don’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about how and what to say!

The program is scripted and gives step-by-step instructions for mom. This may seem to be stifling to some. But here’s my thinking:

We mommas already have to make 1,987,867 decisions in a day. Less decision-making means I have more mental capacity for those life-or-death homeschool moments.

For example, remaining calm so I can keep my kid alive when he’s hanging from a two-story foyer. (True story.)

Simple and to the point and your (uh… I mean, my) kid is still breathing. Can I get an amen?

Every decision we moms make requires cognitive energy.

If you don’t have to think about the specific words to use in a homeschool lesson, you save precious energy that can be used later.

Unique Multisensory Approach in 100 Easy Lessons

When teaching anything, using multiple senses increases engagement and retention. Notice the multiple senses used in this simple walk-through of the reading lesson.

  • Mom verbalizes the script aloud to the student. (auditory)
  • Letter sounds and words are repeated by the child. (Hint… oral language is physical movement)
  • The child follows the visual text with his eyes. (visual)
  • Physically follows the text with his pointer finger. (again more kinesthetic movement)

.2 Tips To Modify Curriculum To Work For Your Child

1. Think About Visual Processing

The pages in Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons are minimalistic with limited pictures or color.  On the surface the text may appear dry and boring. 

But, this is one reason why the system can be effective for children learning differences.

Many children (and adults) become overly stimulated with lots of visual input.

Visual Discrimination Can Be A Problem With 100 Easy Lessons

On the other hand, the way in which 100 Easy Lessons is laid out could possibly be a problem for some kids.

Here’s why: visual discrimination.

What is Visual Discrimination?

When looking at a page of text, the brain has to tease through all the visual input it receives through the eyes. This requires cognitive fuel.

When learning a new concept or skill, the brain uses more energy because the process is not fluent.

By removing visual clutter, we make it easier for the brain to focus on the actual learning objective rather than teasing through visual clutter.

parent script in 100 easy lessons

There is quite a bit of text on the pages of 100 Easy Lessons. To modify, make copy & remove the parent script from your child’s line of vision.

This will help your student zero in on what’s most imporant and reduce stress.

RELATED POST: The Struggling Student & Visual Clutter

2. Short Lessons In Read In 100 Easy Lessons: Make Them Shorter!

The lessons are short and to the point (no more than 20 minutes a day). The low time commitment makes learning to read very manageable.

And honestly, when I used Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons, I broke up the lessons into smaller 5 to 10 minute sessions.

  • Sometimes, I’d break up the lessons into a short 5-minute session in the morning,
  • And then a 5-minute session before lunch.

Or if you’re using it with an older student with a greater attention span, you can do more than one lesson per day. The point is that Read In 100 Easy Lessons can be modified to fit the student.

RELATED POST: Teaching ADHD Students At Home- 19 Homeschool Teaching Tips

Modify Any Curriculum To Fit Your Child

Regardless, I highly recommend modifying ANY curriculum into smaller chunks of time when necessary.

I especially recommend short lessons with younger children and any child (or teen) who struggles with executive functioning.

Jumping on my soapbox for a second, Friend. If you know me this won’t be a surprise.

Short consistent lessons over time are so much more effective than forcing longer ones.
Less is more in formal learning.

Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons: Final Thoughts

Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons is user-friendly, requires no prep time for the instructor, and is cheap (around $15).

While it’s not exciting, it certainly does the trick for many students.

In the end, I highly recommend Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. It’s a great tool for the beginning reader as well as older students who need extra support.

So, Friend. What are your thoughts? Have you used 100 Easy Lessons? What questions do you have about reading? Learning differences?

Comment below.

How To Homeschool A Struggling Reader (The Mother of All Guides)
Teaching ADHD Students At Home- 19 Homeschool Teaching Tips
The Struggling Student & Visual Clutter

Does Your Child Struggle To Remember:

What They’ve Read?
Multi-step Directions?
What you asked not 5 min ago?

boy confused saying huh?

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