Do you need a basic program for teaching your child beginning reading skills at home? Are you struggling with helping your child overcome dyslexia?
Teaching your child to read, whether he has dyslexia, or not, can be frustrating, but given the right program, it can be done inexpensively at home. If your child has dyslexia, or you suspect he does, you will want to use an Orton-Gillingham reading program. This page includes beginner reading programs as opposed to proven programs for teaching children with dyslexia to read.
Whether you are just starting to homeschool your child or you’ve been homeschooling for awhile, it would be helpful for you to screen your child for his current reading decoding ability and reading fluency level.
If you don’t have or can’t afford a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation, you will want to use the Free Reading Assessments to access your child’s reading abilities. The tests listed are available online at no charge to you.
If your child is a beginning reader and you want to use some free online tools for reading practice, check out:
If you are just beginning teaching your child to read, one of the best things you can do us use a systematic, direct teaching method that explicitly teaches each phonogram to your child. The method mentioned above, Orton-Gillingham, may be the perfect choice, but that will depend upon your child’s specific learning disabilities.
Literacy Workshop’s Phonogram Mastery program can be of benefit to any child, but is particularly recommended for beginning reading instruction, or for help with a young (K-5) child who needs systematic reading instruction. If you would like ready-made manipulatives for teaching reading, there are Phonogram Cards available through the Literacy Workshop which can be purchased and printed. This program may not work for children with significant reading disabilities, but it is an excellent, inexpensive place to begin if your child has not yet received solid, foundational reading instruction.
Rainbow Reader Games is a printable reading games collection. This program can help make learning to read more fun, adds a multisensory element to reading practice, and will reinforce your child’s reading skills. These materials are a great way to add some FUN to reading practice! I recommend these for any child–whether the child has reading difficulties or not. These materials aren’t designed specifically to teach reading, but they are a fun way to reinforce what a child is learning otherwise from systematic reading instruction.
If you’ve tried teaching your child to read, but your child does not seem to “get it” or re-decodes every word, even ones he’s seen multiple times before, if he can’t blend sounds together, or shows other signs of struggling with reading, there are any number of Orton-Gillingham reading programs you can use to help your child at home without spending a lot of money.
Programs I recommend for home use:
All About Reading is a new Orton-Gillingham reading program that is very robust, offering a comprehensive reading solution. As a new program, not all levels are available yet, but the Deluxe Interactive Reading Kit offered is IDEAL for use with virtually any Orton-Gillingham reading program. Getting started with the Reading Level 1 is a great way to get started, and the subsequent levels are already underway and Level 2 readers are available.
|The Click’N’Read program is computer based and makes an excellent reinforcement program, if not a primary program for reading. Kids find it easy to use and the automatic tracking of progress is a great help to teaching parents. Use a program such as All About Reading alongside a computer-based program such as Click’N’Read or Earobics to build your child’s reading skills faster.
|**Language Tool Kit & Manual, Grades K-5
By Paula D. Rome & Jean S. Osman / Educators Publishing ServiceThe Language Tool Kit teaches reading and spelling to students with specific language disability. Based on Orton-Gillingham principles, it is designed for use by a teacher or a parent. This set contains 163 cards (4″ x 6″) in a white cardboard box along with the 32 page manual. One group of cards has spelling units printed in large type on one side, with the common and rarer sound equivalents on the reverse side in small type. Key words and spelling patterns are also listed. The salmon-colored cards are for the teacher’s reference, and the yellow cards are for extra practice with consonant blends. Grades K-5.
Teach Your Child To Read Method E-flash Cards by Glenn Doman is a program that may work for some children. It is based upon an e-Flash Card method.. The child works with flash cards on the computer to learn to read. This method is most likely to help build reading fluency as a child is able to recognize words.
S.P.I.R.E. Reading Program is a great Orton-Gillingham reading program as well. This program has a bit more beef to it, is easy to follow, easier to implement without much preparation. The program has been fine-tuned over a number of years and is one of the most well-developed programs you can purchase and use easily at home. Click the link above to read a review of the S.P.I.R.E. Reading Program.
Writing Road to Reading: The Spalding Method for Teaching Speech, Spelling, Writing, and Reading – WRTR is a comprehensive Orton-Gillingham reading program which will help your child make great gains if you can follow the program diligently. I will tell you, the program is overwhelming at first glance, but after digging in and getting started, the program is not as difficult as it seems. This program is among the most comprehensive, inexpensive programs you can use. You can make your own manipulatives, but I’ll tell you.. buying one of the Reading Interactive Kits at AllAboutLearningPress.com takes a whole lot less time and is relatively inexpensive.
Reading Reflex: The Foolproof Phono-Graphix Method for Teaching Your Child to Read – Not my favorite, but easy to understand and easy to follow. The RR program had some shortcomings in that it did not teach ALL of the phonemes when I last reviewed the program, but it did teach almost all of them, and has been updated. If it is still missing a few of the phonemes, they can be easily covered on the side. Additionally, when I had difficulty with some program materials ordered through the company, they were less than considerate and helpful, bordering on rude. Therefore, I suggest this program as one that is easy to follow.. it does have its merits, but it is far from my top choice.
If you desire simply to teach your child to read, and your child does not have any known issues with learning to read, I recommend the book **”Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” or the Explode The Code series. These are both systematic instructional methods that work well for a child who has no known issues with phonemic awareness or auditory processing. They are both excellent programs, but the 100 Easy Lessons program often does not work all that well for children with true dyslexia or central auditory processing issues.
Scripted, complete programs:
There are two programs I consider “complete” kits, which can be purchased for a couple hundred dollars. These two programs are designed to take a child from non-reader to reader, and provide everything you need.
**Saxon Phonics – This is a robust and well-developed reading remediation program. It is also one of the less expensive programs that includes all materials, teachers guides and student books. No reading remediation program worth using can beat the value in this package! With the Saxon name behind the product, you can hardly go wrong.
Saxon Phonics on Amazon.com
Complete Saxon Phonics Intervention, Home Study Kit
Other Saxon Phonics Program products
Other Materials for Teaching A Child How-to Read
Reading Comprehension Resources at Christianbooks.com
**LiPS from Lindamood-Bell – This is the same program used at the pricey Lindamood-Bell centers, and by many private organizations that teach reading. The kit is expensive, but the program is proven to work with most children who struggle. The program is rather involved, but if you can read and understand the instructions, or can afford to go to training offered by Lindamood-Bell Centers, it is a lot cheaper to do the program yourself. However, not all children respond well to their parent as their provider, so you’ll want to be certain your child is willing to work with you before you spend the money on this kit.
|**PhonicsTutor Student Reader
By 4:20 Communications, This book is meant to accompany the Alpha Phonics CD-ROM, which can be ordered separately. Phonics Tutor presents Alpha-Phonics combines the word family method of Alpha-Phonics with the Orton-Gillingham English phonograms. It is effective for teaching reading, spelling and phonics to early readers, learning disabled and precocious students, making it an ideal tool in the inclusion classroom. The phonics Tutor Student Reader provides controlled vocabulary stories- including tongue twisters, riddles, real-life and imaginary stories, a science experiment, and more; expanded, non-alphabetized word lists, including challenge words; instruction on phonics rules and grammar; and a Phonogram and Spelling Pattern Chart.
|**PhonicsTutor Teacher’s Manual
By 4:20 CommunicationsThis Teacher’s Manual is meant to accompany the Phonics Tutorial CD-ROM, which can be purchased seperately. This program provides the word family method of Alpha-Phonics with the Orton-Gillingham English phonograms. This program is effective for teaching reading, spelling and phonics to early readers, learning disabled and precocious students, making it an ideal tool in the inclusion classroom. The Phonics Tutor Teacher’s Manual provides snapshots of all presentation screens, lists all dictated sentences, divides curriculum in units with detailed goals, content, and directions. See in print everything that is taught orally to students.
Drill and Learning Software:
ClickN READ Phonics – Children who are struggling with reading and children with learning disabilities can use this program, which is designed for ease of use, and is based upon solid teaching of reading skills. Best of all, kids generally love this program. ClickN’ READ Phonics lets you buy the program for your child at a low cost and all subscriptions come with a 60-day money back guarantee. If you hop on over there and give it a try using their demo program, you’ll be able to determine if this program may be a good fit for your child.
Earobics is designed to teach a child with auditory processing issues to “tune in” to key sounds in words, to teach them the phonemes in relation to print, and to build concentration (specifically the ability to attend to sounds within words). For some kids, they can’t “hear” (or recognize) the individual phonemes enough to be taught with a rules based program, so Earobics is a good place to begin. We used Earobics as one of the early, foundational programs in my boys’ instruction and the program contributed to a great outcome in our homeschooling to overcome dyslexia.
Lexia Reading – This is the program we have chosen and have been sticking with. It has numerous different practice activities within 5 levels and has been instrumental in helping with basic spelling and reading abilities. The program is very thorough, beginning with basic vowel sounds, and progressing up through roots, prefixes, suffixes, and syllabication. This program is a great teaching tool when used on a daily basis.
Multisensory Reading, Spelling and Penmanship – “Multisensory reading, spelling and penmanship CD-ROM program builds an association between symbols and sounds in the English language through self-paced repetition. It utilizes the close association of visual, auditory and kinesthetic elements to help students improve their language skills.”
Children Learning Reading Sounds GREAT. Does it work? I don’t really know, but if you get the program and it works for you, PLEASE LET ME KNOW! If it works–really works–I would be excited to promote this program to Learning Abled Kids’ parents confidently. The program does seem to be built on what I know to be sound instructional practice in teaching reading–explicit, direct instruction in phonemes. Given it works, it might actually be the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Read, Write & Type
- “This 40-lesson adventure is a powerful tool for 6-8 year-old children just learning to read, for children of other cultures learning to read and write in English, and for students of any age who are struggling to become successful readers and writers. Children learn phonics, reading, spelling, writing, vocabulary, punctuation, and even keyboarding. Children see, hear, speak, touch, and move their fingers as they play each new level in this multisensory program.” Given that other programs are more comprehensive in their teaching of reading, I personally would recommend using programs that teach phonemes, sight words, decoding skills, comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary in a progressive reading program designed to take the child to approximately a sixth grade reading level, rather than spending so much for a limited scope program. However, IF your child cannot learn sight words through other means, the Learning to Read Program might be what you need.
The following workbooks are downloadable from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ by clicking on the link provided or entering the document code into the ERIC search box.
Phonics Plus, Book A (Levels K-1) – by entering ED429275 into the search box.
Phonics Plus, Book B: Short Vowel Patterns, Long Vowel Patterns - by entering ED429276 into the search box.
Phonics Plus, Book C: Grades 2-3 – by entering ED441218 into the search box.
Spell, Say, and Write–A Synthesis of the Phonics and Whole Word Systems: A Beginner’s Workbook for School or Home Study – by entering ED370089 into the search box.
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