This post is from contributor Kirsten Joy Torrado
The Problem with Most Kindergarten Reading Programs:
Last year as I was teaching my kindergartner to read we ran into a rather unexpected problem.
The problem for my little guy was that he already knew the phonetic sounds of his letters at the beginning of the year and was ready to start blending and sounding out words on Lesson 1. It’s a good problem, I know!
However, our kindergarten curriculum didn’t introduce blends and phonetic readers until Lesson 90! A phonetic reader is a beginner book that targets the sound of a specific letter. For example, a phonetic reader that targets the short vowel sound “a” might be titled, “The Fat Cat Sat on a Mat.”
My temptation was to skip straight forward to lesson 90 but, like many children this young, his letter formation needed a lot of practice as his little hands were just getting used to holding a pencil. I did not want to skip the first half of the year and have him miss the much-needed practice for his writing. However, I did not want to delay or squelch his excitement over his new-found reading skills.
What we encountered is a common problem with most kindergarten reading programs. They do not account for the difference in the rate that children learn to read vs. the rate at which they are able to hold a pencil and write. Sometimes children can look at a word and recognize it long before they have the fine motor skills in place to write it.
Our only solution was to progress with the curriculum as it was written for the sake of his writing, but to add in my own phonics readers for the first 90 lessons, for the sake of his reading.
Crunched for time and a bigger book budget, I did what most resourceful homeschool moms would do. I looked online!
So listed below are the benefits of my search. They all come from free sites and you are free to download as many copies as you need. I hope they work to complement your kindergarten reading program as well as they have ours. Enjoy!
- progressivephonics.com– There are three levels to download (beginner, intermediate, and advanced)
- freephoneticreaders.com– There are short vowel books and long vowel books. These have great illustrations your child can color.
- starfall.com – This is a popular program and all the readers are online, with animations. There are also worksheets you can download and print out for further practice.
- Need More Reading Material? Subscribe to my Facebook page and download “Reading Lists by Grade Level: K-3” for FREE. Just Click Here.
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