In a previous post, I explained how I taught my daughter Chloe to read with the use of free resources. Today I will share plenty of links so that you can teach phonics for free to your children! Remember, it’s not the amount of money you spend on a fancy curriculum, it’s your commitment level and the time spent with your child that counts!
My only ‘schoolbook’ was the A Beka Handbook for Reading. I had this leftover from teaching my first child to read. It’s laid out in such a basic way that I didn’t even need the instruction manual. We simply practiced one page (one new sound) every couple of days.
To give Chloe extra practice with her new sounds, I did a search for “free phonics worksheets.” Here are some sites I like:
- Progressive Phonics (scroll down the page to find the worksheets)
- Free Phonics Worksheets
Once I had chosen all of the worksheets I wanted, I created a workbook. I assembled them in the same order that the Handbook for Reading taught the sounds, and put them in a 3-ring binder. For example, I put all the “short a” worksheets together, then the “short e” worksheets. (I did keep a couple of each set aside for later review.) Each day, after she practiced reading the sounds, I would open up the “workbook” and have her work 2-3 pages.
After the letter sounds were learned, we moved on to blends, and then words. I kept searching online for things like “first grade reading worksheets” or “free blends worksheets” until I found what I was looking for.
Another great reinforcement of new sounds and words is copy work. Simply have your child copy down the new words learned straight from the reading Handbook. Ask her to see and read the sounds as she writes. She will not only double her exposure to the new sounds, she will practice neat handwriting skills. This is not “busy work.” This is important learning, and it only takes minutes per day.
Once she had the basic reading principles down, she needed practice. We found Project Gutenberg, a site with full books online for free reading. I printed some of these off for her notebook, and some she read on the computer.
Here are some she read:
There are many more if you search! I also checked out easy chapter books from the library, such as Frog and Toad. Also look for Step Into Reading and I Can Read leveled books.
Being short on finances doesn’t mean that your children can’t excel in your homeschool! You just have to be creative. Since those early days, more and more great options have become available, such as Under the Home phonics lessons and Reading Bear. You can find free homeschooling curriculum for all grades and subjects at FreedomHomeschooling.com.
Now, Chloe has graduated and is an avid reader of classics and poetry. No book is too hard, and she has built her own personal library with books most adults don’t own or read.
Parents, don’t fear the world of reading instruction! It’s something that takes patience and consistency, and a few phonics resources. And you are perfectly capable of doing this. If you can read, you can teach your child to read.
For more on the early years, see my post Homeschool 101: Early Elementary. And please let me know if I can answer any questions!