When you are home schooling or preschool home schooling your child your first priority is to teach your child to read.
However, when teaching your child to read, it becomes very easy to lose sight of your goals. So, start by asking yourself this very important question; “Why do I want my child to read?”
A rather silly question you may say. Perhaps, but if you consider it, the answer is actually yes and no.
Yes, because we all want our children to read. It is the most basic requirement of education and without it your child will have minimal prospects in their lives. In the 21st century, a person who cannot read will be poorly regarded.
No, because without a very clear and specific goal you might become distracted by the multitudes of how and forget the reason why.
A process that should be easy, relaxed and clinical, becomes long winded, boring and exasperating.
If you simply set a goal for your child to read, then your child will read. But that may be all that will happen.
On the other hand, if you set a goal for your child to love reading and become a reader, then this is what you will get.
So, just by asking one question, you have made a HUGE difference in your child’s approach to reading and you have set them on the road to greater success.
When it comes to the debate between sight reading and phonics quite a bit of information gets ignored to facilitate each side’s argument.
The Phonics camp will tell you that phonics is all that you need, but they forget that some of the most common words like, they, their, would, people, etc, and foreign words (French, Latin, German, etc), that are used in the English language often enough cannot be sounded out.
The Sight Reading people ignore the fact that a child will encounter new words that they will have to decipher and read by themselves.
And sadly this entire debate will cost your child dearly, in time, in enthusiasm for reading, in the love of books.
Simply put, your job as a home schooling parent who is teaching your child to read, is to ensure that your child learns to read quickly, easily and by themselves.
To accomplish this in a manner that is fun for both you and your child and which instils a great love for reading in your child means that you, the home schooling parent, should not get caught up in the propaganda spewed by the education systems. You are after all home schooling your child for a very good reason!
By approaching reading using both sight reading and phonics you are developing a child who will no only learn to read fast, will love to read, but also a child who will be reading solo better and faster than children who engage in either sight reading or phonics alone.
With a simple tweak to your teaching methods; by teaching your child the most common words in English first, and then by helping them get through their first book as soon as possible, they will begin to get the hang of reading and their confidence will grow.
Soon, before you even know it your child will have moved on to book number two, three and four and they will begin to ask you how to say this word and that word. And soon, they will begin to sound out the words for themselves.
This has two results. Firstly, they are ready for phonics and secondly, they now love reading and will do whatever it takes to find out all the other interesting and wonderful things hiding in the pages of their books.
And what you have now is a child who loves reading and wants to learn to read better. Mission accomplished!