Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons: A Mother’s Honest Review

Published:  July 6, 2020 Updated: July 27, 2020

By  Cheryl Jerabek

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons: Revised and Updated...
  • Engelmann, Siegfried (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 420 Pages - 06/15/1986 (Publication Date) - Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

Last update on 2024-03-04.

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I always appreciate reviews because they give me an inside look at a product or service. I especially find them helpful when they are written “straight from the horse’s mouth” by a person who used them. I decided to write a review on the “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” to give other parents a viewpoint from a mom who has used this program. That mom is me!


I will begin my review by saying teaching my child to read wasn’t altogether my idea. Truth be told, it wasn’t my idea. It was my six-year-old daughter’s brainstorm. I was petrified at the thought of teaching my child to read.

That’s what teachers are for...right?

My daughter kept begging though and after a long talk with her, I discovered something I felt horrible for not knowing before. She really couldn’t read. Yes, she could go through the motions of a lower-level beginner reader, but it was only by luck. She had zero comprehension and not a lot of knowledge of the basics either. I knew I had my work cut out for me, but my child was not going to be left behind.

I set about to find a reading course. I sifted through all of the reviews and focused on those that were written by users, not teachers or other professionals who were just giving their opinions. I was searching for one that taught far-from-confident moms like me how to teach their child. I found it.

“Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” was the program that caught my attention. The first thing that stood out to me was “EASY”.

I also liked that it mentioned there were 100 lessons because I didn’t trust programs that claimed any child would be an instant reader in the first class.

When I read the lessons were phonics-based, I almost backed out. I didn’t learn to read using phonics and honestly did not even know exactly what the phonics method was. In digging deeper, however, I learned that the course came with a script. I decided to move forward. My daughter was ecstatic.

I want to mention that in researching this particular program, I saw where it is best for children who have not learned another type of reading instruction. I spoke to my daughter’s teacher and she didn’t feel it would be a problem since she was teaching through phonics and was not using a specific method. That may seem odd but it is a charter school and so there are no requirements to have a special method. She also indicated that she felt my daughter was intimidated learning in the group, so she was in favor of the private, more relaxed, lessons.

I was so excited after ordering this program, I posted about it on Facebook. A friend of mine who homeschools her three children messaged right back and told me this is the program she has used for all of her kids. She has twins who are preschoolers and a first grader as well. It was comforting to learn that someone I respect as a very “hands-on” mom had turned to the same program that I had.

“Will you help me if I have trouble teaching it?” I asked in desperation. “I will...but you won’t have trouble,” she assured. As it turns out, she was right!

mother and son reading together


Along with not being a teacher, I am also not big on reading instructions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not as challenged as I may seem. I have a great job at a top advertising firm.

But some things I am better at than others. That having been said, I have to admit I panicked when I got to the instructions.

As it turns out, there was no need to.

The program is designed to be super simple for the teacher and the student. Whew...was I ever happy to find that out!

My daughter and I agreed that we would do one twenty-minute lesson per day for 100 weekdays. I wanted her to have week-ends free. She agreed.

I was expecting there to be a lot of mess to deal with - like flashcards and pieces. This program has fewer pieces than most of our family board games do though...a very pleasant surprise. The lessons are nicely illustrated and even color-coded. Yay for that!

Lessons were easy and enjoyable to teach. There were forty-four letter formations we learned about (yes...we!). It was all about decoding. Not every sound was covered, but with the knowledge of the sounds that were, figuring out those that weren’t was very simple...common sense. Letter with long vowel sounds, like “the” came with the long mark line (macron) over the letter. Another helpful feature was that silent letters were miniature.

The system in this program is genius, in my opinion. A lot of research went into formulating it just right so that reading is learned naturally, the way the brain comprehends it in real-life, not just in theory. Not all words in the mix are coded which allows your child to take off on his or her own since this method is only a learning format and real books don’t use the symbols or make silent letters miniature.

I was shocked at how well my daughter caught on to that aspect of the course.

Upon starting the lessons, I saw where my child would not have done so well in a group setting. She is a perfectionist and gets very upset with herself when she has to think about a sound. In the past, she expected to be a pro at reading right off the bat. I spent some time convincing her otherwise.

“You are doing a terrific job LEARNING these words and sounds,” I repetitively encouraged.

My little student was also easily distracted. I could picture a class full of kids and how that could be a real issue. Initially, I made sure we did classes in a very quiet place without any interruptions at all. Later, once she got the hang of it, we advanced to a less “sterile” environment and she did great.

Once we got half-way into the lessons, I branched out and adlibbed some of the teachings rather than going strictly by the script. Had my daughter not been as cooperative and receptive as she was, I’m not sure I would have thought. In our situation, it worked out well.

Included in the lesson plan were words, sentences, and also reading practice stories. The words at the end of the course were more difficult to challenge her, but not past what she was capable of doing. There are some pages (also at the end) that have additional phonetic sounds that are optional to teach. My daughter wanted to learn everything, so we elected to do those.

There were also some suggestions for further reading material which we will be ordering soon. Besides, more comprehensive reading programs were mentioned that can help measure progress from this lesson program and introduce anything that was missed in this one. I don’t feel those will be necessary, however.

parent & baby with book


As I write this section of my review, tears are streaming down my cheeks. What I didn’t mention earlier is when my daughter and I had our talk, she confided in me that the other children were making fun of her lack of reading skills. “One time I had to ask to go to the restroom so I could throw up,” she told me. If you are a parent, you can imagine how gut-wrenching it was to hear that.

I remember the day she flew in the door after school, screaming at the top of her lungs, “I did it! I did it!” She was beaming, ear to ear. Once she settled down a notch, she told me all about reading aloud in class without making a single mistake. “I’m going to ask if I can be picked to read EVERY day!” she added with confidence.

“Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” has changed our lives. My daughter loves to read and is very good at it. She is comfortable reading out loud and enjoys reading to herself too. She is reading at a second-grade level now. I am proud of her and me as well. I turned out to be a pretty good teacher, thanks to the scripts and easy instructions.

Perhaps the most valuable thing this course has given my daughter and me is an unbreakable bond between us. We did it together. I know throughout her life we’ll do many other great things together too.

If you are a parent who is contemplating trying the “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” course, I hope my review will encourage you to go for it. Choosing to purchase and go through with teaching this reading program to my daughter is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons: Revised and Updated...
  • Engelmann, Siegfried (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 420 Pages - 06/15/1986 (Publication Date) - Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

Last update on 2024-03-04.

Cheryl Jerabek

Cheryl Jerabek lives in a tiny remote town in Southwestern Colorado. She writes full-time from her cabin nestled in the mountains. She often expresses how lucky she feels to be able to do what she loves from a setting that looks like a postcard. When she’s not writing, Cheryl loves hanging out with her husband and two grown children, her dog, Joe, and adores spending time with her three grandchildren.

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