Tag Archives: early learners

Phonics and Reading Programs for Early Learners

Have a child ready to learn to read? Don't miss this post where we discuss some of the top phonics and reading programs for early learners.

Last week we discussed some tips on how parents can teach their children to read. Today we are going to discuss some of the top phonics and reading programs for early learners.

Hooked on Phonics

I have used Hooked on Phonics to teach five children to read. I absolutely LOVE this program, and cannot say enough good things about it. Hooked on Phonics teaches children to read using the phonics program. Children start with short vowel words (-at, -an, -ap) and then move on to short i, short u, and then long vowel sounds. Every 3-4 lessons the child gets a review lesson where they also learn sight words like where, like, who, there, etc. At the end of this lesson they also get a REAL book to read. My kids were always so excited to get these books. They packed them around and read them to everyone that would listen. Hooked on Phonics is a fantastic program for teaching children to read!

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

This is another popular phonics based reading program. It is probably best used with a child who had not had any reading instruction due to the fact that it uses an unusual formation of letters to represent sounds. Teach Your Child uses 44 different letter formations to teach children how to read. Using the letter formations eliminates problems such as the different sounds of certain letters when used in conjunction with other letters (example tan and than).

We tried this program once, and it was not a good fit for us. However the product gets great reviews from those who have used it successfully and many say that it is easier to use than other reading programs.

All About Reading

All About Reading is an intense phonics program for children in preK through 4th grade. Using the Orton-Gillingam methodology, AAR boasts the ability to teach 97% of English words phonetically leaving only 3% to be learned as sight words.

AAR is an interactive multi sensory program that is mostly open and go. The lessons are scripted but can be adapted with hands on activities, a child’s favorite book, and adjusting the pace of the lessons. AAR receives great reviews and is one of Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top picks.

Teaching a child to read is one of the best parts of homeschooling. When the time comes for this child I encourage you to take a look at one of these three reading programs. Also, ask around and see what worked for others you know, ask to see the programs in person. With a little help you can find the perfect phonics and reading program for your new reader!

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

Homeschooling a Reluctant Learner


Do you have a child who just doesn’t like school? Everything seems like a chore when it comes to learning. They don’t want to do math, reading is a bore, and getting them to sit and concentrate is a near impossible task…. If this is your child, you may have a reluctant learner. Most kids are reluctant in school at some point in their education career, but reluctant learners are different. They really don’t seem to like school. At all.  Here are some tips for homeschooling a reluctant learner.

Debunk the Myth

What is the myth? The myth is that your child doesn’t want to learn. That is not true. All children WANT to learn. Whether it be how to play the new minecraft game, or how to climb the tree they are gazing at out the window. The key is to find out what it is that they WANT to learn.

Slow Down

Don’t push. Really. Who says a child HAS to read at five? If reading is hard, slow down, and pick it up in a few months. Forcing a child to learn something they are not ready for can cause emotional stress on the child, and exasperation for you. Let them work at their own pace. That is the beauty of homeschooling.

Set Goals

What does your child like? Figure that out and set a goal. You can have X for 10 minutes AFTER we finish this page of math. The key is to get them to want to finish their work, in order to move on to the next thing.

You can set bigger goals for the weeks accomplishments. If you finish all your assignments this week, we will have pizza for dinner on Friday. Or something along those lines. Find out what excites them and use it to your advantage.

Get Them Involved

What do they want to learn about? Find out and tailor your lessons around that. Unit studies may be a great approach for the reluctant learner because all the lessons are focused on one topic. I had a friend whose child was fascinated with tornadoes. That is all he wanted to talk about or learn about. So, she did a study on tornadoes, for a MONTH! The science of them, the history of the worst tornadoes, math related to how long they travel, books and spelling lists related to tornadoes, it was a LOT about tornadoes. BUT, he learned, and not reluctantly. Because it was something he was interested in.

Having a reluctant learner can be a challenge, but you can homeschool your child! Find out what interests them, slow down, and get them involved. These tips will help make your days a little smoother.

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a free Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.


The Merritt Way


“A Time for Phonics” is a book that includes the first ten steps of comprehensive phonics that teaches reading, writing, spelling skills and builds vocabulary. This system is based on the power of neuroplasticity to build “phonemic decoding skills” in a fun way using a whiteboard and no boring memorization drills. “A Time for Phonics Photo Flashcards” coincides with the ten steps and they have amazing color photos and every word can be “sounded out.” “Math Made Fun Through Playing Cards” is a unique set of playing cards that is designed to reinforce odd and even perception, eliminates confusion between 6 and 9 numerals, enhances computational skills and improves working memory. Math skills can be greatly enhanced through various activities. Algebra can even be clearly explained and practiced using these unique cards.

Science Supersite for all Homeschoolers

This is one of the true supersites for education.  Take the time to learn how to use this site, you will be very impressed.

http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/ Providing a wealth of lessons, tools, and resources for K-12 science educators, Science NetLinks is your guide to meaningful standards-based Internet experiences for students.

So Much Learning on One Website

National Geographic is a huge website!  It would take a person a long time to go through the whole thing. Take the time to teach your student how to use this website.  It is well worth your time, especially for the photographs.  For instance, search on volcanoes.  This is a wonderful website for for unit studies and research projects.

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ National Geographic provides free maps, photos, videos and daily news stories, as well as articles and features about animals, the environment, cultures,