Updated: Jul 19, 2018
Teaching reading is one of those topics that can really scare a homeschool parent. We wonder, are we doing it right? Can I really teach my child to read? Where do I start, phonics or sight words? I know teaching our children to read can be one of those things that cause us to delay the process or find someone else to do it. I want to encourage all parents that want to teach their children to read at home. You can teach reading. It will take time, patience and a sense of discovery!
See, the thing is, we already know how to read and most of us can't tell you how we know how to read. We just know how to read. Right? Well, there was a process you went through to learn this skill. What we have to do to teach reading to our children, is break down the process into small steps. I will share with you the steps I have used and continue to use with my children and other children I have taught to read. Remember, it is a process. It is not going to happen overnight. However, it will happen! :)
Start with Joy!
This is the key to all learning for our homeschool. I have discovered that when I am happy and excited, my boys soak it up and it becomes their joy. I try my very best to create a sense of fun and a time we can love to be together when we are learning. I do not accomplish this everyday during every learning sessions, but it is always the goal I aim for with the boys. If I can get them to enjoy our school time, it makes all the difference when the learning takes on more structure and requires more time as they advance to the next learning levels.
Teach the Alphabet Song
I always teach the alphabet song to all my boys. In fact, I sing it to them when they are infants just as I would sing a lullaby. By the time they are speaking, they can sing the song with me. I make sure that they can sing the alphabet song on their own without any assistance from me. Children learn so quickly when information is put to a melody. I don't know the science behind it, I just know it works. My boys love music and singing and dancing. I incorporate all of these active learning strategies into our reading time. Learning the alphabet song teaches the letter names. Once they know the song, they know how to say each letter name. I connect the song to the actual alphabet by showing the letter to them as we sing the song. I started this process at different stages with my boys. This can be done with alphabet books, flash cards and alphabet videos. Each of the boys liked a different method. I used the method that held their attention the longest. We simultaneously sing and look at the alphabet every day. Sometimes, many times a day. The repetition cements this knowledge that they will use for the rest of their lives.
The ABC song is one of the most important songs your child will learn for academic success.