Every homeschooling parent understands the importance of teaching your child how to read. Sometimes this task may seem overwhelming, frustrating, and may make you wonder if “homeschooling” is really all it is cracked up to be. Well, before you decide to take drastic measures, here are some tips that can help make teaching reading fun, easy, and take some of the stress off.
First, it is important that you line up the skills you are teaching with your child’s readiness. Sometimes, the biggest source of frustration is from trying to teach something that your child isn’t ready for, or skipping ahead. When teaching phonics, you should first be aware of “readiness” signs. Your child should first be able to identify all of the letter names. You can point out letters in books, use phonics based games that teach letter recognition, and don’t forget the Alphabet Song, sing the Alphabet song with your child whenever you think of it. Make sure to have your child sing the song back to you. Singing the Alphabet song with your child is a great way to reinforce the letters of the alphabet and their names. Here is an online site that will help your toddler learn the Alphabet song, but remember, nothing can top your interaction with your child. Use the Internet to enhance your lessons, not replace your help. A Great ABC Game from Fisher Price
Phonics Games and Worksheets
There is an Internet site: Starfall.com that has a wonderful interactive phonics game that not only reinforces the letter names but also uses vivid colors and graphics to teach each letter’s sound. You can access the site here: Starfall’s Phonics Game There are also letter printouts that you can use with your child as well, you can access the worksheets here: Phonics Worksheets from Starfall
At Home Activities
Along with these Internet games, there are plenty of activities that you can play around the house that will help promote your child’s reading readiness.
For letter recognition, try gluing yarn in the shape of letters to cardstock cards, this is a good project for tactile learners.
You can use Alphabits or Alphabet soup to pick out letters and identify them by name.
A great project is to make your own alphabet book by cutting pictures out of magazines and catalogues. Using construction paper, assemble a book and either staple it or use a three hole punch and string or yarn to tie it together. With a marker, you can mark each page with a letter from the alphabet, then help your child to find pictures in the magazines or catalogues that begin with the appropriate letter. Glue them into the book (a glue stick is less messy and works great for younger children). You can then label the picture for your
child, and help your child read the word. Be sure to help your child sound out the phonetic letter sound as you “read” your book.