When I taught my oldest child to read, his litter sister was determined to keep up or beat him to it. I tried to follow curriculum I had purchased and found it sometimes tedious and hard to explain. Thankfully, homeschooling has allowed us to mix things up and find resources that work for us. This is some of what we are using as I help my youngest on her journey to literacy!
Every day, we start with Starfall’s Interactive Calendar. Starfall is a wonderful resource that does have paid options, but this and many of the learning tools are free. Doing this each day helps with recognizing the words for days and months as well as numbers. She enjoys creating a custom calendar and though sometimes it seems like we are just going through the motions, I find it helpful.
In our home, much of our work is done one-room-schoolhouse style. When I read books aloud, as long as the content isn’t too intense, my 5 year old is asked to sit and join us. When her older siblings do complicated projects, she has the option to try to do them or do a modified version. Since we don’t have a social studies or science curriculum just for her, I have her watch something extra that doesn’t have to do with reading to fill in some of the gaps.
Storybots is a fantastic resource. When my older two were little, we watched their YouTube videos regularly. Now, they are on Netflix! How exciting for them! The songs we love are still mostly available on YouTube but the links have changed a few times as they have rebranded. This is one of the videos we have used:
Each child is different. When I taught my older two, I found a different Alphabet song to show them every day. If they loved one, we would rewatch it on another date. They liked the variety and were surprised by how many different ways one song or idea could be shared in music. My youngest, on the other hand, gives some serious eye-rolls and expresses that she already knows the song. I might not make her watch one every day, but they are short and sweet and I don’t feel guilty about it either way. Here is an example.
One of the curricula that I had purchased was Abeka’s K5 Phonics, Reading, Writing & Numbers. I loosely follow the order of introduction of letters and we do use their Letters and Sounds K5 workbook, as well as the Manuscript version of their Writing with Phonics workbook. On the day that we used the other resources I’m sharing here, we used page 6 of Letters & Sounds, for example. The next day we did Writing with Phonics.
Because we are working on learning vowels first, I’ve been finding videos that explore the vowel sounds. This particular one had my little singing along.
We don’t always do a craft, but when we do, I try to allow my daughter to give it her personal touch. For this letter, we did an E is for Eagle Craft, which we discovered on Crystal & Co. Her site has many fun craft and school ideas. Worth checking out! My daughter decided that cutting out her handprints wasn’t very fun and she wanted to play with finger-paints. I had been avoiding them recently, so she was thrilled when I agreed. She also determined that the eagle needed feathers and brilliantly chose NOT to glue them in, so that she could “borrow” them for other activities as she wished. Because she was able to give me her ideas, the craft became more personal for her and she is very happy with it. One of the best things about this particular craft is that it demonstrates both long AND short E sounds, so it’s a one-and-done!
Over the next few days, we had a refresher about the sounds of E and vowels. I’m so thankful for the wonderful variety of
Using a variety of resources and letting my kids have some input on how they complete activities has kept learning fun. I hope that sharing these resources can help you instill a love of learning in your child, too!