As homeschool moms we will have to consider how we will teach our children to read. Teaching our little ones to read may seem intimidating to many of us. Many of us will read all kinds of theories on how to teach phonics. One option you might want to consider is The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading.
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I also made this journey as a homeschool mom and yes, it is intimidating! You don’t want to mess your kids up and you especially want to teach phonics the right way the first time.
One thing you have to consider is your children’s learning styles. My children are not big fans of workbooks especially my daughter. I tried to teach her phonics with a well respected workbook program but it was just not a fit for her. So I was one of those parents who didn’t get it completely right the first time but I am pleased to say she has turned out to be a great reader. I will give credit to the wonderful phonics program we used. It was The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading.
The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading
The Ordinary Parents Guide To Teaching Reading is a phonics program written by Jessie Wise and Sara Buffington. Jessie Wise also co-wrote The Well Trained Mind with her daughter Susan Wise Bauer.
I love this program for its simplicity and effectiveness! It doesn’t have any fancy gimmicks or far-out theories that nobody understands. In my opinion, it has an old fashion approach to teaching phonics.
How it Works
What do you need for the program?
All you need for this program is the book, The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading and some simple supplies such as index cards. That’s it! No fancy materials to purchase!
There is a combo pack available that has all the letter cards, magnetic letter boards, and an audio CD for an additional price. These additional materials are not required but it does save you time from making your own letter cards.
There are 196 lessons in this book! So there is more than enough material to teach your child to read.
We took over a year to go through the book. The book starts with simple vowel sounds and then progresses to single consonant sounds. From there the lesson progress to consonant diagraphs, long vowel sounds, silent letters, consonant blends, r-changed vowels, two syllable words, contractions, plurals, three syllable words, suffixes, prefixes, and more!
How is it taught?
The authors believe you can teach reading to a child as young as three years old. They believe reading is a separate subject to be taught from writing and spelling. Even though your child may not be able to write at such a young age, they may be able to start understanding some basic concepts of learning how to read. This program can be started whenever you think your child is ready to start learning how to read. As I always say the beauty of homeschooling is knowing when your child is ready to learn.
The lessons are completely scripted for the parent. You read the lesson out loud to your child and you teach her new concepts every day.
You will have to make some simple letter cards on index cards if you choose not to buy the pre-made ones offered for this program. Each day you will sit with your child (we love to cuddle on the couch for this), you will read the scripted lesson and your child will listen. During the lesson you will ask your child to practice her new skills she is learning. You may either use a marker board or index cards for each lesson.
As the lessons progress your child will start to read sentences with all the letter sounds they have learned from previous lessons. The reading exercises are in the book. Ms. Wise truly made this so easy to use. There is plenty of review for each lesson. There is very little preparation needed. On some days your child may play a game to reinforce their new skills. Most games require some simple index cards with letters written on them or simple household items.
A daily lesson will take less than 30 minutes. There is no writing involved. Again, the author believes writing is a separate subject and should not be taught with reading. This makes it simpler and easier for the child to learn to read. They are not having to focus on their reading and writing skills at the same time. It is not necessary to supplement any readers, there are plenty of reading exercises with each lesson. We did use the “Bob Books” with the program to help my daughter gain confidence in her reading skills.
What are the cons?
It is a simple program so if you prefer a phonics program with more “bells and whistles” then you may not like this book.
My daughter did wonderfully with this program. She was reading with ease within a few months. I highly recommend this program.
Purchasing The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading
The Well Trained Mind – The book is very affordable, generally priced at $30.00 or less. The combo pack is available at around $65.
Amazon – Here you can purchase the Kindle, Print, or Audiobook versions.
Rainbow Resource – This seems to be the cheapest resource for purchasing The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading as well as the supplemental resources.
Originally published July 2009, written by Korey
This sounds great, Korey. Thanks for the review. I’m going to check this out even though I’m pretty sure of what we are using this next year, this may have the missing pieces that I’m looking for. Thanks!
This is what I’m using with my 4 year old DD and we are LOVING it! We’re only through lesson 31 and my DD can already read several BOB Books and she is eagerly trying to read anything she sees! It is very encouraging! 🙂 We just use the book and I have been writing the words and sentences on index cards so they are easier to read for her (as opposed to from the pages of the book). However, I got a 1cent notebook from Staples that I’ll be using now instead since there really are a lot of sentences now that she’s reading. 🙂 It’ll be cheaper this way than using cards for sure! Anyway, another thumbs up for this curriculum!
From what I’ve read up on it, by the time you complete the lessons, your child will be reading on a 4th grade level! I can’t wait to see more progress in the program and it’s so very painless for us! Most lessons to this point have taken less than 10 minutes, most under 5, mainly because she is so excited to be reading!