Phonics & Beginning Reading Recommendations

After completing the Letter of the Week curriculum (or sooner if you feel your child is ready) you can start into a phonics curriculum and/or beginning readers.  Or you can continue with the Brightly Beaming curriculums and work through Sound of the Week and Story of the Week.   There are so many different phonics programs it can be hard to choose.  I have recommended programs that are not as expensive as others, (so do not have a lot of gimmicks), but are very good programs and do the job well for many families.   If possible try to borrow a copy from a friend or the library, before purchasing, to make sure it is the program you really want.  Every child is different and you are the best judge of what will work for your child.  Happy reading!

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann, Phyllis Haddox, and Elaine Bruner.  This book is based on the proven SRA DISTAR Reading Program.  This program can work well with children as young as 3.  The program takes 20 minutes a day and after 100 lessons your child will be reading on a 2nd grade level.

Visit the 100 Easy Lessons web site.

Visit Worksheets Unlimited for worksheets that go along with each lesson.

Phonics Pathways

Phonics Pathways: Clear Steps to Easy Reading and Perfect Spelling by Dolores G. Hiskes(8th Edition).  She presents letters and sounds one at a time which progress to words, phrases and sentences.  The book can also be used to teach spelling to about 4th grade.  The book is user friendly and you only need to spend as little as 10 minutes a day.

Visit the Phonics Pathways web site.


Alpha-Phonics: A Primer for Beginning Readers by Samuel L. Blumenfeld.  In this primer the lessons start with blending 2 and 3 letter words right away.  Each lesson has been hand lettered and is easy to read.  This book can also be used to supplement other reading programs.  It is systematic in approach and requires almost no teacher preparation.  Sample pages can be viewed on the Alpha-Phonics web site.

Visit the Alpha-Phonics web site.

Reading Made Easy

Reading Made Easy: A Guide to Teach Your Child to Read by Valerie Bendt.  This program was written for, and tested by, homeschool families.  The lessons are fully scripted and include writing and drawing activities.  You teach 3 lessons per week and they take less than 30 minutes a day.  Christian content.

Visit the Reading Made Easy web site.

The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading

This book is written by Jessie Wise and Sara Buffington.  Jessie Wise is the co-author of The Well-Trained Mind.  This is a complete reading program that is simple and easy to use.  The lessons are scripted which makes it fun to do.  You can see samples of the lessons on the following website.

Visit The Ordinary Parent's web site.

Pathway Readers

Pathway Readers are a treasure in our family!  We love these books.  These readers are published by Pathway Publishers and include readers for Grades 1 - 8.  The readers are full of character building stories, values, and good morals.  The publishers are Amish and the stories depict the wholesome Amish way of life.  Accompanying workbooks are also available that cover phonics, spelling, reading comprehension, etc.

Visit Home School Products to learn more about these great readers.

Explode the Code Workbooks

These are an excellent set of workbooks to supplement any phonics program.  Books A - C can even be used with the Letter of the Week curriculum.  You could choose to teach the letters in the order presented in these workbooks.  These first three books cover all the consonant sounds.  Short vowels are introduced in Book 1.  Since the workbooks involve handwriting they will work best with young children who are interested in doing so.  My 4yos loves to practice writing the letters and these books are working well with him.

Visit EPS Books to see samples from these workbooks.

Other Reading Resources

Check your library for beginning readers such as I Can Read Books, Step Into Reading, Dr. Seuss, and others.  Read with your child daily and encourage him to read as many words on his own as possible.

Other interesting web sites with reading resources:
Teach a Child to Read
Reading a -
Primary Success Publications
StudyDog Reading Program
The Elson Readers
Bob Books
Progressive Phonics


Copyright © 2000 - 2007 by Katrina Lybbert