Probably one of the most daunting aspects of beginning homeschooling is the thought of teaching your child to read. You might think you can’t do it, but if you educate yourself, you can! Not every child reads at the same age, which is why some aren’t really ready for school by the age of 5. If you are patient and diligent, it will get done! Here is a great resource for parents and homeschool moms who have some questions about how it all works. It even has some info on reading difficulties that might arise, like dyslexia and the need for remediation. Don’t be afraid to take that step because you don’t think you can do it. You CAN!
Progressive Phonics is a phonics program that works for anyone needing phonics help. It has printable books that you download as you need them (or all at once) along with a teacher’s guide. I also love that the handwriting and reading are taught together. It teaches phonics AND the important sight-words that break phonics rules. This course follows up with more reading lessons that help your child become a fluent reader. The books are colorful if you want to print in color too, which I like that for school books at an early age. The “Register” menu tab has a broken link, but I found a valid one for you. To register, click the plus sign below the log in area or just click here.
Starfall is the go-to website that I always hear people recommend when phonics and home school are being discussed. It’s popular among all kinds of schoolers, for a good reason! It’s fun. It takes the “work” out of the lessons and makes your child think it’s a game. Some might think that’s not a good thing, but for kids who love games and pick things up quickly, I am all for making it fun. My children were not kept away from computers and TV when they were small. All of my children used Starfall and could read by the age of 4. I know every child is different, but for my children, Starfall was a main player in the game of reading and phonics. You can also buy their curriculum, but we didn’t. The free stuff worked just fine for us. It goes up into the ages when the child is already reading and can practice some fluency. You do not need to register.
Free Phonics Lessons are “hands-on” phonics lessons. The lessons are presented in a progressive order to help your students develop and strengthen basic reading skills. Children will need guidance from you as these are not independent lessons. Following through and checking for understanding are essential to making any phonics program work. Personally, I love self-guided learning, but in these early years of learning to read, our kids need us to make sure they understand what they are learning. These lessons are straight to the point and encourage you to read and re-read books to gain mastery of phonics and reading skills.
Kid Zone has a huge resource for phonics printables. There doesn’t seem to be a plan for using them as a complete curriculum, but there is a section where you can search for specific lesson plans by grade or by subject. The games and extra activities on this website could supplement any phonics program. There are activities for PreK up to 5th grade, and not just for phonics.
The Phonics Page provides free phonics lessons in QuickTime movie format. These lessons are designed to improve reading and spelling abilities for adults and children in the 2nd grade and older. There are four sample schedules to help you finish the phonics lessons in a timely manner, as well as a Progress Chart and Certificate of Completion. These lessons are presented in video format. It is designed for a remedial program for older children who might have some gaps. I didn’t find them particularly interesting, but they are not full of the fun and games that younger children appreciate. This would definitely be more appropriate for an adult who wants to improve skills and not be treated like a child. The instructor refers to Bible verses on occasion, and website is listed as a ministry of 40L.org.
Fun Fonix has Phonics worksheets for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade teachers, free printable worksheets, printable phonics workbooks, and online phonics games for kids. There is a great feature where you can create and customize a worksheet just for your child. You can make spelling worksheets where students look at the pictures and choose the correct spelling of the word or choose the correct word, and a variety of other options for customizing the printable worksheets.
Macmillan/McGraw-Hill is a publishing company for educators. This set of free books is Language Arts and has grades K-6 available for using online. It does not have printables for this free curriculum, but rather relies on following directions and answering questions. There is a teacher/parent section for any help that you might need to implement this program.
Jump Start has free lesson plans for phonics, and several other subjects, up through the second grade. You will find the phonics lessons in with the Reading lessons. The website has a lot to offer with online games, printable worksheets, activity suggestions for teachers, and art activities that will fill your school day with learning and fun. They also have some mobile apps, which my children have enjoyed!