I promise you, if you read to your child everday, your child will be at or above grade level by the time school starts. That's what is probably happening in the program. It just keeps you on track and reading to your child.
Exposure to things (the zoo, library, trips) are all a part of this. Do these things and read, and your LO will be in good shape. Save the $300, unless you really really want it.
I am a kindergarten teacher and I agree with pp. Sharing books with your child and instilling in them a love of reading is the very best thing you can do. Even though I'm not an outside mommy yet I'm already reading to our baby.
As your child gets a little older you can point to the words as you read. Very young children think that when you read you are reading the pictures not the words and by pointing you show them that it is the words that are conveying the meaning. Children's ability to hear rhyme is one predictor of their future reading success. So reading nursery rhymes and playing rhyming games is another way to help get your child ready for school. Teaching letter sounds is also great. Please save your money!
I'm a teacher (m.s. foreign language, esl, ss and la), too, but I was just curious as to the research and theory behind this program.
Are they just sight words basically that they memorize? What makes this any different than just simply reading to your child? Or even making them flashcards with pictures?
Of course, I'd imagine some kids are more successful with a program like this than others!
And I agree, it's probably about being consistent with whatever reading "program" you implement!
It just reminds me of the pricey speed reading course I took in college...got some great ideas to enhance my skills, but obviously the love of reading and interest in the subject matter needs to be there first!
I'm not a teacher, but am a nanny.
I used to watch two little girls whose grandparents bought this program for them. While I understand why parents buy this, I don't recommend it at all.
I think it's more of a memorization thing than actual "reading". Children learn to memorize the structure of the word instead of actually sounding words out. Read to your baby every day, and he/she will be on the right track!