Home School Reading Tips:
Motivating the Reluctant Reader


Teach home school reading when your child is ready. But sometimes its hard to know when to start. Some children, often boys show no interest at all in reading. They see no need to start.

As an adult, you most likely would not spend hours trying to learn something that you have no interest in, simply because someone told you that you “have to” learn it, right?

Children are no different. This is why it is very important that we help children find reasons why they should learn to read.

Why Would a Child Want to Read?

Most children will quickly learn how to read once they find a good reason to do so. Maybe your child desires to hear more stories than you could possibly find time to read to them.

Or maybe they want to learn how to play a game, or use the computer. What ever it is, helping your child find reasons to read is just as important as the reading itself.

Be sure to provide daily examples of the many motivations to begin reading. Talk with your child about why you are reading and explain to them the opportunities that await them when they can read. Give them examples:

• To understand how to play a new game (learning how-to)
• To learn more about the ocean (a way to get information and news)
• To write a letter to Grandma (personal communication)
• To be able to read great stories (enjoyment)

How to Teach Home School Reading

home school reading

What can you do?

It has long been debated which approach is best to use when teaching a child to read. Some educators stand strongly by the Phonics approach and others use the language approach.

This “Battle” can be put to rest with the results of two decades of research on the “Best Way to Learn How to Read”, funded by the National Institute of Health.

Researchers at the National Institute of Health discovered that there are three important aspects of reading.

• Part 1: Phonemic awareness, or learning the individual sounds that constitute a language, for example, "buh" as the sound of "b".

• Part 2: Phonics, or the letter-sound relationships available in the language.

• Part 3: Exposure to the meaning of the written word by reading to the child as well as having the child begin to read independently.

All three of these parts are very important building blocks when teaching a child to read as each piece is necessary to support the next.

With phonemic awareness as the first building block (Part 1), a child can begin to piece together words in books. Add a helpful person by their side and they will begin to ask questions, which lets you know that they are at the "phonics phase” (Part 2).

Now is the time to point out important clues, such as how letter sounds blend, how an "e" at the end of a word changes a vowel sound from short to long, or how some consonants have more than one sound. You can also show them upper and lower case letters.

It is also important at this time to show your child the eighteen frequently used words, best learned by sight. Remember to keep reading to your child, outside of your home school reading time, to include exposure to meaning, the equally important Part 3.

Eleven Helpful Home School Reading Tips.

Here are some helpful home school reading tips to get your child interested or motivated in reading:

1. Read aloud to your child from books, but also mail, instruction booklets, grocery lists, etc. (and don't stop even when your child can read independently!)

2. Take turns "drawing" a letter on each other's back with your fingers; guess what it is, tell them what sound it makes

3. Encourage hands-on play with magnetic letters and sponge letters in bath; sound out the nonsense words your child creates with them.

4. Show them how fun it is to trace letters with crayons or colored pencils.

5. Cut out letters from different types of paper; make some “ABC” craft projects.

6. Play word games like Hangman, Junior Scrabble, Boggle, ABC Bingo, word searches, or make up you own game asking them: "What begins with ‘buh?” or “What ends with ‘guh?"

7. Write a single letter on some Post-It notes and make it into a game having your child stick them on everything beginning with that letter.

8. Pick a "sight word of the day," then have your child call it out every time you find it in a story.

9. Leave fun engaging looking books around the house and car for your child to find and pick up.

10. Provide a quiet period when you both get you favorite book and go off to read alone.

11. Get cozy! Or make it an adventure for them. Read to them at night under a blanket with a flashlight, or read them a adventure story outside in a play tent.

With these simple solutions, your homeschool reading time is sure to be fun and memorable for your child and you!

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