Revised and Updated
2022 Edition

A Research-based Reading Program
for Home or Tutorial Use



Robert W. Sweet, Co-founder and Former President: “…Teach Your Child to read In 100 Easy Lessons has been endorsed by the NATIONAL RIGHT TO READ FOUNDATION, as an exemplary instructional program for teaching children to read… In our review of your program, we have used the following criteria: is the instructional approach direct and systematic; are the reading skills taught in the order of difficulty students have in learning them; is the phonetic system taught in a specific sequence; is adequate practice provided at each step to ensure that the principles being taught are thoroughly learned; are letter sounds taught in isolation; is the blending of the sounds of the letters taught; is the phonetic system taught in its entirety; and finally, does the individual learn to read using your system of phonetic teaching instruction? Based on our assessment, you meet and exceed these requirements. While no one need tell you your program is academically sound-the results speak for themselves… The continued problem of illiteracy is an enormous one, but you have made a very significant contribution to solving one of American’s greatest needs. Congratulations on your achievement…”

Brittany Lemons, Family and Community Engagement SpecialistBirth to Five Illinois: I have spent years of my life being passionate about literacy and reading… In college I took a path that led me to keep teaching younger and younger children, trying to figure out why they were not prepared until I began directing childcare centers in 2015. I also had my own son that year. In 2020 I started researching how to teach my son, Bennett to read. He had missed the last part of preschool because of COVID and I wanted him to be prepared as possible.

So I came across a podcast “Spectacular Vernacular” a linguist podcast about how it’s so hard to teach the English language because it doesn’t make sense and that journey led Mark Seidenberg to discover his daughter couldn’t actually read. Until he found a book, “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons”. So…I bought the book. We dove into in head first at home and at the schools I worked for. And it was unbelievable how easy it was! We literally cried every time groups of 3–4-year old’s read their first sentences, while seeing the look of amazement and accomplishment on their faces…

Recently I started a new job and I keep hearing/finding the same things. Children are not being taught to read! And parent/teachers have no idea this is happening until about 2nd or 3rd grade. The main reading curriculum is not scientifically researched or backed!

… My son is now in second grade and reading chapter books. The ease that he has when he reads is outstanding and he comprehends it all! Being an educator in this work, I recognize all the care, thought and research it takes to create a resource like this that is so easy for children and facilitators to understand and teach!”

Ginger Burke“Last year when COVID-19 hit, and schools closed, I reluctantly decided to teach my kindergartener to read. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons was recommended to me by a dear friend, and it was the perfect fit. I followed the instructions exactly, and the program worked beautifully. My son did very well with the lessons, but he was super disappointed that he still couldn’t read “real” books by himself. Maybe I should admit here that I am slightly obsessed with languages and words, so I thought it would be fun to create some Easy Readers for him. When he discovered that he could read the little books by himself, his confidence soared, and my heart overflowed with joy :)”

Dr. Susan Syverud: “While working within a university-school partnership, I trained, supervised, and guided my teacher candidates as they implemented “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” with the lowest performing first grade readers at a large urban elementary school. Semester after semester, I witnessed children who were considered “nonreaders” or poor readers advance to reading with joy and confidence and candidates who became skilled and proud of their newfound craft.”

Nico West: “First let me send a Giant Thank You to the Authors! I bought this book in 1986 when my first daughter was 1 year old. I realized that the parent has to be willing & dedicated in using this material. I had started my children in learning to read at about 1 month old by making big flashcards with everyday words. So it was not very long that my children (2 yrs. old) were reading on a 3rd & 4th grade level with the instruction given in this book. I have recommended this book to over 100 parents and again today. This book is still the best to teach children to read! What is really Awesome, the co-author has a website that gives parents lessons, videos and supplemental materials; this makes it so much easier and motivating for the parents. I wish this existed when I started out!”

Celine Tan, Singapore: “This letter is too long overdue. My grateful thanks for the wonderful programme that I taught my kids and many others when I was a stay home mom more than 25 years ago. You might like to know that I taught an 18th-month-old baby to read and she was able to read way before her peers. Of course, the programme needs to be supplemented with storytelling and other stuff. Because we still use British English and their way of spelling, the programme was adapted somehow, but it still worked out. I just want to commend you on how easy especially since it helped to bond our children in those growing up years knowing their short attention span. My kids are extremely grateful for the opportunity to be enriched by the programme and fond memories of some cute and silly stories. Great job and thanks so much!”

S.T.: “I wanted to write a quick update on my now 4.5-year-old daughter. We finished the workbook (quite some time ago) and I followed the instructions as closely as I could. She is a FANTASTIC reader now and her comprehension is even better. I have overheard her trying to teach her friends how to sound out words, make up reading games, and she tries to sound out license plates to humour herself. Her junior kindergarten teacher believes she is reading confidently at a grade 2 level. Her teacher will ask her to read to the class once a week and my daughter receives a “I read to the class” certificate which has been great for her confidence and shyness. What I didn’t expect was your book has exposed my dirty reading secret. I came from a very troubled abusive home, and I taught myself how to read by memorizing 1000s of words. Before your book, I did not know the sounds of any vowels except for A. I had no idea about the purpose of an E at the end of a word. Or what sounds OU, AI usually make. When I am presented with an unfamiliar word, I will try to break it into words that I already know to recode it. I know my reading issues have stopped me from engaging further in school, social situations or learning languages. I even hired a receptionist so I wouldn’t be forced to mispronounce the names of new clients or answer the phone and write out an appt with a name I was unfamiliar with…My daughters reading is GREAT. Occasionally I will see her searching the picture to figure out a very big word and I will cover the picture. Otherwise, she uses the tools that she has. My own reading has improved tremendously. My spelling and ability to re-code words is much improved! So much that I have enrolled in French classes. Thank you again. I really wasn’t expecting this and am 1000x grateful for her (and myself). With all my love”

Dr. Kurt Engelmann: In his book Direct Instruction: A Practitioner’s Handbook, Engelmann (2024) writes, “The numerous testimonials by users of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons referred to above underscore how parents using the program for as little as 20 minutes a day with no training can successfully teach their children to read, even children who have been labeled dyslexic or learning disabled.  If parents…can use a program successfully with their own children, shouldn’t schools be able to do the same for all students?”

Dr. Kerry Hempenstall: Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Lecturer in Disability Studies, Division of Psychology, School of Health Sciences, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Victoria, Australia. “Although the content of the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons was developed earlier than most of the research into phonemic awareness, it is now evident that the combination of letter-sound instruction and phonemic awareness training (as incorporated in the 100 Lessons program) is a potent one in stimulating early reading development. In the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Clinic (Australia), and at many schools, training in Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons has been provided to parents, volunteers, and teachers to successfully implement this program in an individual or group format. When implemented faithfully, the program has proved very effective for students with a wide range of individual learner characteristics.”

Bruce Dang: “I found your email via your website “startreading.com” and want to let you know how your book “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” changed my life. I am the father of a 3.5-year-old girl who expressed interest in reading at ~3 years old. She would constantly pretend to read and asked me questions when I am reading my books/magazines. For a couple weeks, I tried to teach her how to read using the “Bob books” series, but they were not particularly effective; I am not sure if it is due to the lack of repetition or systematic presentation. In either case, my daughter did not like them or other similar books. Then one day I decided to purchase your book and read through it myself. As a professional instructor (I teach adults how to program computers), the book’s approach made sense to me, so I tried it out. Somehow my daughter really connected with the book. For the first 20 or so lessons, she did 2 sessions/day where she’d repeat the same lesson twice (one in the morning and one in the afternoon); after that, she felt really confident and so we changed it up to 1 session/day with 2 lessons/session. She is now on chapter 68 and reads fluently. I also supplement the lessons by creating my own “stories” with similar sounds/words and we spend 15 minutes/day on these. When I saw her reading on her own or recognizing words in my books, it made me cry. I never knew what it was like to teach someone how to read. I would have to say this is my proudest achievement as a father. It brought me an immense amount of happiness. My daughter also feels more confident when going out as well; she’d randomly read the signs and other stuff with words on them. None of this would be possible without your book. I want to thank you for making a difference in my life. Have a great day.”

Gregory Woodward: “I hope this email finds you well. My name is Greg Woodward and I’m a education consultant as well as the parent of a 5 -year-old. I completed your outstanding book a few months ago with my son and loved it so much I wrote a blog post about it: https://droppingsomeknowledge.com/lets-send-this-systematic-phonics-book-to-every-kindergartner-in-the-country/ I just wanted to let you know about it. My blog reaches a lot of education reform types (I used to work at KIPP and Uncommon School) and just want to spread the word. Anyhow, I’m sure the book has been doing super well but I wanted to 1. thank you for writing it and 2. let you know about this post in case it is helpful for your marketing efforts.”

Gary and Phyllis R., both teachers: “We wanted to thank you for teaching our son to read in 100 easy lessons. Our son began the program at the end of May and completed it in August (a few days before first grade was to begin). It was wonderful watching a ‘normal’ learner diligently become first a beginning reader and then a confident second grade reader by summer’s end. Four months later (December) our son is a confident reader who breezes his way through second grade books. His reading comprehension was nearly always 100% and my wife had to construct new questions to make it more difficult and more interesting for him. Teaching reading has never been so much fun for us, and we thank you for this wonderful gift.”

Caleb Burns “I’m a psychologist in private practice in Portland, Oregon, and I recommend the book frequently to parents of young children (and especially to those parents who are concerned about the school system not focusing on phonics instruction). I used the book to teach both of our children to read, this when they were 4 years of age. The “Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons” worked very well, with the children learning to read quite complicated material by the end of that time. (I spent more than a hundred days going through the book, by the way, and it still worked very well.)”

Donna Dressman, Indiana: “When my son was identified as one of the 5 weakest readers in his school’s first grade, he was placed in a remedial reading pull-out program. (Here, he was taught the same things in the same manner–just more of it!) I started “100 Easy Lessons” with him and, after only 68 lessons, we could not hold him back! He was reading anything and everything! At the end of second grade, he was the top reader in his class, scoring at 5.0 grade level in reading. His success, (as well as his LOVE of chapter books) can be credited to instruction in this systematic, explicit phonics approach. Many thanks to Phyllis and Zig!!”

Rob GoodladVernon, British Columbia: “Two years ago I taught my four-year-old son to read using TYC… I am now teaching my four-year-old daughter… I would like to thank you for providing my children a logical method of learning to read. This course has also given me time with my children on an individual basis. I have enjoyed this unforeseen side effect.”

Freedom to Learn web page by Karl M. Bundy“Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons Siegfried Engelmann, Phyllis Haddox and Elaine C. Bruner (New York: Fireside, 1986 c. 1983) (ISBN 0-671-63198-5). 395 pages; parents’ guide. Highly recommended, easy-to-use guide for teaching children to read at home, which has turned many four-year-olds into readers as they looked on while older siblings were taught with the book. Entirely true quotation, from the introduction: ‘After you complete the program, you’ll know more about teaching reading than most public-school teachers, because you will have carefully observed and participated in the step-by-step development of your child’s reading skills.’ RECOMMENDED.”

Kris Persson: “It truly has been an absolute gift for my son. He’s zooming through that book like you would not believe when he had been considered a low-performer or a non-performer at school.”

Angie P.: “I wanted to thank you personally for writing this book. It worked even though my child was challenged by language difficulties. My son didn’t speak until after the age of two, and when he did speak it was garbled. As his language developed, every new step was a new challenge — putting words together, getting them in the right order, pronouns, whatever came up. He understood everything we said and tested 6 months ahead in all other developmental areas, so thankfully it was only a language problem, not an intelligence problem. He was in speech therapy for three whole years. When he was dismissed his SLP told me that he would probably have difficulty with reading and writing. (I have read that, for at least some dyslexics, the problem is that they cannot *hear* the difference between, say, “d” and “t” when they are listening. So when they read they are completely lost. They appear to only have problems with written language because when using oral language, they can use contextual clues.) I decided to teach him with your book. My son had some difficulty in the beginning, with ‘say it slow,’ but because the program teaches each lesson to mastery, I would do those lessons over. In that way he got the amount of practice that he required. He would have been left behind, or more likely not been taught this skill at all, at our school! I want you to know that my son reads wonderfully so far and enjoys his new skill. He shows no signs at all of what he has overcome, thanks to your book. Phyllis, thank you very much!”

J.A. Zink: “Without sounding too mushy, this has really changed my life. I realize that I am best able to teach my children. If my ‘retarded’ daughter can learn to read, anyone can. My son’s teacher said that this method was too ‘confining.’ As a result, I home-schooled him, too. He is way ahead of other children and loves to learn. I really noticed his ability to concentrate has really increased. Initially, I needed to split the first lessons into two parts a few hours apart. My son has learned that he can trust his mother and look to her for guidance – after all, I taught him to read. There are some kids graduating from high school that can’t read as well as he can.”

The Denver Post, May 1996: “A simple, inexpensive tool our company is using in a volunteer program to help non-readers in a local grade school is the book, TYC… It is a highly structured format which leads the child step by step to a second grade reading level. It is effective with children from all social and economic backgrounds, and they love it. I would be happy to share our experience with any parent, grandparent or volunteer who can spare 15-20 minutes per day to help a child learn to read.” Norma Tabor, Denver.

William Heward: “My wife, Jill Dardig (a special ed Prof. at Ohio Dominican College in Columbus), used 100 Easy Lessons to teach both of our children to read as preschoolers. Jill described the experience with our son in an article published in the Nov/Dec 1987 issue of The Gifted ChildToday (Vol. 10, No. 6). The article functions as testimonial and encouragement for parents to teach their children at home. The article does not imply that children need to be especially smart as a prerequisite to learning to read before entering school. Jill was able to make a statement about the importance and benefits of providing explicit instruction to precocious children, and it also is a nice demonstration that Direct Instruction works just fine with above-average children, that they don’t get bored, lose interest in reading, etc.” (See next)

Jill Dardig: “Our 4-year-old son is curled up on the couch reading a story about snakes to his dad. After he is finished, he will be able to tell me and his little sister all about boa constrictors and red, spitting cobras. My son is a typical, active preschooler, who loves to play with his friends and transformer toys, ride his tricycle, and read. The skill of reading at an early age has added an exciting new dimension to his life… For us, the results have been exciting though certainly not magical. Intensive work was required, but it has been a great experience for us both.” (From the published magazine article, Teaching Your Preschooler to Read.)

To give your own testimonial, e-mail Phyllis Haddox at teachyourchild100EZ@gmail.com