Anecdotal Records

Just thought I would share how my 4 year old niece is doing with the BRI books. She will be 5 on Friday and tonight sat down and read her birthday cards at her party.
She is now into set 6 and having NO problems what so ever. She will not even be K this fall but Young 5s--due to very small size and maturity issues. Her reading skills though will likely be at a 3rd grade level when she starts K. Now the challenge is to find books for her to read that are appropriate for a 5 year old but not too easy either.

E. is really doing well. Today I was writing a note to her teacher and she was watching me. She started to point to words saying " I know what that says!" She was so impressed with herself that she could read a grown up note. I have even caught her trying to sound out words on packages, magazines, and signs. I think it finally clicked that the words in her BRI books are the same words that everyone else uses... and that those sounds are everywhere. She took book 8 and 9 to preschool and the teacher made some time to listen to her read. The teacher was impressed. How wonderful would it be if Icould convince the director of the school to use these in the preschool and kindergarten!! As it is now they seem to think that E. is just a smart kid. LOL... Maybe I should befriend the parents of a "slow kid" and teach him to read :) would that convince them? :)
Very most optimal would be to get to kids in Preschool,or HeadStart, but that won't happen in many cases soon either. The obstacle is that City Hall doesn't want to mess with K any more than it wants to toss out Balanced Literacy, and it's the same bureaucracy any way you slice it.
My 5 year old was speech and language delayed up until the last 6 months. He watched the Leap frog letter factory DVD's and really seemed to grasp the letter sounds. After that he moved on the "word Factory" and I think seeing words in print helped me to speak them clearly. When he reads he really tries to say every sound in the word. He articulates really well.

Now he is on book 8 of BRI 1. He enjoys reading the books. When I give him a new one he will stop what he's playing to read it.
In the last year my son has gone from delayed to ahead and I am so grateful. I agree with an earlier post saying to not leave the reading instruction totally up to the schools. I don't want to see my son get the education based on the lowest denominator. I want to make sure my son gets the education he needs. I am concerned the school won't recognize his ability.

My second grader experienced a backslide when she started kindergarten. She was reading a few words, but somehow the tests didn't reflect her ability and she wasn't challenged enough. I home schooled preschool to my daughter. When she started school I just assumed they would recognize her level and work from there. That didn't happen and I didn't recognize it early enough. I am still struggling to get her abilities recognized. In kindergarten their first writing exercise was in a journal where every day they wrote a sentence that started with "this is ..." M. really struggled because she didn't want to write that type of sentence. They were not allowed to write any other type of sentence until the teacher was satisfied that she had that structure down. My daugher wrote "This is..." sentences for weeks before she could write something original.

I hate to sound critical of the school system, but I think they are inadequately prepared to recognize different problems or abilities of the students. The tests don't seem to reflect their knowledge and the school seems to depend completely on these tests. I am a working single mom that gets home at 6:30 and I struggle to find the time. They really enjoy learning!
My daughter tried BRI with her just- turned 3 daughter and she wasn't interested. She's now 3 3/4 years and is hugely interested in language. Mom started her in the books again in December. She's now on book 12 and doing well. She is so interested in sounds that she is orally segmenting all kind of words - Cheerios, ice cream, house.
We now have 4 preschool children in our building reading the stories with an aide. All of our kindergartners. All at different places and paces.
A sibling of one of my students, age 4 is finishing BRI 1. Mom said she just hands the books to the dad.
This 4 yo is having no trouble and is handling the books with ease.

I am a preschool teacher and I have tried the BRI 1 with 3 students in my class (they all are toddlers) who all knew their ABC (upper case and lower case). All can speak with complete sentences and all want to learn how to read. Only one of them, S., has read through to book 11 and is still going on. But the other two could not handle Book 1. S’s mother told me that ever since he started this program, he would pick up magazine/newspaper at home and tried to read it. S. and the 2 others program act like normal toddlers, running around, laughing, singing, and enjoy listening to stories. You can try it on 2 year olds, and if they are stuck, you can simply just stop it. I believe they will pick it up when they are a little older.
The autistic boy i worked with is apparently now finishing 2nd grade and doing very well. He started at age 4. Took a while for him, but he finally got through ARI 4.
I have a 3 year old (almost 3 ½.) He has completed book 1 and most of book 2 as of today. It took awhile to get the blending into words down and he is still slow, but I have found that the Notched Card helps. My friend's son, who is just a few months older than my son and has Aspbergers) is also using the books and doing great! Last I heard, they were on book 11. The pictures are also helping greatly with his language development. He notices the facial expressions of the characters, something hetypically does not notice.
I'm the daycare provider using READ. I have a 3 1/2 year-old reading BRI 2 Book today. He tagged along with two 4 year-olds. I thought that at some point he would lag behind or become less interested, but no. There is no doubt in my mind that his sister would have started reading at 3 if I'd had the program.
The 3 year-old also practices off BRI. This morning, he sounded out and said the words zebra, duck, slug, sheep, dog, spider, ant, worms, and frog. I also care for their 2 year-old cousin, and she recently climbed on the READing stool, looked me straight in the eye and said quite clearly....READ! I'm much too stretched thin to try it with her now, but I'm sure she'll also be READing at three.

Three years ago I had two 4 year-old girls who I thought were ready to really read. I fooled around with trying to teach them sounding out and word lists but was baffled about how to teach 'advanced' code with the literature available. Doing it that way seemed particularly difficult/illogical to me. The girls were game but it didn't really ignite. This sent me to search yahoo groups for advice and/or available programs. Don't remember which reading/school group it was, but some were advocating for this program. I tried at, and BINGO.
Some kids pick it up fast and enter kindergarten anywhere between ARI 2-4. We continue through ARI 4 and that's usually all they need.

The new school proudly states that they use a balanced literacy approach. My 5yo daughter is already bringing home books that she has memorized to "read" to us. She almost completed BRI 2 this summer and isn't having any problems. We are planning to continue reading at home, but I am quite nervous about their method of teaching reading.
My 3-yr-old boy took a week longer than his twin sister to finish BRI 1, but he's really caught on mid-BRI 2! He makes it look like a walk in the park! Lately, I've had the kids re-read the book from the day before as a warm up and then read a new book. That way, they read every book at least twice and average 3 - 4 new books a week.
I find that some parents are very interested in teaching their preschoolers, so they will be able to cope with the demands of kindergarten. I can’t think of anything better than READ.
Where I live the kdg reading curriculum is just sight word memorizing. I worked with my neighbors preschooler this summer. He learned almost effortlessly. Kinda hard to believe, one day he was not reading, a few weeks later, he was. End of story. I think READ would be great for preschoolers, but I do not see any real reading instruction getting into the preschools.