Reflecting on: Reading

activities homeschool Nov 02, 2022

Most would presume that after 25+ years of teaching kids to read, I'd have the perfect system to recommend!  I must admit that for each of my seven children, I used many different methods...  Here are some of the ways my children finally cracked the code of reading and spelling:

Flashcards of sight words (handmade, and DK and Reading Eggs brands)
Phonics books (handmade, and various brands including Blake, Reading Eggs)
Early readers (various brands including vintage op shop finds)
Alphabet and spelling charts (SPELD worked for a later reader)
Games on PC (Learning Ladder in the early 2000s, and Jolly Phonics)
Card and Board Games (specifically Early World of Learning resources in the 90s)
Reading Eggs app
Reading aloud together daily from picture books, chapter books, and non-fiction
Reading along to audiobooks
Writing (we learn to read by writing, and write by reading - to me, they are symbiotic activitites)
Outschool (this is new for us, so only with reader #7 and in a group class)

I've outsourced reading tuition for the first time to another human via Outschool this year, giving Zeah a boost in her learning process as she joins with other children weekly to revise some of what we've done together, and learn in different ways.

I have no magic advice for helping children learn to read, because all of my children learned in different ways.  I followed their leads and we went with what made the most sense to them.  Sometimes this took a matter of weeks to progress to reading independently, and sometimes it took years.  My children learned to read alone for pleasure between 3 and 9 years of age!  The six older ones are all readers now, and were quite voracious readers during their teen years, especially, when we bought sets of books, visited the library, and allowed space and time for them to enjoy reading.  We have an extensive home library including many classics, and they still borrow books when they come home to visit, or ask me to post them old favourites!  Their ability to read, write and comprehend does not vary widely, and is independent of the way they each learned to read and spell.

I encourage you to have patience as your children learn to read, and always treat reading as a pleasure, not a chore.

If you'd like to try Outschool, here's a discount so you can get your first class for free!


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