Okay, okay I will admit, I probably took a certain book TOO literally, being that Lavender is almost seven and I am just now teaching her to read. But I did enjoy Better Late Than Early and it did influence me. It's a cult classic among many veteran homeschool parents. I'm just keepin' it old skool.There is hardly a thing more gratifying than teaching your child to read yourself, whether you homeschool or not. Now I have successfully taught a total of two children to read, so if you want to call me an expert, you can. With a little consistency, you will be amazed how quickly your child with be reading especially if you wait until they're in puberty (I just made myself laugh). There are many great ways to teach your child to read. This is how I teach mine....
I start with Phonics Pathways. This book will give Lavender a good, solid education in phonics. I love it. It costs about $22 and it's an all-in-one phonics curriculum, for any age and reading level, even dyslexic readers. As the student advances through the book it gets more technical than some other programs/books that I've researched. It also tells me what grade level my child is reading at depending on where she is in the book.
I'm all about "go at your own pace" (something you've picked up on) and this book allows you to do just that. Because it's not divided into lessons, I stop right before Lavender gets frustrated and if she's enjoying the lesson and is moving right along, we keep going.
Every weekday morning, first thing, Lavender and Mommy sit on the couch together for our Phonics lesson. It's a great bonding time! We start early while she's fresh and before I fill the day with other things.
Once she's reading three-letter words we dive right into books! Bob Books are my first choice because they take the same three-letter short vowel approach. Bob Books come in sets and they build on each other. We still continue to work through Phonics Pathways.
Now it's time for MORE wonderful books!! Every day Lavender will read at least one book and then she will do a page or two in Phonics Pathways.
I personally despise commercialism, especially when it comes to children's literature, toys and clothes, except for the occasional Hello Kitty (oh and the Pink Panther). Dear Dora and Sponge Bob if you are reading this, I mean no disrespect I just like what I like. I have a few reasons behind this but I don't know if you'll really care to hear them, so let's just talk about the books.
Dick and Jane and Friends books are really adorable. The illustrations are charming and they use a lot of repetitive sight words. "Come, Sally. Come, come." These books are fine for young boys too.
This particular book is three volumes in one. The 3rd book, which is in the back of the book, is the easiest so it should be read first. I don't know why they did that?!
If you use this book you will have the opportunity to introduce these new sounds:
- "ing"- When ever you see I-N-G say "ing" (wrinkle your nose to show the sound).
- "y"- When there is a Y at the end of a word sometimes it says "E" as in baby.
- "simple long vowels sounds"- I use the rule "the second vowel make the first one say it's name" and I remind Lavender every time that we come to a word like "Jane" by saying, "The "E" make the "A" say it's name. "j-A-ne"
- "the"- The word "the" needs to be memorized because there is no rule for it, it makes no sense :)
- "th,"- When you see a "t" and an "h" together it makes the sound "thhh" (put your tongue to your top teeth to show the sound).
Another excellent series of beginning readers are the Little Bear Books. Sweet stories for "level 1" readers.
And finally, My absolute favorite Reading-Literature The Primer and then Reading-Literature First Reader. These books include classic stories like, The Gingerbread Boy, Chicken Little, Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Three Little Pigs, poems and famous rhymes.
By the time Lavender is finished reading all of these sweet books she should be ready for "level 2 readers" and then "level 3 readers" Below is a list of some of our favorites. I've included titles for boys and girls.
Level 2 Readers
- Frog and Toad Series
- Amelia Bedelia Series
- A Baby Sister for Frances
- Bread and Jam for Frances (Frances is funny!)
- Mouse Tales
- Small Pig
- Mouse Soup
- Uncle Elephant
Level 3 Readers