Let’s be honest. The first moments of self-doubt for many homeschool parents comes with the pressures of teaching our children to read. There’s no need for all of that self-doubt though! By utilizing the pre-reading resources that are available to us, we can easily lay the foundation needed for a lifetime of literacy.
(This post contains affiliate links; see disclosure for details.)
One thing I’ve learned over my years of homeschooling is that pre-reading resources are definitely not one size fits all! This list, however, contains pre-reading resources that we’ve personally used in our home and are the ones I recommend from experience.
Favorite Pre-Reading Resources
1. Mommy, Teach Me to Read: A Complete and Easy-to-Use Home Reading Program – I borrowed this book from my local library when I began researching how to teach my eldest to read. After a few weeks with this book, I knew I needed my own copy. Through Mommy, Teach Me to Read, I gained the knowledge, techniques, and confidence I needed to lay the foundation for his reading skills.
2. Word Puzzles – We love word puzzles! They’re such a fun way to introduce reading to younger children. The front side of each puzzle uses an image to help kids connect letters and words. The back side of each puzzle contains only letters and is great for challenging early readers to build words as their pre-reading skills grow.
3. Pre-reading TV Shows – If your pre-reader is going to have TV time, make it count through shows like Super Why, Word World, and The Eggsperts. They’re perfect for weaving pre-reading skills into entertainment.
4. LeapFrog LeapReader Reading and Writing System – LeapReaders are great pre-reading resources because they’re essentially toys that encourage reading skills like phonics and reading comprehension. By simply touching the words and icons from the LeapReader books with the LeapReader pen, kids can get help sounding out words or listen to entire readings of LeapReader books if preferred. Similarly, the LeapReader Junior helps little learners with word recognition and basic preschool skills.
5. Starfall – This site made my list of Go-to Websites for Homeschooling Preschool for a reason! Both of my kids have spent time enjoying Starfall’s pre-reading program through games, songs, and stories with Zac the Rat. This website is one to have bookmarked, for sure! Prefer to skip the computer time? The Starfall app is a great alternative.
6. Bob Books – By focusing on a handful of letters in each book, this series is a wonderful way to build confidence in your pre-reader. Each book is small, manageable, and fun — exactly what you need for pre-reading!
7. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons – Using ever-trusted DISTAR method, 100 Easy Lessons is a step-by-step approach that teaches parents a simple and clear approach to teaching reading. The book begins with pre-reading skills, but has kids reading by the book’s end. I’ll never forget my son’s face when he shifted from the pre-reading sections to actually reading while using this book! Such sweet memories!
8. The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading – I’m currently working through this one with my daughter and we’re doing well with it thus far. I like that its no-fuss approach and that each lesson has enough instruction for her without being overwhelming.
9. This Reading Mama – There are tons of great pre-reading resources on Becky’s site, but I particularly love the Bob Books printables. They’re a perfect compliment to the pre-reader series!
10. Tiggly Words – We started using Tiggly Words for Kindle Fire a few months ago and we’re loving it! By using interactive vowel toys with the accompanying learning apps, kids gain familiarity with language fundamentals, letter patterns, and word building. Also worth noting, the apps are engaging and are tons of fun! My little one particularly loves to create ridiculous scenarios in the Story Builder using the words she’s built.
The funny thing to me about reading and pre-reading is that you could ask ten different homeschool families what’s worked well for them and you could easily get ten different answers.
You’ve seen my list of pre-reading favorites, but it’s your turn now. What do you suggest for families who are journeying through through pre-reading?Working on pre-reading skills with your child? Here are ten resources to help you along. #ihsnetClick To Tweet
Looking for more great everyday tools for your homeschool? Stop by the Everyday Tools linkup from iHomeschool Network and take a look.