I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is so intelligently organized, each day building on the last. If you just read the intro chapter on amazon, you will see how clearly they thought it through
1. While teaching kids to read is good, I think the real goal should be teaching them to _love_ reading. My son is now a voracious reader, and both kids love books. The techniques we used to make this book fun include:
A. Finding something the kid really loves (e.g. tickles for my son, 'squeeze hugs' for my daughter), and pairing it with each lesson. Every lesson ended with a giant tickle or a set of squeeze hugs. You would think the kids would get sick of this, but ours didn't.
B. Massive positive verbal reinforcement. Excitement, joy, at the reading, amazement, wonder, etc.
C. Regular rewards, including little ribbons every 10 lessons, dinners out, and a huge celebration when they hit 100. Every 20-30 lessons we would do something crazy/unexpected, like rolling out a cake for breakfast (That was just fun, kids love a surprise cake for breakfast).
2. Our kids are very intelligent, but both hit a wall around 30 lessons. I think they were both about 4.5 years at the time. The book says any kid over 4 can run right through the lessons, but I don't know. For both kids, when we sensed they were hitting a wall, we decided to declare victory. We had a big celebration, and told them to book said we had reached a stopping point. Then we returned to it 6-12 months later and picked up where we left off. At that point, we sailed though the rest of the lessons.
All this said, having watched my son, I think the best thing you can do for your kid is make reading fun. The only way to develop a deep vocabulary is by reading massive amounts, and you cannot force a kid to do that.
So, as awesome as this book is, and as amazing as it was to participate in the process as a parent, the number one thing to do is not make reading stressful/negative. Kids will learn eventually, they don't need to learn early. The reason to take control of the process as a parent is to ensure that the experience is positive/filled with joy.
Anecdata-ly, speech may be delayed since sign language becomes sufficient for minimal communication.
Also, the following tool has been specifically recommended for teaching toddlers to read English: https://amzn.com/dp/0671631985/
Also (meme-ing a bit here): why not both? :)
In reality, it's always a mistake to let the nonexistent perfect be the enemy of the good (or to be most pessimistic: the not-as-bad).
I personally am desperate for an app-ified version of this well-researched "direct instruction" book/process: https://www.amazon.com/Teach-Your-Child-Read-Lessons/dp/0671...
I have personally used and strongly recommend:
· Baby Signing Time http://store.signingtime.com/baby-signing-time DVD
· The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band https://amzn.com/dp/B003SJVM5M as a music CD for the car.
· Lola's Alphabet Train https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lolas-alphabet-train-free-learn-to-read/id428422381?mt=8
· KidsTV123 https://www.youtube.com/user/KidsTV123
· Word Party https://www.netflix.com/title/80063705
Based on a strong personal recommendation of a relative, I am looking forward to soon using:
· Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons https://amzn.com/dp/0671631985