Friday, April 23, 2010

Reading Instruction

You may want to start by reading my thoughts on Reading Instruction.

Reading Instruction before Year 1 should be very gentle, and should not intrude on outdoor time and free play. It should only be done when the student is in a good mood and wants to play the reading games involved. Lessons should be very short, and stopped BEFORE the child wants to stop. And they are optional.

Year 0
Use lessons from "Teach your Baby to Read". If your child is at least 2 years old, you can also use lessons from "Teach your Child to Read in 10 minutes a day". I recommend using both by that point.

Year K/1
Combine Phonics Instruction with Sight Reading. Charlotte Mason had reading instruction by doing some phonics work one day, and the other day working on sight reading with words chosen from a specific story. The words should be interesting to the child, and with different lengths and shapes. After the words are known out of order - the child would read a page or stanza of the story.

I recommend using flashcards in the style of "Teach your Baby to Read", and phonics instruction from "Teach your Child to Read in 10 minutes a day". Create books for your child that are specific to them - probably featuring them. As an alternative for phonics instruction, this site has a free resource.

You can also start with the Dick and Jane Primers and Readers. The Primers have been reprinted in a treasury. The Readers are only available if you happen to find a used copy. If you can't find them, move to the Treadwell/Free readers.

In Year 1, starting around term 2 or 3, if your child is ready they can start to read 1 book from the readings. (I have suggested books in the Year 1 information.)

Good Readers for more practice
Bob's Books
Little Bear series
Frog and Toad series
Flicka, Ricka, Dicka series
Snipp, Snapp, Snurr series
Billy and Blaze series

Later Years
If your child is not reading fluently yet, don't panic. Don't let your student know that they are not doing as well as you would like - you don't want them to get discouraged. Continue work with the resources I've mentioned in the earlier years at your childs speed. Do "Buddy Reading" - where you read one page, paragraph, or even sentence, and then the student reads one. Use quality audio recordings of some of the readings, with the student following along in their book.


Not Free
"Teach your Child to Read in 10 minutes a Day" - Sidney Ledson
"Teach your Baby to Read" - Glenn Doman


  1. I LOVE this and the other post with the books. I've got to do my list too, it'll be close to yours. I'd like to do a Year 0.5 for next fall, since that's when my oldest turns 6, I'm going to wait for Year 1 until she is 7, but I like a gentle kinder for her and I appreciate your ideas for reading (it's sort of what we do, with adjustments).

  2. I'm glad that you have found this useful!