The idea of teaching children to read can seem scary. Don’t worry though, if you don’t feel comfortable teaching them on your own, there are many programs you can use to help you.
Q I am beginning to homeschool my five year old. He knows all of his letters and the sounds so I want to teach him to read. Can you recommend some books and programs that I can use?
A. If your child can recognize his sounds and letters, he is indeed ready to start reading. Since he knows the sounds already, I would definately use a phonics approach. There are numerous programs you can use to teach him to read at home.
Hooked on Phonics: This program has been around for a couple of decades and it is much more cost effective than it once was. This is a great approach for the computer savvy family as the child will also get an early start using computers. The Hooked On Phonics Deluxe Edition includes 2 CD-Roms, a storybook and three workbooks. It also has flashcards, posters, stickers, and a parents guide.
Headsprout.com: Headsprout in an interactive online program that teaches preschoolers and kindergartners how to read. In addition to that, it helps children continue to strengthen their reading comprehension skills through the fifth grade.
LeapFrog: If you have been purchasing Leap Frog learning games all along, (or just like educational games) you will want to continue with the LeapFrog Tag Learn to Read Phonics Books Series sets. You purchase the Tag system that comes with a scanning pen that helps them sound out words, and you can add as many reading books as you would like.
Reader Rabbit: Reader Rabbit Learn to read with phonics is popular in preschools and for good reason. It is another learn while playing program that keeps kids engaged and will get your child effortlessly through all the lessons he needs during his preschool years. The only caveat is that you must make sure the version you purchase is compatible with your computer.
Any and all of these learning to read programs will help you in getting your child to read. Alternatively, you can just get a stack of early reading books and teach them to string together words in the same way you already taught them their letters and accompanying sounds.