... has produced a vast population able to read but
unable to distinguish what is worth reading.” -
G. M. Trevelyan
the goal in mind: Teach them to read fluently so
that they can use their reading skills to read the Bible,
read literature for enjoyment, and learn history, science
and other subjects written in books. Its not to brag
on them or put another child down. For information about
reading readiness, read over The 3Rs.
over whole language vs phonics.
language instruction is done by reading aloud to them while
they "follow along" in the text. No phonics rules
are taught. (Whole
Language from National Right to Read foundation.
phonics is teaching all the rules of phonics before allowing
the children to read.
phonics involves lots of worksheets that tend to be tedious
many curriculums, there is so much time spent on phonics
that the children get little exposure to actual reading
and quickly lose the desire to read.
to phonics rules are confusing. Only 80% of the English
language is phonetic. The other 20% must be learned other
answer lies somewhere in between.
what is needed by your child when he needs it.
child may need systematic phonics instruction while the
other can learn to read through the whole-word approach
and a minimal use of phonics. The biggest deciding factor
is readiness. Read Dr. Raymond Moore's book,
Home Grown Kids: A Practical Handbook for Teaching
Your Children at Home , for more information
the amount of time spent in close up work to 5-15 at a time
for young children. Their eyesight is not completely
developed until age 8-10.
up formal learning into small chunks. The
attention span of a child is about 1 minute for every year
to your child as much as you can.
with wordless books. Two good resources for book lists
Book Database (Input a one-word keyword and find a
book to match.) and 100
Picture Books Everyone Should Know.
predictable books -books with patterned structures,
predictable plots, and so much repetition that children
can guess what is coming next and start “reading” them.
Penny is one of my favorites because of it's alliteration.
The kids love it! (NOTE: It does have a scary ending,
if that bothers you.)
ABC books, counting books, and nursery rhymes.
books that teach shapes, sizes, colors, position.
your finger under the words occasionally to teach them
that you read top to bottom and from left to right.
to the library. Take advantage of Reading Times at
a library collection for your child. Read How
to Stock a Family Library, Literature
and use Multi-Level
teaching to build a great library while homeschooling!
questions about what you read together . Caution-this is not
to books on tape while driving in the car or instead of watching
the movie after reading a book that has been made into a movie.
Little Women, Anne of Green Gable, and Treasure Island.
time to read yourself. Model. A
child learns by watching his/her parents.
your child with a variety of interactive activities.
and pasting, a great resource is
Scissors Activities and Fine Motor Skills Preschool
Basic Skills Book .
with blocks, string beads, and use lace up toys - develops
small motor skills
dancing, and dramatic play
songs, including playful songs which substitute sounds
in words and play with word parts
language in play, such as playing house or pretending
to write a grocery list
rhyming games (singing songs and reciting poems or other
with magnetic letters or letter blocks. I highly recommend
'N' Spell® Super Set magnetic letters.
your child sort letters and/or identify prominent letters
in words (read labels while shopping, read signs, license
them listening skills using Listening
Skills for Young Children ISBN 0743932641.
print out, and use the free, School-Home
Reading Kit: Kindergarten Activities.
for Reading and Writing from Read•Write•Now.
to them every day.
them to a wide range of reading materials: easy or step
by step readers, chapter books (The Boxcar Children, Nate
the Great), biographies, nonfiction, and classics.
them to a variety of subject areas: history, space, animals,
clouds, soccer, electricity, insects, etc.
poetry and rhyming stories together; have them create
their own rhymes.
Christian Mother Goose Book of Nursery Rhymes
by Marjorie Ainsborough Decker. Also available: -Christian
Mother Goose Big Book.
traditional Mother Goose, Richard Scarry's,
Best Mother Goose Ever is my favorite,
and reread the same books. Research shows that rereadings
result in marked improvements not just in children's speed,
accuracy, and expression but also in their comprehension
and linguistic development.
a list of books read to and by child; keep in portfolio.
them practice breaking up words into syllables (clapping
syllables) Bub–ble–gum, tel–e–vi–sion.
them play with alliterative language.
your child the letters of the alphabet. Start with
the upper case, then add the lower case. Use
all the senses (taste, touch, hearing, sight, smell). Good
resources for this are
your child recognizes the letters of the alphabet, teach him/her
the sounds of the letters. (You might want to administer
a Readiness test to see if he/she is ready for phonics - Test
of Phoneme Identities) Teach only a few letters and vowels
at a time. My favorite cut & paste resource is
Letter of the Week! which contains 26
lessons using craft projects, recipes, and other fun activities
to teach the alphabet sounds. Recommended for the Visual
learner and kids who like to cut and paste.
Other good resources are:
& Phonics Skill Builders This is an easy-to-use
workbook for mom and fun for the Visual
kids who like to cut and paste. Student review
the letter's shape and sound, learn the essential skill
of matching uppercase and lowercase letters, and review
rhyming, sight words, positioning events and/or letters
in correct order, and spatial concepts. ISBN 0743936876.
resource: Starfall - I've been told this works well
with autistic children also.
Reading Skill Builders . ISBN 0743936884.
This is another easy-to-use workbook for mom and fun
for the Visual learner
kids who like to cut and paste. Develops skills
in fine motor skill development, matching, patterning,
left-to-right directionality, sequencing, letter recognition
and formation, consonant and vowel sound usage, visual
discrimination, and phonemic awareness.
Without Worksheets, 3 volumes: Consonants, Vowels,
and Blends, Digraphs & More. Lots of fun, hands-on
activities for the Visual
and Kinethetic Learner. Published by Creative
Teaching Presss. Check your education store or online
Words by Patricia Cunningham. Highly recommended
spelling and phonics learning resource for the Auditory,
Visual, & Kinethetic learner.
your Kinesthetic learner,
I recommend Reading
Rods Letters And Sounds Activity Set
'N' Spell® Super Set magnetic
your Auditory learner,
I recommend Phonics
print out, and use the free, School-Home Reading Kit: First
Grade Activities: http://www.ed.gov/pubs/CompactforReading/table1.html;
Second Grade Activities: http://www.ed.gov/pubs/CompactforReading/table2.html;
and Third Grade Activites: http://www.ed.gov/pubs/CompactforReading/table3.html
to Read Pre-K Complete-Hooked On Phonics is
a complete program for learning to read with phonics
and is good for all learners. It is more expensive,
the Code Online - currently $55/year/child.
sight words - a few at a time. (Dolch
List, pdf document) Not all words are decodeable.
Books and other text cannot be written without these
high frequency words. A workable number of these words
should be taught in kindergarten through third grade,
a few at a time. For your
Visual and Kinesthetic learner,
try this free, Dolch
your child knows most of the sounds of the alphabet, begin
to teach blending using Alpha-Phonics: A Primer for Beginning Readers by Samuel Blumenfeld, highly recommended. It's not pretty,
but it's inexpensive and more importantly, it will work 100%
of the time if you start when your child is ready. Spend
about 10 minutes per day working through the lessons (or
until your child begins to get frustrated). Continue with
the same lesson until it is mastered, then go to the next
lesson. If the lessons are taking too long to master, your
child is probably not ready. Supplement with suggestions
below, as needed. ISBN 0941995003.
making new words by substituting one letter for another
(cat, rat, bat). Good resources for the Visual
and Kinesthetic learners are
Vowel Word Machines: Grade 1-3, Long
Vowel Word Machines: Grade 1-3.
For your Auditory learner,
use an occasional workbook page while continuing with Phonics
letter combinations such as ck and th. (Recommended
resources for the Kinesthetic
Reading Rods®: Word Building Classroom Kit and the
Keep in mind that:
your child can quickly recognize letters, he/she cannot
begin to understand that words are made of sequences and
patterns of letters.
children can comfortably discriminate the shape of one
letter from another, there is no point in teaching letter-sound
of the letter names is important as it is the major means
by which children can recall or generate the sounds of letters
in their independent reading and writing.
Read/Write Learners, I recommend:
Auditory, Visual, and Kinesthetic Learners, I recommend: Learning
Language Arts Through Literature, Grade 1, Teacher, Blue
Kids ages 8 and up who need a short, remedial phonics course:
A Primer for Beginning Readers
Downloadable McGuffey Readers:
READING LEVEL AND PRACTICE THE PHONICS THEY HAVE LEARNED
the reading level before assigning independent reading.
Count off a passage of 100 words and ask the child to read
he misses 0-2 word - Independent level
- child can read alone
he misses 3-5 words - Instructional level
- read together with your child
he misses more than five words - Frustration level
- too hard. Read to your
them read Independent level (below level) books independently.
aloud together books that are on or above level (Instructional
or Frustration level) . You read words that your
child cannot and let your child read words that he can.
read-aloud sessions as a means of helping students
to learn about subjects that (s)he wouldnt learn
on own and to increase vocabulary.
stories, chapter books, poetry, reference books, news
clippings, math, science, history, biographies; jokes
the roughly 3,000 new words that the average student
learns per year, the majority are learned by encountering
them in text. However, the number of new words that
children can learn from text depends on how much they
read. Research shows that the 90th percentile fifth
grader reads about 200 times more text per year than
the 10th percentile reader does. (Nagy, Herman, and
of Recommended Literature.
I'm Reading” to reinforce phonics
are great for the Visual learner
and the child who likes sticker rewards.
and Correcting Specific Reading Problems:
activities to reinforce phonics skills. This
is especially important for the Kinesthetic,
Visual, and Auditory learners:
is how fast a child reads.
child who reads slow will have more trouble in school
because school is focused around texts.
children just seem to be slower readers.
benefit of homeschooling is that you can accommodate children
who have a slower reading rate. They CAN still learn -
you just have to change the method.
them read Independent level (below-level) books to develop
fluency. Forcing your child to read a book that is
too difficult undermines his confidence and diminishes his
desire to learn.
reading games. Some recommendations for easy-to-make
reading games are:
them a reason to read:
them stay up longer if they read.
them in reading reward programs.
reading programs, Pizza
Hut, Braums Book Buddies, etc.(Scroll to "Reading
Programs") Check with your local support group
for more information.
Here is a wonderful, free resource to encourage your children
to read! Book Adventure is a FREE reading motivation program
for children in grades K-8. Children create their own
book lists from over 6,000 recommended titles, take multiple
choice quizzes on the books they've read offline, and
earn points and prizes for their literary successes.
your child to magazines they enjoy. This was a big help
for me with my son. Once he started getting computer magazines,
his reading rate increased dramatically. Try Magazines.com
for discount prices.
television, computer games, and other activities that
decreases available reading time.
If you can afford it, I highly
recommend a Kindle. You
can use the Kindle's
text to speech capability to reinforce
reading skills and help increase fluency. My husband
who has some vision loss loves his Kindle. He's had it
more than six months now and takes it with him everywhere!
He, like most men and boys, never used to like to read.
But now, he's reading all the time! The text to speech
is increasing his reading speed, too. I found that out
when I got on his Kindle one day and couldn't keep up
with the speed on which he had it set to scroll. After
seeing him use the Kindle, I heartily recommended everyone
who has a reluctant reader to get one!
Ben Carson, worlds premier brain surgeon. His mother
had a 3rd grade education. Single parent mom, inner-city
Detroit. Worked 2 or 3 jobs to take care of her children.
Ben was the worst student in his 5th grade class. 1st
rule: learn all your times tables. Cant go outside
til you do. Ben learned his times tables. From then only,
she only allowed them to watch three TV programs per week.
To fill the free time, they had to go to the library and
check out two books. At the end of the week, they had
to write a report on what they read. His grades went up
and won scholarships to West Point, Yale, and Stanford.
Notice she didnt trash the TV, just controlled it.
b. Research has shown there is a correlation between overviewing
and underachievement. Scores begin to decline
with TV viewing over 10 hours per week. Most negative
effect is felt among girls and students of high IQs.
The children who watch the most TV also have the lowest
among 9 yr olds in Finland show that their highest scoring
young readers spend the most time watching TV. However,
most of shows are foreign films which are subtitled. The
children there have a motivation to learn to read in order
to watch TV. By age 14, the situation reverses itself,
those who watch the least amount of TV outscore those
who watch the most.
a limited number of educational shows, however, have been
found to have a positive effect.
has show that the biggest influence on childrens
reading development is parent attitudes about reading
and the availability of books in their homes.
The more a child struggles to read the book, the less they
will understand what they have read.
questions about what you have read, but dont over
a comprehension question & answer game. Find a plain,
cube-shaped box or make one out of heavy cardboard. On
each side of the cube, write one question from the following:
(Who is your favorite character and why?, What do you think
will happen next?, What did you like about the story?,
What did you dislike about the story?, What new word did
you learn?, and What was your favorite part of the story?)
To play, after the reading session, have each child roll
the box and answer the question that comes up.
older children (8+) who need remedial work, I recommend workbooks
to them every day. Have
them create glossaries of the new words they encounter
in their reading. Use for handwriting practice.
older children (8+), I highly recommend:
track of what you do in reading with The