How did you teach your child to read? If you haven’t yet, what is your plan? If you are unsure, that’s ok. There are so many resources out there for you and I wish you the best of luck in this amazing adventure. There is nothing better than being able to hear your child sound out their first words on their own. Well I lied. Every step after that is amazing too. The first word, first sentence, first story, first chapter book, and first novel. It’s an amazing experience all around. My advice is ask around. Or read blogs of homeschooling moms. They all probably used different programs and methods. Think about what will work best for you and your child and go for it. Oh and Just have fun! If you’re interested in what we used keep reading on.
When I started teaching my oldest how to read she was three years old. I knew she was ready to learn. We read everyday for hours and she became very interested in the words. So I found this book called Teach Your Child to Read in 100 easy Lessons. I had no intention on homeschooling at the time. I really just wanted to keep her interested in books. This book is amazing though, especially if you’re new to homeschooling and don’t know where to start. I found a few copies at Half Priced Books for about $10. The best part of that book is that you don’t need much else. Pencils and paper are enough. We used a white board and markers. The lessons were about 10-15 mins long. We did them three times a week and that was enough. My daughter was reading very well by the time we finished. The book is completely scripted for you so you know exactly what to teach. Just read the introduction thoroughly. It explains the importance of pronunciation throughout the book.
Here is the thing though. Where do you go after that book? After we finished I was pretty clueless about where to go. The book both made me curious about homeschooling and yet horrified because I had no idea where to go from there. I was lucky enough to find All About Learning Press early on. It complemented TYCTR beautifully. We started on level 1 about 5 months after TYCTR. So we kind of reviewed most of what we learned in the beginning but as the book went on she learned so much more.
All About Reading has 4 levels of reading plus a prereading level, which wasn’t available then. I just purchased the prereading level for my younger two girls as they aren’t ready to start level 1 yet. The prereading level introduces your child to upper and lower case letters as well as sounds. From just looking through it, there will be lots of hands on activities and rhyming skills learned. All levels use readers, letter squares (in Montessori colors,) flash cards and worksheets to teach the lessons. My favorite and what I think is most important is that part of the lesson is to read to your child every day. This was the easy part for us as we did that for hours every day already.
The teacher’s manual is a fully scripted lesson plan. You just follow it step by step. This was wonderful for me as I very much loved that about TYCTR. It is important that you don’t jump around the lesson and instead make sure your child fully understands each lesson before moving to the next one. My oldest completed levels 1-4 and by then she was reading at a high school level.
The readers are beautiful hardcover black and white books with cute little stories and illustrations. It is my understanding however, that they have updated to full color and they look so beautiful! I had decided to purchase extra workbooks before the update so that I could reuse my books. As you move through the levels and look through the readers you will find yourself amazed at how much your child is learning. At first the program seems slow but don’t let that fool you. About midway through level 1 you wonder when exactly your child learned so much. Whenever anyone asks me how my daughter reads so well, I always recommend these two resources. Let me know if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them for you.
We won’t be doing any formal reading lessons with my oldest this year but will be beginning language lessons and a new curriculum from Beautiful feet. I look forward to sharing those with you soon. As far as my preschooler, I will probably be using the All About Reading Pre-reading so that I can give you guys a good comparison of the two. I hope this has helped. If you have any questions about these books please leave a comment.