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Thursday, December 22, 2005

HOW DO YOU TEACH YOUR HOMESCHOOLED CHILDREN TO READ?

This is a question I am often asked. It is also the biggest fear many new homeschoolers have... that their children will never learn to read.

Personally, my children did not start homeschooling until after they learned to read... so I thought I lucked out there. But after thinking about it, I remembered that I did have a large hand in teaching both kids to read.

My first child learned a phonics approach to reading while we lived in the New Orleans area. He struggled alot at first. All we felt we could do was watch him and encourage him. Then one day, my husband was sitting at the computer and an idea struck him. He had noticed that Jackson was a visual learner... meaning he could absorb what he could see.. while in school he was being taught theory.

I came home that evening to an elated husband and child! My husband had taken my sons words, broken them up phonetically, and blown them up really big... and my son read the words. So every week we would do the same, and within 2 months he had caught on to how phonics works well enough to read 100 Little Readers Books by the end of the school year.

My daughter was a completely different story. We were living in GA at the time and they were teaching reading by sight words. One would think that since sight worked for Jack, it would work for her as well, it did not! By the end of Kindergarten, she had barely learned a thing. She still could not read. So I took the matter into my own hands and purchcased an an interactive learn to read program on the internet. That summer, she played her way to being a reader!

And there are still other approaches. I have a friend to takes a relaxed approach to homeschooling. This is alot like unschooling exept she will teach a subject when the children ask for it. Her child, however, did not ask for, nor were interested in reading. Finally at age 11, he felt pressured by other children to read, and she set out to teach him phonics and sight words, but it did not work. Finally she turned on the closed caption on the television and turned off the sound. She also purchased video games where you had to read to succeed. This got him to the point where he had no other choice but to read to function. This motivation sent him back to the phonics and sight words. In just a few weeks, this child was reading as if he had been from the age five.

So to sum it up, teaching a homeschooled child to read is no easier than teaching a schooled child to read. The plus, however, is that you have the luxury of mixing, or trying different approaches until the child finally gets it.

You can teach the child phonics theory through workbooks and flashcards. You can teach phonics and sight words through online interactive games, and you can do a combination of the two. Finally, if your child is not learning to read at a rate that satisfies you and/or the child, you create the necessity to read by turning off other options.

DREAH is a homescholing mom of 2, a decorative artist, writer, wife to a high powered executive, and overal hyperactive black woman! Looking to start homeschooling your kid? Check out this curriculum that features educational games that make learning fun! NOTE: (YOU MAY FIND THIS BLOG DUPLICATED BY ME ON THE NET UNDER MEMBERNAMES DREAH OR HOMEGIRL)

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