Learning to Read/Reading Skills

Learning to Read

TJ Reading Resources at a Glance
If you know what kind of specific resources you are looking for, start here:
(updating of links in progress: 1/2019)
If you are new to teaching reading and don't know where to start or what to do (don't panic), continue reading below  to get a road map of how reading is generally taught and how you can get started.

How to Teach Your Kids to Read

How it started for us

I remember the panicked feeling I got when it hit me that had to teach my kids to read. Not a school. Me. I was so overwhelmed and didn't know where to start. I had no clue. Sound familiar?

Since the internet was brand spanking new when I started homeschooling in the late 90s, I headed out to the library to research how to teach reading. And let me tell you, there are a lot of theories, opinions, and methods. I tried this method and I tried that method and nothing was really working. Then one day, THE light came on. Right before this, my oldest had been attending kindergarten at a masjid (mosque). That only lasted two months when my husband came home one day and announced that "we" (read -->I) were going to homeschool--but that's another story). But back to this particular time when I had picked up some books at the library. One book was Get Ready to Read! by Toni Gould. Something in those books seemed familiar to me. Fortunately, I still had a workbook from my son's brief kindergarten stint and I noticed that the workbook was written by the same author. The methods in her book were the same as this workbook which I liked. And her method made so much sense. This was the day I discovered Phonics. From that point on, I researched phonics and decided that this way, was the way for us (as opposed to other methods such as whole language). And that was our beginning road to reading. 

In all, I've taught 7 of my kids to read and I have 2 more to go, in shaa Allah.  If you are just starting this journey and feeling panicked and confused, trust me, I've been there--and more than once. Each child is different so your experiences will be different. One of my kids was 4 when she got the hang of phonics and one of my kids was 11 by the time he was fluent.  

I've discovered though, that there are basic steps in teaching a child to read:

Where to Start:

When you are just starting, you need to develop the following first:

  • Alphabet Recognition (some people say learning the names is not necessary at this point, but I always start with this)
  • Phonemic Awareness (this is learning the sounds that the different letters (a, b, t, etc) or groups of letters (ck, ch, etc) you can teach this through the use of Phonics)
  • Sight words vocabulary (words that generally cannot be sounded out or just high frequency words that students will encounter in their reading. I generally start this once my kids can read short vowel (CVC) words such as cat, hot, and bit where the words have the pattern of a consonant followed by a vowel followed by another consonant)
When your student is an emerging reader, transitional, or fluent reader, the following skills should be developed/improved:
  • Vocabulary Development
  • Fluency
  • Comprehension
    • Before/During/After Reading Strategies
    Once your reader is a fluent reader, you move towards teaching literature (plot, theme, setting, etc)

    Stages of Reader Development

    By the Grade Resources

    (links to be restored, inshaa Allah.)
    • Grade 1
    • Grade 2
    • Grade 3
    • Grade 4
    • Grade 5
    • Grade 6