Mary F. Shapiro, M.Ed. Reading and Language Arts, author of the KinderRead Learn to Read Series, is a mother and teacher who searched for a learn-to-read children's series when her own children wanted to learn to read. Ms. Shapiro has always admired Dr. Marie Montessori, a well-known educator, who believed that children should set the pace for their own "curriculum" while the teacher's role was to provide the opportunities that would allow the child to make choices. Dr. Montessori believed there were sensitive times in a child's life when learning most easily took place. With languages, earlier is better. She believed reading opportunities should be provided before formal schooling begins. With her methods, she was able to bring students with special needs up to grade level as she capitalized on these receptive periods along with the their interests. So exciting!
However, Ms. Shapiro was unable to find a series that she could use at home to provide her own preschool children with their first steps in learning to read. Thus she developed the KinderRead Series to assist her own children as well as others to gain meaning from those squiggly lines on the page in a relaxing, almost self-taught way through a controlled vocabulary which reinforces words and meaning in a delightful way for parent, teacher and child. The Montessori philosophy is to "Follow the Child" and provide materials for a rich environment, and these are the principles of the the Learn to Read Series.
Since research indicates that informal instruction by parents at home powerfully contributes to reading interest and achievement, and the "teachable moment" is very important in one's development, Ms. Shapiro, a specialist in the reading field, designed the Learn to Read Series to help parents present reading to their preschoolers with ease and confidence.