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Tip to Promote Good Attitude During Reading Lessons

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Reading lesson smarty tip

I have used *Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons to teach all of my children to read, and I am currently using it on my 8th child.  Same old, trusty book, minus the cover, plus a few scribbled on pages.

I love this book for so many reasons.

  • The lessons are short, usually around 15 minutes long.
  • The book is all you need. There are no worksheets or flashcards involved.
  • The parent part is scripted. Simply read aloud the words in red. No wondering exactly how to present the lesson.
  • The child REALLY CAN read on about second grade level at the end of 100 days.

However, my children don't always love doing these lessons each day. (They also don't love doing their chores and going to bed on time.) Because the lessons require the child to sit still, concentrate, and remember and repeat what they hear, there is occasional whining, crying, stalling, and/or complaining. They are children, after all, and they don't always like to do what they should do.

So, sometime during the teaching of 8 total children to read using this book, I figured out the following tip to promote good attitude during reading lessons.

  1. Line up Smarties in fold of book.
  2. Every time student whines, stalls, complains, refuses to cooperate, etc, Mom mercilessly, and without comment, eats a Smarty.
  3. Student gets all Smarties left at end of lesson.

I am telling you THIS WORKS LIKE MAGIC FAIRY DUST if done consistently.

You're welcome.

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  1. Beauty! LOVE IT! How many smarties do you line up?

  2. Ha! I almost didn’t read the whole post because I, too, love 100 Easy Lessons and the child I’m doing it with (#4) reminds *me* that it’s time for her reading lesson. That being said, I could have *really* used this trick with #3. 😉

  3. I have 7 kids and have also done 100 easy lessons with all that are old enough. It is a wonderful book. Instead of smarties I use trident sugar free cinnamon gum as my reward. We just don’t do a lot of candy at our house. I always worry about their teeth. But this little incentive works great and if they whine or complain they do not get it though I don’t know that I have ever had to follow through with that threat. I also reward any siblings that are quiet during the lesson both older and younger with the same reward. My sweet three year old looks forward to brother’s lesson and sits quietly with her own books till it is over. They both squeal with delight to receive their gum after. I agree a little extra incentive goes a long way with this age group. We also throw a party for the child after they complete the 100th lesson. We all go to Barnes and Noble and share a few desserts and then the child gets to pick out a few easy readers to buy and bring home. The last lessons can be tough and I have found the memory of the other sibling’s party has really helped them push through. Plus we take pictures and have a great time. I always look forward to it.

  4. Mommy, you ate my Smarties! “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” LOL!

  5. LOVE this idea. My kids are in 7th, so beyond learning to read, but I’m trying to figure out now which subject I could use this for… Love it! Thanks for sharing!!

  6. You are a genius!!! I just thank God that I have finished teaching all 7 of mine to read. And potty train and sleep by themselves 😛

  7. Love it…and I love Christie’s comment, too. What a fun way to celebrate! It makes me kind of miss those days. Kind of.

  8. I need to do this. I’m about ready to lose my mind with distracted little boys.

  9. Brilliant and hilarious!! I am trying this on Monday. # 3 has finished 100 easy, but is still struggling at a 1st grade level. I think a little extra incentive would go a long way.