I have a philosophy that can be stated in 7 words:
You can always give them more books.
There is no shortage of books around here, but books aren’t of any use if your child can’t read them. As a Lifestyle of Learning mom, I am a firm believer in having good books readily available for your children to dig into to whether they can read or not, but there is a practical side to this as well. Somewhere along the line, the child has to learn to read. Once that happens, then my philosophy knows no bounds!
So, how can you teach your child to read natural way?
My first suggestion, if you are even the least bit queasy about teaching phonics at all, is to buy some sort of phonics program. We used to use Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, but I began to notice some things with this curriculum that made me cringe. One is all the extra phonetic markings they use that do not exist in the real world. While I understand the WHY behind this (and they do remove those markings eventually), I was finding my children were not translating what they were learning in the book to their every day world because those markings do not exist in the every day world. I do, however, highly recommend this program if you have a child who is struggling with being a fluid reader.
With my first child, I used a simple McGuffey Reader. It is unscripted and allows you, as the teacher, to stress the things you want to stress and go at a pace you want to go at. This worked great when I was only homeschooling one, but I found as I added more to the household, I was in need of something more structured.
This past year, we invested in Veritas Press’ Phonics Museum. This was one of those purchases that every homeschool mom needs from time to time…the curriculum that brings peace of mind. I have done a full review of the curriculum HERE.
Of course, there are many, many other phonics programs out there, but since these are the only ones I’ve used, I do not feel qualified to speak on any of the others. The goal here is to provide for them phonetic foundation.
Once you have that foundation, the possibilities are limitless, but since this post has gotten rather lengthy, I’ll leave those possibilities for another day…
And, if you would be so kind, please leave what phonics curriculum you use and your own pros and cons list in the comments section. We can all learn from each other that way!
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