What’s Your Favorite Reading or Phonics Curriculum? Thursday Topics

June 25, 2009

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Teaching a child to read seems to be the first big scholastic hurdle for homeschoolers.  But there are so many books and reading programs available that it can be a bit overwhelming.

So, I’m asking you experienced homeschoolers if you would share  your advice with the rest of us – especially for those who don’t really know where to start.

Here are some of my ideas:

  1. First is simply a book, The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading by Jessie Wise.  Instead of spending lots of money on expensive phonics kits, you can buy this book for around $20 and it will guide you lesson by lesson through a very complete and fun phonics program.  I’ve had great success with it and wrote a book review here.
  2. My kids have also enjoyed the beginning readers set:  “I See Sam” – I really like that each book only uses words that have been introduced in previous books, so the child can read every word in the book, not just the ones teaching the current phonics principle.
  3. Finally, the amazing phonics and reading website:  www.StarFall.com If you have an early reader, you have to check this website out.  It’s the best I’ve seen to grab a child’s interest while teaching reading at the same time.  And it’s all free – the Schutz family’s contribution to children learning to read.

Would you mind sharing some of your tips on selecting a reading and/or phonics curriculum?  What are your favorite books, early readers, and websites?  And why?

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Posted under Books to Read, Reading Curriculum


10 Comments so far

  1. Shirley Love December 7, 2011 5:03 am

    I taught my 2 girls to read using Little Patriots in Action. I understand that the lady who developed the program has changed the name. I would love to get this program for my granddaughter. Can anyone help?

  2. docmisty June 27, 2010 1:25 pm

    Thanks for the tip, Jim! I’ll check it out.


  3. Jim June 27, 2010 1:45 am

    We’ve been using the Candy 4WAY Phonics Curriculum with our grandkids. It has everything in printable format. It’s got lessons, readers, flashcards, phonics charts. For less than 10 bucks you get a download with 50 files containing everything you’ll ever need to teach reading through the 4th grade. We love it1

  4. Brian Marriott July 28, 2009 10:44 pm

    I am using “I See Sam” for my 5 year old. The original 1972 version is in the public domain. All 52 can be downloaded for free in PDF format on my website
    I learned to read with them in the 1970’s.

  5. Misty July 5, 2009 11:34 pm

    Great suggestions Sebastion! Thanks for taking the time to share them with us.

  6. Sebastian (a lady) July 5, 2009 8:02 pm

    I used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons for all three of my sons. I will say, however, that it was easier with the second than with the other two. There is a point where sight words and unusual spellings of vowel sounds are included without a lot of explanation. I had two kids who each bogged down around lesson 70. We backed off and did a lot of controlled readers, then came back to it.
    I’ve also used parts of Reading Reflex, which starts with the sounds and teaches the various ways of spelling them (I tend to call it reverse phonics). It is a pretty good program, but not as scripted as some of the other phonics programs.
    Good books for early readers is certainly a challenge. Some easy books are insipid or have vocabulary choices that are so odd that they don’t make sense. I was really pleased this year with the I Can Read It series from Sonlight. Cynthia Rylant’s series books have also been a favorite of ours.

  7. docmisty June 27, 2009 1:19 am

    Mia and Shelley, thank you for taking the time to share and comment! I’m glad you enjoyed the info, Clemencia. I know I always enjoy hearing about good finds from fellow homeschoolers. I feel much better about spending money on a resource if I’ve heard from someone who has used it first.

  8. Clemencia June 26, 2009 11:06 pm

    I’ve been looking into curriculums to start teaching my daughter to read, I really appreciate this post and the help from others comments, we love starfall but defenetly would love to find more affordables and free options 🙂
    thank you so much

  9. Shelley Nash June 26, 2009 11:24 am

    We love starfall.com and clickn’read phonics. I checked out progressive phonics on Mia’s suggestion and I am impressed by the concept. I love that the kids read the words they know and the adult reads the rest. It requires interaction together and adult reading and I can see amazing benefits from it.

    I’ve written about my favorite phonics books and phonics stories at http://www.better-childrens-books.com/phonics-books.html and I’ve written about my favorite websites for online reading games at http://www.better-childrens-books.com/online-reading-games.html I hope those help!

  10. Mia June 25, 2009 11:58 am

    Starfall.com and http://www.progressivephonics.com. Progressive Phonics is a download and print curriculum that is inexpensive, fun, and effective! They have some free downloads for people to try as well.

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