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Noah Webster's Reading Handbook

Noah Webster's Reading Handbook

by Darrel A. Trulson
Trade Paperback, 138 pages
List Price: $10.50 Sale Price: $8.93

See series description for full review.

See series description for full review.

If you're looking for an easy way to teach your kids how to read, you've found it. Based on The American Spelling Book (or, The Blue-Backed Speller), Noah Webster's Reading Handbook teaches individual letter sounds, blends, digraphs, and whole words and sentences in that order, with only a few phonics rules included.

Author Darrel A. Trulson explains how to use the book in a brief introduction. Children first memorize the sounds of each letter in the alphabet charts, then the short and long vowels, and then the consonants. Then there are whole-page charts for each of the letters and blends, grouped by short and long vowels and consonants, with a review at the end of each group.

Every word in the book is one-syllable, and there are several for each sound (single letter and blends). While learning single letter sounds, kids read lists of words; when learning blends, there are sentences in addition to the lists of words. When necessary, a phonics rule appears in a dialogue box at the bottom of the page.

When needed for purposes of distinction, letters get accent marks; otherwise words and letters are unmarked. The letters associated with the particular sound being learned appear in red, while all other letters are printed in black. Black and white drawings help students understand what sound is being learned (for instance, an ant appears next to the short a sound).

By the end of the book there's an extended reading review of longer stories that include many of the words already included as well as some multi-syllable words. At the end of the book there are fifteen reading charts, all referenced at the bottom of each lesson page, and these serve as review or help for struggling students.

Parents guide their kids through sounding out each sound and word, learning to blend sounds, and not moving to a new page in the book until they've mastered the previous one. There are no writing exercises specified, so if you want to add those you'll have to look for them elsewhere.

That's really all there is to it. Just pick up the book and start teaching your kids to read, having them sound out each letter and blend exactly as it appears on the page. For some reason, the author uses "egg" to demonstrate the long e sound in the initial chart, but this is the only error we've found, and otherwise this is an excellent beginning reading text for kids of all ages.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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Summary: A one-stop guide for teaching children how to read, based on a centuries-old American classic.

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  A Basic Phonics Program
Albanyaloe of South Africa, 6/10/2011
Excellent book that could be used as a starter phonics based reading curriculum. I have found it helpful and refer to it often. We use it for spelling lists too. Uncluttered, without loads of pictures to distract. Could be used with any phonics based workbook. Sometimes we spend a lot of money on flashy things when the old fashioned basic things work just fine. Useful for a K child or an adult learning to read.