You don't have to spend a lot of money on fancy or expensive homeschool reading programs to successfully teach your child to read. However, complete learn-to-read kits can make the task of teaching your child to read easier for you and a little more fun for your child.
Most homeschool reading programs contain everything needed to build and reinforce essential skills for reading.
Many libraries have beginning readers, but you may not be able to find other materials to reinforce or go along with your lessons.
Piecing together a program can save you money, but it may take some extra time and research on your part.
So far, all my children have learned to read in different ways. Please know... what works with one of your children, may not work with another.
My oldest daughter started reading on her own at around five years old. She loved listening to us read books to her and we read to her often throughout her preschool years. Anytime we opened a book, she would sit beside us and listen. One day at the beginning of Kindergarten, I gave her a book to see if she could read, and she read it quite well, with a little help.
My second daughter at three years old asked to learn to read. By this time I had started homeschooling, so I began looking at homeschool reading programs. I really didn't know HOW to teach a child to read and was a little scared.
One book that many of my homeschooling friends recommended to me was, "How to Teach a Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons". I tried it, but my daughter didn’t like it. (It also teaches the long vowels first, and at the time, I couldn't find any really easy readers at our library that focused on each long vowel individually.)
Although many have used this program successfully, my daughter wanted to read in one day. I needed the book, "How to Teach a Child to Read in One Easy Lesson." :)
Although I never found a program that teaches a child to read in one day, I think I found the next best thing.
Easy-to-Use Homeschool Reading Programs
The Bob Books were my lifesaver.
My daughter learned the sounds for the first book in a few minutes and read through it right away. She spent the whole day reading that first Bob Book to anyone who would listen to it, over and over again. She was so happy she could read!
I bought some inexpensive phonics workbooks and every day I had her copy sentences from the Bob Books for handwriting. We completed the first three sets of the Bob Books and she moved on to read chapter books at four years old.
I found all three sets at my library, so this homeschool reading program ended up costing me very little.
The Bob Book/copywork/workbook approach didn't work all that well with my third daughter, however. She had very little interest in reading and I wasn't sure how to teach her. After looking through a variety of homeschool reading programs, I came across one that I had stored away in my basement that someone had given me.
The Learning Language Arts through Literature (LLATL) curriculum is an affordable, easy-to-use language arts program and the first book (I had the Blue Book kit) teaches students how to read!
The LLATL utilizes the Bob Books and provides fun games and exercises to reinforce the daily lessons. My daughter enjoyed the short lessons and began to read with very little difficulty. Since we both enjoyed using LLATL so much, and this curriculum worked well with her, we are continuing to use it for more grades.
Other Homeschool Reading Programs
Another popular reading program is Hooked on Phonics. It's been around for years, won many awards and has become a name that parents can trust. HOP offers various homeschool reading programs from PreK-2nd grade. You can purchase each grade individually for less than $80 or one kit comes with everything you need for children in PreK-2nd grade.
Sing, Spell, Read and Write
Through music, games and activities, Sing, Spell, Read & Write teaches children the alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness, sound/letter correspondence, short vowel sounds, and blending - in a fun and meaningful way. By the end of Kindergarten your child is supposed to be reading fully-decodable story books with single-, short- vowel words.
Explode the Code
Explode the code is a phonics program for grades K-4 and builds the essential skills for reading success. Currently ETC offers two homeschool reading programs; the traditional workbook curriculum (includes handwriting), and an engaging online program. Both are affordable. The workbook curriculum consists of 8-11 workbooks; each workbook retails around $8. ETC offers a homeschool price of $55 for their online program.
I have many friends who have used the Explode the Code workbooks and love them. You can discover more about ETC through this informative video:
One of the newest homeschool reading programs to hit the market is Starfall's Kindergarten Reading and Language Arts kit. The homeschool kit ($260) contains everything you need to teach your child to read and also includes access to an interactive companion website.
Starfall.com also offers a free reading program – not as comprehensive as the paid version, but you will find it very extensive and helpful. Your young children are sure to love the engaging online books and activities to help them learn to read!
Click N' Read
Click N' Read Phonics is an affordable, online reading program for ages four through 3rd grade. Through lessons, games and activities, children learn letter sounds, word blending, spelling, sentence and reading skills. Lessons are taught by an onscreen instructor that sounds exactly like an expert reading tutor in a real classroom. The voice closely resembles the creator, Dr. J. Ron Nelson.
A couple things I really like about this program: it works for children with learning disabilities, it patiently re-teaches until the correct response is learned, you can use the program on any computer – at home or away, and parents see detailed assessment reports that track exactly what your child has learned.
Did I Miss Some Homeschool Reading Programs?
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Reviews Left By Others
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Wowzabrain Reading Program Homeschooling mom of three highly recommends Wowzabrain reading program for new or struggling readers and children with dyslexia; read her review... …
Sing, Spell, Read, and Write Review Teach your child to read painlessly. Homeschooling mom shares an insightful Sing, Spell, Read and Write review to help you learn more about this homeschool …