(Disclosure: This post contains five popular reading resources. I haven’t used them myself, unless I share otherwise. This is not a paid review, and Simple Homeschool has not accepted any funds in exchange for this post.)
I don’t know about you, but the idea of teaching my children to read struck me as both thrilling and terrifying.
A process that sounded exciting and natural seemed more complicated as I walked the aisles of a homeschooling convention or browsed resources online.
There are so many choices, but how do you know what you really need to help your child?
I can’t pretend to have figured out all the answers, but here are five popular options that will hopefully make the selection process easier for those of you starting down the phonics and literacy road soon.
1. Sing, Spell, Read, and Write
Sing, Spell, Read and Write is a full-blown reading curriculum–complete with music, workbooks, and games.
Because it employs a variety of multisensory techniques, it has been known as a good choice for kinesthetic learners. This curriculum aims to make learning to read fun.
The current cost of Sing, Spell, Read and Write (Level 1) is $180.
2. Phonics Pathways: Clear Steps to Easy Reading and Perfect Spelling
This one book contains all the material needed to get your child reading. It even includes practice reading sections, so in theory there’s no need for early readers.
Each section contains ideas to help your child grasp that particular lesson in a variety of ways. The parent/teacher can select the activities he or she wants to include.
A short teaching overview is included for each lesson, designed to help you understand the best way to present the material to your child.
Phonics Pathways is available for $20.
3. Explode the Code
This is a series of 14 workbooks taking a child through the entire decoding and early reading process. Many parents use some, but not all, of the series.
Each workbook is simply designed–with large print and black and white illustrations. Many parents who use Explode the Code also use games to reinforce the workbooks’ concepts.
The company has also unveiled Explode the Code Online, allowing your child (for a $55 fee) to complete interactive activities online.
Each workbook in the series costs about $8.
Photo by Raymond Brown
4. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Many home educators swear by this book, while others find the format a bit dry.
Designed in a practical, easy-to-follow manner, each lesson should take approximately 20 minutes. The lessons cover the basics to get your child reading.
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons currently sells for $15.
5. Games for Reading: Playful Ways to Help Your Child Read
I’ve heard many parents rave about this book. It contains over 70 ideas for easy-to-prepare games that help teach and reinforce phonics and reading concepts.
You can buy Games for Reading for about $11.
These five selections represent only a small fraction of the literacy resources available to homeschoolers. Through a little exploring, and sometimes trial and error, you can find the option that works best for your up and coming reader.
Please share your experiences with us–let us know if you’ve used any of these, OR another choice that you either loved or hated. Personal recommendations really help those just starting out.