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.
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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. Reading Readiness Checklist– All About Reading shares the top 5 skills needed for reading readiness in this article. Better yet, they’ve also got a handy reading readiness checklist available for free there.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Reading Eggs Junior – The Reading Eggs Junior app is a fantastic pre-reading resource. It uses a combination of games, videos, books, and activities to build pre-reading skills.
Even better, when your kiddo is ready, it’s easy to move up to Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress after that.
6. 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.
7. 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!
8. 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!
9. 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.
10. 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!
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?
Looking for more great everyday tools for your homeschool? Stop by the Everyday Tools linkup from iHomeschool Network and take a look.