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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp
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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp.  All rights reserved.
about the book
The Homeschool Diner's Guide to
Homeschooling by Subject

"Learning to Read" Resources

by Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2006

From the alphabet to phonics, to early readers and reading remediation
-- here's a sampling of resources for teaching your child to read.

What is Reading? -- and how do children develop the skill? an article
by Reading Rockets

Early Literacy Development by Bank Street College, discusses the
natural growth stages of reading skills (click on their side menu for more)

Emergent Readers -- a chart to keep track of "learning to read"
Beginning Readers -- a chart to track more advanced
reading skills,
Independent Readers -- a chart for tracking even more
advanced reading behaviors, all these forms were developed at Seattle
University’s Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory

Mary Johnson's Two Sentence Reading Test -- an easy way to see
if your child is reading phonetically or only by sight words (from
Potter's Education Page)

What is Reading Comprension? -- teaching tips and links to practice

Reading Instruction for the Primary Gifted Learner by Bertie
Kingore, Ph.D -- how do teachers differentiate for early readers or gifted
readers?  Written for classroom teachers, but includes good points that
home educators find helpful, too.

Speech Language Home Activities -- tips for teaching your children
the proper lip and tongue placement to make each letter sound

Should I Teach My Baby to Read?  by Ruth Alice Jurey

Oh, baby!  Look Who's reading the paper! -- an MSNBC story about
a toddler who's a natural at reading-- taught herself at 18 months :-)

Homeschool Diner's favorite alphabet books
Why settle for just an ordinary ABC book?

Reading Programs and Free Online Programs:

The Reading Treehouse by AdvanceAbility -- tips, strategies, and
activities for teaching children to read and write, includes phonics, letter
direction, etc., wonderful resource

StarFall - free online activities and games for beginning readers -

Let's Read, a Linguistic Approach by Leonard Bloomfield --  within a
few short, fun lessons (15 minutes a day) children are reading words,
shot sentences, then stories.  Presents new words in groups, based on
phonetics and spelling conventions (such as -- Dan can fan fran.)  Be
sure to read the reviews on Amazon for more detailed reviews.

"Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" by Siegfried
Engelmann -- teaches phonics and sound blending in 100 20-minute
lessons, takes child from non-reader to 2nd grade level,  supplemental
materials available, but not required, endorsed by the National Right to
Read Foundation.  Rather tedious -- may be hard to use with "squirmy"
children. Doesn't require writing skills.

"Rocket Phonics" by Stephen Guffanti  -- teaches phonemic
awareness and phonics using visual cues and games, children begin
reading included stories after learning nine letter sounds --  to build
confidence, children learn tricky sight words in the process of reading,
using visual phonetic clues for pronunciation,  recommended by John
Taylor Gatto, does not require writing skills.

Headsprout - learn to read and learn to use a mouse, subscription
required, first 3 lessons free as a trial

Lexia - a computer-based reading program designed to build strengths
in phonemic awareness, sound-symbol correspondence, decoding,
fluency, phonetics and vocabulary, based on the Orton-Gillingham
method of reading remediation (often recommended for dyslexia),
separate programs for early readng, primary reading, and strategies for
older students

Touch Phonics --  (K - 5) (or 1 - 6 for remediation) a manipulative
based multisensory phonics system by Dr. Robin Steed, improves
reading and spelling, uses textured plastic letters ("touch units"),
teaches phonemic awareness, sound-to-symbol correspondence,
segmentation, blending, and substitution, sold as a kit

Letterland -- a complete learn-to-read program published in the UK,
uses a story-based phonics system where each letter is associated with
a particular character (such as "Clever Cat" for "C"), includes phonetics,
pictograms, visual mnemonics, multi-sensory activities -- children sing,
act, draw, write, move, speak and build words (the website even
includes tips for dressing up as and acting out each letter character),
offers early readers (stories about the letter characters), and software
programs, useful for different learning styles and special needs  

Stevenson Learning Skills - teaches reading, spelling, grammar, and
handwriting using a combination of visual images and mnemonic cues,
reportedly helpful for visual-spatial learners, and those having trouble
with typical programs

Right Into Reading -- (K - 3) (or for remediation with older students ) a
phonics based reading and comprehension program provides phonics
instruction, reading comprehension questions and writing practice

Picture Me Reading -- is a visual-conceptual method of teaching the
ABCs and the 220 high frequency sight words that are often known as
“the Dolch Sight Words, helpful who kids who struggle with phonics and
visual learners, uses visual cues to help remember a list of words

Explode the Code -- a systematic phonics program, includes
phonetics,  decoding, vocabulary, writing, games and accessories

Intensive Phonics at Home -- interactive software for students aged 4
to 9, teaches and/or improves reading, writing, and spelling skills, starts
with vowels sounds, includes spelling rules, based on the Orton-
Gillingham method, uses multi-sensory approach

Hooked on Phonics -- a complete system for teaching reading based
on the use of phonetics (letter sounds), described as a "learn-practice-
play  approach" to learning to read

School Zone Series --  pre-K - 6 workbooks for reading readiness,
alphabet, letter sounds, phonics, reading comprehension, grammar,
spelling, math, etc., clear and simple lessons,  view samples online

Reader Rabbit from The Learning Company -- the classic learn to read
software with engaging characters and fun activities.

JumpStart Reading and Reading Blaster -- both developed by The
Davidsons, then acquired by the Knowledge Adventure Company.  Both
of these contain fast-paced, fun, learn to read games and activities.

Spectrum Reading Series by McGraw-Hill --  K - 12 workbooks for pre-
reading, reading comprehension and vocabulary building, available at
Borders Books, teacher's stores, and thru

Additional Resources

Between the Lions -- a PBSKids show for 4 - 7 year olds, "designed to
foster the literacy skills of its viewers, while playfully demonstrating the
joys of reading", also available on video
Be a Word Detective by Kathy Gursky at The School Bell -- learn to
talk about words you see in everyday situations, free online activities (a
good website to browse :-)
Artsy Animals Learn to Read by Visual Manna -- learn letters while
you learn to draw animals
LeapFrog -- several great toys to make phonics/reading fun, such as
Fridge Phonics Magnetic Alphabet Set and the Leapfrog Fridge
Words Magnetic Word Builder (which seems to have been
discontinued, but is still available from many sources), and a new
Reading System, with special books and a pen that reads words aloud
Turn-to-Learn: Word Family Wheels a book by Liza Charlesworth
Superkids Reading Software Reviews -- read reviews of the most
popular reading software games.

Related Issues

Does your child seem to be having a really hard time learning to read?  
Do you have an older child who is still struggling with reading?  Take a
look at the resources on the
Reading Struggles, Reading
Remediation and "Catching-Up" page of the Homeschool Diner.

Illiteracy: An Incurable Disease or Education Malpractice? by
Robert W. Sweet, Jr. of the National Right to Read Foundation -- a
discussion of the history and results of the switch to a Whole Language
("look and say" or "sight word") approach to teaching reading, and the
history and benefits of using a phonetic approach  

Kids are Reading for Speed -- and Getting Nowhere by Valerie

Looking for Handwriting Resources, too?
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language arts