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Teaching Your Child to Read

Started by Carisa , author of 1+1+1=1 6/20/2010 7:08:29 PM

I am currently working on a Behind the Scenes post about teaching children to read.  I have all of MY thoughts together for the post, but wanted to reach out to see if any of you have any specific questions regarding the subject.  I would love to help in any way I can, especially for those of you new to homeschool with little or no teaching background/experience.

Also-for those of you who are early childhood/K teachers or former teachers, do you tend to lean more towards a Whole Language or a Phonics approach?  Or a mix?

I personally don't have experience with any homeschool reading programs {I teach my own kids on my own}, so if any of you do and can share briefly what you love/don't love...please join in this discussion and I will put a link to this discussion in my upcoming post. 

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Reply by Erin

author of Royal Baloo 6/20/2010 8:00:32 PM

You always seem to post topics at a perfect time for me!!!  We're just starting the learn to read process and I feel completely lost.  I'm in the "little to no teaching background" group.

I don't know if I have any specific questions.  I know we'd like to do a phonics approach.  My son and he knows all his letters phonetically and we've started using tools like  The stories easily bore my son though, and he's getting a bit discouraged from the whole process.  So I guess any tips, and helpful ideas.  I've read tidbits here and there about parts of phonics learning that can be confusing, but little insight on how to help it make sense.

I'm very very excited for your learning to read post!!


Reply by butterfly wishes

author of butterfly wishes and wonderland dreams 6/21/2010 6:31:06 AM

as a prek teacher we were taught in school to use whole language, so that is how i taught my oldest (now almost 10 year old) . Then school district went to only phonics now its back to whole language.

I also used a couple wonderful sets of books: Brand New Readers, and Jane Moncures Word Bird books.

Hubbard Cupboard has great printable Sight Word  and word family books :

hope this helps and can't wait to read your post!


Reply by Carisa

author of 1+1+1=1 6/21/2010 6:57:50 AM

Shannon - Great minds think alike...Brand New Readers and Hubbard's Cupboard are already in my post ;-)  ha ha!

Seems we have the same background too...




Reply by Stefanie

author of Life With My Giggly Girls 6/22/2010 11:36:09 AM

I was certified K through 8, teaching mostly K-3, and the methods varied from district to district.  In college, whole language was the big trend but a few years into my teaching career it was back to phonics. 

Personally, I think it depends on the child.  What works for one, won't for another. 

I'd try a little of both and see which clicks and then go from there.  There are so many great things about both methods that it will be fun.  =o)

My oldest  taught herself to read at an early age, from watching Leapfrog and playing on  I didn't get to do any experimenting with her. LOL  Bummer...

I'm excited for Kayleigh to show an interest in reading so I can have some fun trying out different things.  It will be so nice to be able to use what is working for her instead of being tied down to one method because the school district says so.  I can't wait!! But alas, I must.  We're not even close. LOL

Remind in a few years, when Kayleigh is being Kayleigh, that I was excited to teach her to read.  I have a feeling it will be an "adventure."


Reply by Karla

author of Purify My Heart 6/23/2010 2:26:31 PM

Hi everyone,

So glad I saw this discussion. I am getting ready to begin my first year of homeschooling in Aug.. My son is going to K and I am very excited about this year.  I've been using the website that has been mentioned, I've really   enjoyed it my son is 5 and he is already reading, with some struggle of course but doing very well. He gets frustrated at times because he doens't get a word right away. Anyway, would love to hear what you do, schedule, what curriculum you use, etc. Thanks!


Reply by butterfly wishes

author of butterfly wishes and wonderland dreams 6/23/2010 7:14:42 PM

that's funny! i bet you being a Kindergarten teacher we've taken a bunch of the same classes our state to teach kindergarten you get a early childhood degree!

can't wait to see your post!


Reply by Jaime

6/24/2010 12:05:26 PM

As a former teacher, who is preparing for our second year of homeschooling ...

i taught my daughter to read this year.  Early on, much of our focus was on letters and sounds.  We also did phonemic awareness activities such as rhyming, blending sounds together to form words, deleting sounds from words, and substituting sounds.  Once she was able to put together sounds to read CVC words, we started to add sight words.  We do a LOT of reading in our house - we read together (she reads some words, I read others or we read the whole thing together), I read to her, and she reads to me.  We've done this since she began to read words (like "Hobby Lobby" or "Walmart," as well as "I" and "a" and cvc words).  We talk about the books, she listens to books on tape, and we are constantly talking about words - new words, nonsense words, etc. and playing with them.  We've had labels around our house and books are always readily available on shelves in her reach.  

Based on that, I suppose our practice is a little of both (whole language and phonics).  My daughter learned to read very quickly.  Not sure if it will go as smoothly for my son, but I will be instructing him the same way I did my daughter.  In my own research, I have found that a balanced approach to reading is important and that even for children who learn to read easily, it is important to discuss phonics rules and practice phonemic awareness to strengthen spelling skills later.  The difference is the length of time and repetition spent on specific skills.  For my daughter, it was intrinsic.  For my son, it doesn't seem that it will be.  So he is likely to require more repetition and instruction in specific rules and tasks.


Reply by Tamara

6/29/2010 8:44:49 AM

Can someone explain the whole language approach?  I learned phonics and my mom (who takes care of my kids) is teaching them phonics as well.  She has some curriculum from ACE School of Tomorrow, which incorporates each letter sound into songs, stories and activities.


Reply by Carisa

author of 1+1+1=1 6/29/2010 9:49:01 AM

Tamara-I write ALL about it in my upcoming post--stay tuned!  Whole Language was how I was trained to teach and how I mostly teach my boys, so I will fill you in soon!  Just a few final edits to the post and I will get it up on the blog!!!

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