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Teaching my children to read was one of the most exciting projects during my homeschooling years.  With three children, I thought that I would purchase one curriculum for reading and that it would be used three times.  Boy, did I have a lot to learn.

I did quite a bit of research on reading and phonics.  I wanted to know the best methods to teach reading to my children.  When I attended elementary school, I was taught using a sight-word approach.  This wasn’t combined with phonics.  Although I’m a good reader now, my spelling isn’t easy.  To see if I’m spelling correctly, I have to decide if it “looks right” on the page.  If it doesn’t, I look up the correct spelling.  This is a very slow and tedious way to spell.

My first child learned to read with the Spalding Method.  This teaching method was extremely thorough.  With the packet of materials came pages of phonics cards.  They were black letters printed on white paper and I cut them out to make flashcards.  This child memorized them well and became a good reader and better speller.

My second child cried when I presented her with these blah flashcards.  Her attention span was also very short and she wasn’t getting it.  I made the decision to change curriculum to fit her style of learning.  She was extremely visual and so I purchased the A Beka curriculum to teach her phonics and reading.  The brightly colored flashcards and charts featured cute little pictures that held her attention.  She quickly caught on and learned to read.  She became my best reader and loved books.

My third child was very attentive and was reading words by sight when he was a toddler.  So, at age 4 I decided to teach him to read.  I had already sold my A Beka curriculum, so I purchased something different.  Teaching Your Child to read in 100 Easy Lessons was the book I ordered.  We spent just a few minutes each day with this book.  By the time I was about 1/3 of the way into this curriculum he started reading.  He just seemed to know how to read.


There are many wonderful types of curriculum for teaching your child to read.  Many of my homeschooling friends didn’t have such an easy time teaching reading to their children.  Some of the ways they dealt with a slow reader were:

  • waiting to teach the child until they were older
  • teaching a combination of sight-words and phonics
  • finding a reading tutor to help them

I personally feel that finding a person to tutor the child is the best way to deal with reading issues.  A reading specialist/tutor can easily identify what is causing the problem with reading.  They have the education to help you get past any hurdles that you’re facing.  They can also give you tips and resources to help your child do their best.

Although my children learned to read easily, there were other subjects that weren’t easy.  In this case, I wasn’t able to provide the special help that was needed.  In those instances, I hired a tutor to help them and me.  Having a tutor stopped any stress in the home.  I learned the best way to approach the subjects.  These subjects were mastered with the help of a tutor and that made my life so much better.

Some children may not want to use a tutor, but when they find out how helpful it is they likely will change their mind.  No one should ever feel embarrassed by using a tutor.  It’s a proven way to learn with the least amount of effort.

@2018, copyright Lisa Ehrman


  1. I felt pretty fortunate that I really had to teach just one of my boys to read since my other two had learned through traditional public school and I say fortunate since it was pretty stressful. Thankfully the wait and see approach worked well for my youngest and he's finally caught on and is a good reader but I was really questioning it for a while!

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