Homeschool Posts

Monday, September 20, 2010

Homeschool for FREE: Reading

The second installment of FREE resources to add some zest to your homeschool.

Yes, you absolutely can teach your child to read without spending a fortune. I have not personally used all of these programs, but even if I had, every situation is different, so please check out each one you are interested in carefully to see if it will work for you. No reason to not be discerning, just because a program is free:-)

Unless otherwise noted, these are secular resources. Some are designed to be used online, while others are designed to be printed.

Bricks and Mortar is a complete, free phonics program. It's a little unusual, so check out the description on the website. Provides a script (the "Notes" pages) to accompany the reading pages (called "Disks"). Can be used for learning to read or remedial work. Not in an easily downloadable form...you can either read it online, or print from your browser (recommended, so you can see the notes and disks at the same time). We tried this briefly with Mary, but it wasn't a good fit.

The Phonics Page contains free phonics, reading and spelling lessons in Quicktime format (also available in a format to view on your iPod). An openly Christian site.

Stairway to Reading is another free phonics based program, which provides diagnostic tests, lessons, readings, and games, all in easy to download pdfs. We have used this one and liked it. The bingo games offer some fun practice for practicing the phonemes.

Progressive Phonics is a reading program that provides scripted readers and activity sheets. Some emphasis on hands-on activities---your child will practice making the shapes of letters with their hands and with other shapes (for example, making a "d" with a stick and a ball). Starts with lower case letters. Activity sheets include handwriting sheets. I like that the reading in the early readers is shared between teacher and student. Stories are silly and sometimes a bit irreverent (I recommend you pre-read a few of the readers to get a feel the stories). We are using this program for Peter now and Mary used it with success. Site requires free registration.

Starfall is an online reading program with animated books and downloadable printables. Lots of schools use this program as a supplement (I think my oldest learned to read from Starfall) and it really is worth a look.

Book Adventure was created by Sylvan Learning as a motivational tool to encourage children to read. Your child can check to see if the book they are reading is on the Book Adventure booklist. If it is, they can earn points and prizes by taking quizzes when they finish reading. Might be good for a reluctant reader.

The StoryPlace Elementary Library has Topsy-Turvy Tales to read and printable activities.


Free Math Resources

Free Science Resources

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