{Teaching Kids To Read}

When I first considered the idea of homeschooling my daughter, I went into panic mode every time I thought about this simple fact:

I would have to teach her to read.

I mean, really- where do you start? I heard so much about the changes that were made by schools in previous years regarding sight reading. Student were taught how to memorize words rather than understand the rules of phonics which make the word.

From my understanding, teaching sight reading leaves the child at a disadvantage. His vocabulary is limited to the words he’s memorized throughout the years.

With phonics based reading a child can put together the phonetic sounds in the word allowing them to read through words which they did not memorize.

{So where do I start?}

After reading many articles regarding the two ways of teaching children to read, I became very anxious. I didn’t want to make a mistake and I didn’t want to put my daughter at a disadvantage. So I prayed, prayed, and prayed some more.  I reminded myself of my true motives and goals in teaching my daughter to read.

Did I want to say, ‘oooh look at my daughter, she’s 5 and can read?’ or did I want to sow into her a gift which will allow her to learn on her own? A gift which she will use for the rest of her life.

Yes Lord, I want to teach her this amazing gift. The gift that keeps giving.

After much prayer and pumping myself up, “you can do this Darlene!!!’”… I went to the library looking for a book I had previously read, and lo’ and behold, right there next to it, another book caught my attention.

Phonics Pathways:

I love this book. And the best part of it all is that it is costing me absolutely nothing to teach my daughter to read. How awesome is that?!!

(Although if you want to purchase it, it will cost about $25).

To give you an idea, this book begins teaching the vowel sounds, A, E, I, O, U.

It then goes on to teach consonant and vowel sounds together, using one consonant at a time, FA, FE, FI, FO, FU.

Once your child masters the consonants with a vowel sounds, it goes on to add a third letter. FUN, JAM, WIN, etc.

This book is jam packed with practice for the little ones. I recommend going one or two pages at time; No longer than 15-20 minutes so that your child doesn’t get discouraged.

And I also recommend lots of cheering… Go wild when your child puts the sounds together correctly. They love that!

{make it fun}

Turn learning into a game to break up the routine.

Based on the words we were practicing, I created a word document on my computer, simple table 5 rows across and 4 rows down, then I filled in my table with the different words (It took me less than five minutes).

Phonics pathways lessons

{Practice Word Sheets}

I took out our {FOAM LETTER CARDS}. We had these around from a {Letter Treasure Hunt Game} which I will share about in the future.

These were made from a pack of foam letter stickers I purchased at the Dollar Tree. I simply used a sheet of cardstock paper, stuck each letter on the sheet and cut out small rectangles with my paper cutter. The entire project took less than 10 minutes to do.


I would call out a word from her word sheet. She would find it on the sheet, then spell it with her foam letters and once she finished she was able to put a pompom on the word. The goal was to fill up the paper with the pompoms as she mastered each word.




And of course, how could she resist? Pompoms turned clown nose…fun, fun, fun.


There you have it. That’s what teaching to read in our home looks like. I encourage you, even if you don’t homeschool to make learning fun for your child. You will be amazed at what they absorb.

So how about you? Do you have any phonics or reading games you do with your children? I’d love to hear from you!


Posted on June 27, 2012, in FAMILY LIFE, MOTHERING ON PURPOSE, PARENTING and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Shannon Tanksley

    Hello! What book did you use? I am unable to see the image and I don’t see a reference to the title in the article. Thank you!

    • Hi Shannon. Thanks for the heads up on the missing picture. The book is called Phonics Pathways. They have it at my local library so I didn’t pay a thing. We’ve really enjoyed it. It is so simple to work through.

  1. Pingback: {Week 2- Kindergarten} | {Faith Academy} School Days

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