Curling up on a chair together and working on reading for just a few minutes a day is one of my favorite parts of homeschooling. It’s a short and sweet time period spent with my youngest children, but it reaps numerous rewards.
Teaching Reading to Preschoolers
1. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is a wonderful place to begin teaching children to read. I love their method for teaching the initial sounds and introducing blending. The children quickly learn their letter sounds and how to blend.
If you finish the book, the children are reading on a 1st or 2nd grade reading level. There’s a list of easy readers in the back of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons to continue teaching your child to read. It’s even in the correct order that you need to introduce the books to your child.
However none of my own children Have ever completed the book, I think my oldest actually reached lesson 50. We found it frustrating after a certain point and switched over to Phonics Pathways: Clear Steps to Easy Reading and Perfect Spelling.
2. Phonics Pathways
Phonics Pathways isn’t the most exciting method I’ve ever seen, but it works and works well. The book does take quite a bit of time to complete. I plan around two years or so to complete the book.
One point on using Phonics Pathways, don’t attempt to work straight through without going back to review. My goal is to move forward at a page a day until I met resistance. Resistance comes in many forms but the most common is a wiggly child who won’t focus.
This is the time to go back 30 pages in the book. You want a point where the reading is ridiculously simple. Your child will be delighted to see easy work, and you can move forward again.
I think of it as the 2 steps forward, 1 step back approach to teaching reading. It’s slow, perhaps not very steady, but we win the race!
Sometimes is better to move at a crawl. My daughter and I moved at the snail’s pace of 1/3 page per day. It was almost a frustratingly slow pace, on the other hand we never needed to go back and review. The length of time it took for us to cover each page gave her enough time to master the skill.
3. Dick and Jane Readers
Don’t just use Phonics Pathways or Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons to teach reading, My kids have adored being introduced to the Dick and Jane Readers around the time they’re learning the long vowel sounds.
These readers are wonderful! They repeat the words often enough for children to become confident readers, the stories are simple and appeal to young children. They even look and feel like real books to the children.
Suddenly a young child will find themselves reading real books just like their older siblings. Case in point: My 6 year old daughter is currently devouring every Dick and Jane reader in my house! To my delight in one week she turned from a non-reader into a bookworm.
When Phonics Pathways is finished, the child is reading on a 4th grade level or higher. Remember a strong reader lays a solid foundation for all future education.
This short time spent during preschool and kindergarten teaching reading and phonics allows us to explore good picture books, history, and science topics. The only downside I’ve found is have a child suddenly asking lots of questions about the various billboards in the area.
How do you teach your youngest children to read?