As a homeschooling family I am asked a lot by other parents who are beginning homeschooling or who have a child who needs just-a-little help after school, what I have used to teach my kids to read. I’m one family and what works for us may not work for you and your child… so we asked the experts! A large homeschooling community, and these were their suggestions:
For Moms who want a boxed curriculum
This is a great option if you are a mom who likes detailed instructions or a how-to manual to teach your kids step-by-step… Consider one of the following guides and or boxes of workbooks:
Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading – “The (231) daily lessons are very well structured, take about 10-15 minutes each, and provide excellent in-text directions for the teacher, so there is no preparation time. As there are no pictures, the focus is on decoding the letters and applying the phonics rules without any distraction.”
How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, by Siegfried Engelmann – These are easy to follow 20 min a day lessons that can bring your child from recognizing their letters to reading on a second grade level.
IEW’s PAL reading/writing program – This program contains a DVD, it’s an option for moms of multiples who need a little more than “just mom”. It comes with worksheets and activity ideas.
Learning Palette Kindergarten Reading Kit – This fun hands-on learning tool is perfect for Kindergartners! Work on letter sounds and combinations, upper and lowercase matching, and more. It’s self correcting so you don’t have to do it with your child. When you’ve matched everything, you flip over the card on top and if all the colors line up with the circles you placed, then you got it right.
Complete Phonics eBook Set – This digital book set leads your child through his first sounds all the way to reading complete sentences, covers punctuation, writing and penmanship! With 15 eBooks included, it is an economical way to have your child reading in no time.
Phonics – for moms who need an extra worksheet to review a concept.
For Moms who want to be hands-off.
Online education programs corrects the kids as they go, through games, kids learn the different rules of letters, sounds and word patterns. Most of these programs go to 2nd grade and beyond.
Reading Eggs – CUTE! This program begins with preschoolers and goes up to 13 years old. It is roughly $100 a year per child and offers a free trial program.
Time 4 Learning – This is a nearly full-online school. It has 4 subject areas and help kids from pre-K to 8th grade. It’s on the pricy end of the spectrum at $20 a month. But if you want a single program that does it all, this is it.
ABC Mouse – Very affordable at $7 a month, but it only covers reading & math. This program is progressive so it will bring a child along from activity to activity. Get YOUR First Month Free – Click here! (affiliate link)
Teach Your Monster to Read – This has been used by parents of kids who have developmental delays and special needs with great success. It entertains older struggling kids as well as younger. I would advise this for kids who are still struggling at 2-3-4th and need a refresher course of the basics.
Learning Palette Online – Just like the reading set above, this online version offers annual access to all 20 reading kits. This is a more economical and space saving option than the regular learning palette.
For Moms who want to read, and read, with their kids
Your kids can learn to read just by being exposed to words and you demonstrating to them how to sound out the words they see and guess what the sight words are. Here are some books if you are a diy mom.
Explode the Code – These books meet kids in a wide range of starting points and are great supplemental readers for any program.
Bob Books – begin with CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words. Bob books have a lot of repetition of common words and sounds making them great books to start with.
Dr Suess – Dr. Suess was genius at putting sight words together in fun and unique ways. Your kids will be memorizing lots of common words without even realizing it as they read these books.
Fox Series by James Marshall – After your kids have mastered phonics and sight words, move onto Fox books before trying chapters. These are great for developing fluency in developing readers.
The Very First Reading Series – These are books with easy text for the child to read AND more complex text for the parent to read. It’s called shared reading! Each book focuses on different letter sounds that children need to master in order to read fluently. Once your child masters the sounds in this series, try the Usborne First Reading Set for more advanced readers.