The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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Teach Your Children Well Review by Christine Field and Karen Houston

By Michael Maloney
Teach Your Children Well
PO Box 908
Belleville, ON, Canada K8N 5B6

"The bottom line is that this is easy, easy, easy to use with the potential for tremendous results in your struggling or beginning reader." -- The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

This is the book which exploded on the homeschooling scene and got us all interested in Michael Maloney and his methods. Mr. Maloney is a long-time educator who started a series of private learning centers across North America which have had tremendous success in teaching all levels and abilities of children. In this book, he explains his model, which provides for having Behavioral Objectives/Learning Outcomes, Behavioral Analysis/Behavior Management, Direct Instruction, Precision Teaching, and Directed & Independent Practice. If you think this all sounds like wonderful theory, the proof is in the application, which leads us to the Teach Your Children Well series.

An Instructor's Manual, Student Reader and Student Workbook are available for K-2, 3-4 and 5-6. The books are organized into daily lessons which incorporate all the well researched theory of Mr. Maloney's main book. The Instructor's Manual is scripted and even gives you correction procedures if your child responds incorrectly. The technique is completely explained in prefatory material in the Instructor's Manual. The Student Workbook includes handwriting practice, reading activities and things like crosswords and mazes. The Student Reader has practice stories and places where you can track fluency scores. The bottom line is that this is easy, easy, easy to use with the potential for tremendous results in your struggling or beginning reader.

-- Product Review by: Christine Field, Senior Correspondent, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

Teach Your Children to Read Well workbooks, 1A and 1B for K-2
Written by M. Maloney, L. Brearley, and J. Preece
Teach Your Children Well Press, Canada, 2001
1-877-368-1513 or

Arising in 1998 from illiteracy in the classroom, QLC's paperback (I do prefer paperbacks for the kids to work in - not so heavy! Don't you?) student readers, student workbooks, and instruction manuals are for kindergarten through second grade with emphasis on letters, phonic compounds, and words. The teaching method is, as the long-time educators state who wrote them, the same straightforward way you would help your child "making cookies", and it's true! They quote the 25% failure rate of learning to read in school, so have directed these specifically towards homeschoolers.

The books concentrate first on consonants, followed by vowels, then simple phonic combinations. New reader words are introduced in clear, easy combinations, according to most frequently occurring. Short vowels and long vowels, with consonants and accentuations are repeated, then some compounds are introduced. Next, short beginning reader stories are introduced. As the child progresses, more vowels, compounds, short stories, and sight word fluency recognitions repeat.

The pages are very clear and large, with good spacing and easy-to-read size print/font styles. They may be used in the workbook or torn out, depending upon your student's preference. We prefer to tear them out, as it's easier for the child to work with the lesson. As the lessons become more advanced, graphics are introduced to hold the interest of the learner. Our student proclaims them "cool!", so what more can be said?

Mom's most favorite outstanding feature was the teacher-student work review at the end of each section, which was quite thorough. There are progress charts in the back, as well. Grading couldn't be simpler - just pop your scores in, and you're good to go!

-- Product Review by: Karen Houston, Lead State Coordinator, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

(US teacher note: Canadians pronounce some vowel combinations differently, and these are evident, but simple to explain. QLC's new series math CD's are expected to be released September 2002, according to their web site.)